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Published February 13, 2024

10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Bathroom Remodeling Contractors

Home Remodeling by Dana Laksman


Remodeling your dated bathroom can be an arduous task and you don't want to do it on your own, if you're able to hire professional bathroom remodeling contractors, instead. That's because a contractor is always going to be better equipped to remodel any room in your home, as long as they know what they're doing. If you do it on your own, the project could stretch on for months, or even years, when it could have simply taken a few days.

The most important thing you can do in the entire bathroom remodeling project is make sure that you hire a competent bathroom contractor who can do all the work for you. If it's your first time, with a bathroom renovation, you most likely don't know how to hire the right person. That's why this list of 10 questions to ask will be your best ally for this, and any bathroom remodels that you carry out.

Start With a Clear Plan

The first step in any bathroom remodel is to come up with a clear plan of what you want to do and how much time and money you want to dedicate to the project. The more time and money you put into it, the more changes and updates you'll be able to make, but not everyone wants to have bathroom remodeling contractors walking around their house for months on end. That's why starting with your dream bathroom and understanding that you may have to change things up is the best way to start.

When you talk to a bathroom remodeling contractor, be clear about what you want and ask them the two biggest questions of the entire project. Ask them how much it will cost and how long it will take. If the bathroom remodeling contractor can't answer those questions then they're not going to be anyone you want to deal with. Just make sure you fully understand that any answers the bathroom contractor gives you are estimates and will most likely change at some point.

How Bathroom Remodeling Project Scopes Impact Who to Hire

Next up is the scope of the bathroom remodel project that you want to carry out and how many changes you want to make to your existing bathroom. That's going to have a major impact on which bathroom remodeling contractor you end up hiring for the entire project. Not all contractors can carry out the same amount of work, so you want to make sure you find someone in the remodeling industry who's capable of giving you what you want.

You always want to make sure that you ask the contractors if they can do all the work you want in an efficient and timely manner. Any experienced contractor will be able to let you know what they can do for any project from simply adding a bathroom vanity to installing and building a walk-in shower. They'll also tell you if they need to hire multiple contractors to carry out parts of the project or if they can do it all themselves.

Do general contractors offer remote or virtual services?

Spa Bathroom

It's completely understandable if you don't want a parade of several contractors walking through your house every day, just to give you a budget for the construction. You can ask anyone you're considering if they can take a virtual tour of your bathroom instead of going in person. This is going to give you more of a rough estimate for the work, but it will save you time when it comes to your schedule.

The virtual tour is going to be followed up with an in-person tour, once you start to settle on someone to do the job for you. They'll have to meet with the homeowners as well as get a layout of the room and figure out which materials are already present before coming up with a final estimate.

Before hiring a contractor, come up with ideas and determine a timeline

Next up, it's always going to be your best bet to come up with your ideas and timeline to share with any potential contractors. Decide if you think you need any plumbing or electrical work done before you look for a general contractor. If you want new lighting, refreshed walls, new tile, flooring, or a completely redesigned space, you can estimate how long you think it will take.

There's also a great resource in the National Kitchen and Bath Association. The National Kitchen and Bath Association is a national association that works to bring professionalism to bathroom remodel contractors and similar workers. They can give you an idea of the timeline and costs associated with your remodel.

Interview Three or More Bathroom Contractors

Your contractor's reputation is built by the work they do and it's always a good idea to ask if they're okay with you getting multiple quotes. It's a very common strategy for homeowners, so they shouldn't have a problem with it.

Ask each one if they're insured and licensed by the state licensing board. If they can't provide their contractor license number then you don't want to hire them, even if the job is as simple as re-caulking your bathtub.

Get Estimates in Writing

It's important to ask for any estimates in writing when you're dealing with licensed contractors. While it's still just an estimate, it's an important reference for clients, to the successful completion of the bathroom remodel. It's going to keep everyone on the same page, from the certified lead carpenter to the person who orders the building materials.

When it comes time to start the work, you also want a written contract before it begins. Your contractor will also want it all in writing, so it shouldn't be a problem to ask about it. If they don't want to give you a contract, it's a clear sign of red flags that something isn't right.

Check Your Bathroom Contractor's Qualifications and References

There are always qualifications and references that you want to ask about when you talk to a contractor. They should have examples of their past work to show you, from fully renovated bathrooms to the installation of new fixtures.

Even if your job is just tiling the bathroom floor, get details from them and get an idea of what they can create for you. This is also when you want to ask for proof of insurance to make sure you're covered in the event of any accidents or problems.

Plumbers and electricians may also be required to complete a bathroom remodel

There are many jobs that require plumbers and electricians on top of the general contractor. They might even recommend certified kitchen remodel companies to do some of the work in your bathroom.

Once again, ask to see the previous work of the subcontractors and if they have the required insurance to be on the job. This all works to keep you safe and comfortable in the knowledge that they know what they're doing when they walk into your home.

Discuss Supplying Your Own or Reusing Items

Remodeled Shower

Paying for all of the work is just as important as vetting your contractor and that's why you want to ask about the payment schedule as the work goes on. Those are payments that you make until the job is complete and everyone is paid for their materials and work.

If you have any of your materials, this is also the time to ask about reusing them. Some potential hires may only be willing to buy their materials, just so they know it will all work for the job. Others, however, will let you supply some of your own for reuse. Ask about this when you're discussing the cost and schedule to make sure you both agree to it.

Written by Dana Laksman

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