People are giving their homes a great deal of attention these days. In fact, spending on home improvements surpassed $450 billion last year in the United States alone. Experts expect this figure to grow during the years to come. While home additions, kitchen renovations, and basement and attic transformations are popular projects, many homeowners are focusing on their bathrooms. Updating this space or adding square footage can transform your views of the entire home while increasing property values by a considerable margin.
Developing a Working Relationship with Your Contractor
Though some homeowners take the do-it-yourself route for bathroom renovations, most choose to hire a contractor. Bringing in the professionals helps ensure the job will be done correctly, more quickly, and on par with local building codes. Using the experts also reduces the likelihood of unexpected problems and takes the workload off of your shoulders. That said, it’s important to make sure you and the contractor are on the same page. This means asking bathroom remodeling contractors all the right questions.
1) Are You Licensed, Bonded, and Insured?
By law, contractors must be licensed and bonded. They’re also required to have insurance coverage in case they damage your property or one of their workers is injured on the job. Far too many homeowners assume the contractors they’re considering meet all those prerequisites, but some don’t. This could lead to any number of problems down the road, not the least of which is extensive and costly property damage.
2) Do You Offer Guarantees?
Contractors generally work with networks of suppliers. All the products and materials they get from those suppliers come with warranties and other guarantees, and they’re passed along to customers. At the same time, contractors should offer a guarantee on their workmanship. If the one you’re interviewing doesn’t provide those reassurances, consider looking elsewhere.
3) Can You Show Me Examples of Your Work?
Looking at contractors’ reviews and past projects is essential. This will give you a good idea of their skills, capabilities, and work ethics among other aspects. It’ll also help determine if a specific company is the right one to take on the type of project you have in mind.
4) Who Will Be Completing My Bathroom Renovation?
You wouldn’t allow a complete stranger to come into your home without at least getting a little background information beforehand. It’s important to know your contractor wouldn’t bring just anyone into your home as well. Be sure you know exactly which workers and subcontractors will be working on the project, and find out if background checks are performed on employees before hiring them.
5) Which Permits Will I Need?
Most home renovations require certain permits. If you don’t have them, you could run into quite a few expenses and legal issues down the road. Ask the contractor which permits you’ll need. Also, find out if the contractor takes care of them or you’re responsible for that portion of the process.
6) What Is Included in the Estimate and Contract?
Countless homeowners have proceeded with bathroom remodels only to find themselves paying hundreds or thousands of dollars more than initially expected. Along those same lines, quite a few have enlisted professionals and been stuck with incomplete work and subpar materials. Ask the contractor exactly which expenses are included in the estimate and what the contract covers before allowing him or her to start on your project.
7) What Type of Payment Schedule Do You Have in Place?
In most cases, contractors require a deposit before they’ll begin a project. From there, their payment schedules vary a bit. Some ask for partial payment at some point during the project with the remainder due upon completion. Others don’t accept payment until clients are fully satisfied with their work. Anything more than a ten-percent upfront payment may be a warning sign of a scam, and you don’t want any unexpected surprises to crop up. Be sure you fully understand when and how much you’re expected to pay.
8) How Do You Handle Projects?
This is a complicated question, but you need to cover certain important points when you ask it. Find out when the contractor will show up each morning and how late the team works in the evenings. Do they work Monday through Friday or only on certain days? Will they take extra care to avoid damaging your walls, flooring, fixtures, and other items in the home? Do they take care of the cleanup after the project is complete?
Getting answers to all these questions helps you better understand how a contractor approaches projects, whether he or she is capable of meeting your expectations, and what your role in the process will be as well as other crucial aspects. In the end, asking the right questions will greatly improve your chances of being happy with the end results. Truly qualified contractors who are dedicated to client satisfaction won’t mind answering your questions and offering in-depth explanations.