Ultimately everyone who takes on a remodeling project wants it to go smoothly and stay under budget. Proper planning will go a long way to help avoid the extra charges, no-show contractors, and project lengths that extend well beyond the quoted time frame. Avoid these 8 common bathroom remodeling mistakes to ensure your next home improvement project goes smoothly without a hitch.
Not defining the scope of the remodeling project
If you are not moving walls or changing the overall location of your bathtub or shower, you can easily breakdown the remodel into two project parts. The tub/shower area is referred as “Area 1” and the portion outside of the tub/shower is called “Area 2.” The latter includes the vanity, vanity top, flooring, toilet, etc. Most homeowners can perform work on all or most of Area 2 items themselves and save money. The most difficult area to remodel is the bathroom’s tub/shower area. It involves sub-flooring, plumbing, and the proper installation of the bathtub, shower, and wall system. Before you begin searching for the right company, decide on what type of projects you want the company to perform. Failing to do so can result in additional costs, time, and frustrations.
Not asking contractors the right questions
Your goal is to find the best company that offers the best value, right? Start by asking the proper questions over the phone. While price is a significant factor, many other aspects should be considered. Most homeowners begin with a pricing inquiry because they are not sure what else to ask. We recommend asking different companies the following questions. Doing so will allow you to separate the good companies from the bad.
How long have you been in business? Will you provide proof and copies of your local business licenses?
The Small Business Administration reports that over half of businesses fail to reach their five year anniversary. A lasting company will invest in its employees, its products, and its community.
Will you provide a certificate of insurance prior to my purchase?
Ask to see the company’s Certificate of Insurance. Look for two things: liability insurance and worker’s compensation Insurance. The liability insurance covers any damage the installers may cause while working on your home, and the worker’s compensation policy provides proof that the company uses employee installers and covers those employees if they are injured while working.
Do you have a written warranty that I can see prior to my decision?
This is a buyer’s first indication that the company stands behind its employees, the material it uses, and its work. The warranty should include product and labor.
How long will the job take?
Time is obviously an important factor when considering a remodeling project. It’s important to gauge how long a project will take. If a contractor fumbles over their answer, it may be reason enough not to go with them. If a remodeling company uses different subcontractors for each phase of your remodel (tear out, plumbing, carpentry, shower door) then each installer’s schedule and work ethic will factor into the job length. What may seem like a small project can drag on for weeks if using a list of subcontractors.
Taking the contractor at their word
Asking questions is just the first step. Make sure you see evidence of what the contractor is telling you. Ask when you meet them in person. Anyone can say that they have a business license, warranty, insurance, etc. It’s up to you to verify these credentials. Make sure you can see copies of these items prior to signing anything.
Receiving different products than ordered
We have all heard stories of contractors who tell you that you are getting the best product on the market and then deliver something else. Your purchase agreement should be on a pre-printed document that details each product and service to be performed. You should not accept a handwritten summary on a blank form purchased at an office supply store, for example. Additionally, colors and styles ordered should be documented. If the wrong tile is delivered, you want to have proof of what you ordered so you don’t have to pay out of pocket for replacement materials.
Hiring unprofessional workers
You thought you hired a professional company with professional employees, but you ended up getting a couple of guys who didn’t show up the first day, spent more time on their cell phones than working, and appear to be learning on the job. A company that performs bathroom remodeling on a daily basis will have full-time employees on staff who are trained and prepared for the job. The typical contractor will book the job and installation date then call around for the subcontractors who are available those days that will work for the lowest price. Is this any way to guarantee quality? You can avoid these problems by making sure the company you hire uses employee installers, not subcontractors.
Budget is too small for the project desired
Let’s face it. Remodeling projects aren’t cheap. And with bathroom remodels, you have so much more involved than say a dining room or bedroom. By getting estimates from multiple companies, you’ll have a good idea of the range for your project and if a company is giving you a fair price.
Waiting until the last minute to order
In general, better quality and custom products will not be available at the local building supply store, and will take a little longer to receive. And, a little backlog of work for a company is a good thing because it means the company has other customers. There’s an old truism in business, you can have a quicker turnaround than your competitors, you can offer better quality products, and you can offer a better-valued price… but you can only be two out of the three and stay in business. Which two would you choose?
Thinking anyone can remodel a bathroom
Experience is a key to success in every line of work. Bathroom remodeling is no different. Who will do a better job; The full-time employee that installs bathrooms every day of the week, or the company that installed a deck last week and added a sunroom to a house the month before? Quality Advantage specializes in bathrooms and as a result, we are leaders in bathroom remodeling.
To avoid these bathroom remodeling mistakes, choose Quality Advantage
Begin taking the first steps towards your project by planning, asking questions, and speaking with professionals. Following this guide will assure you are taking the right steps towards achieving your bathroom remodeling goals. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can transform your bathroom into the bathroom of your dreams.