Everyone has heard stories of nightmare contractors that go over budget, who weren’t equipped to handle the job, or who took weeks or even months longer than their original project plan.
The good news? You can avoid a nightmare by going the extra mile to choose a great team.
Here are ten questions to ask your next bathroom remodeling contractor to ensure you are thrilled with your final results:
One: How Long Have You Been Doing Business Under Your Current Name?Be wary of contractors who have changed their incorporated name recently or more than once over the years. A name change can signal bankruptcy or other legal tangles. Choose a stable company that has been operating under the same business name for at least 10 years. Conduct extensive research about that company. Go through the Better Business Bureau, and ask them for references. Also ask to see copies of licenses and insurance, and ask them for proof of membership in professional organizations.
Two: Will I Need Permits for This Work?Most every home remodeling project requires some type of permit. Research ahead of time whether or not your municipality requires them. In the Pittsburgh area, there are hundreds of municipalities and you need to be aware of what you need to do where you live. Legacy will be more than happy to assist you in this process and to provide any important details that may be needed.
Three: How Long Will You Flood Test Our Shower?Flood testing is critical for showers. The last thing you want is a water leak that you can’t see until it’s too late. Flood tests should fall somewhere in the 72 hour range to ensure accuracy. Be wary of those who say flood tests are not important, or who only test for a short period of time.
Four: How Will the “Messy Work” be Handled?You want to know how your bathroom remodeling contractor will handle things like cement mixing, dust, and other “messy” work. You don’t want dust flying all over your house, and you don’t want your floors or other surfaces ruined by cement. Ask the contractor how they handle containing messes.
Five: How Long Will We Be without a Shower and Toilet?This is especially critical for homes that have only one bathroom. You will need to make arrangements for your family while your shower and toilet are out of commission. Consider installing a temporary bathroom in the basement – but be aware this will cost extra.
Six: How Will Changes be Handled?Changes are common in any bathroom remodeling project, and it is critical to understand how they will be handled. Make sure to get the change order process in writing before you begin.
Seven: How Will We Communicate throughout the Project?Everyone has communications preferences. You may like text messages, your contractor may like the phone. Ask up front how the contractor communicates during projects and how often you can expect to hear from him or her if nobody will be home during the day throughout the course of the work.
Eight: How Do I Reach You after Normal Business Hours?Emergencies are not likely with a reputable contractor, but they can and do happen. Know what the procedure is for reaching out in case of an unforeseen off-hours emergency, and be sure to provide your contractor with your work number, mobile number and landline number (and your spouse’s numbers) so that they can reach you in case of an emergency, as well.
Nine: What is Your Payment Schedule?Never, ever, ever pay a contractor the full amount up front.
And avoid any contractor that requires you to pay for all materials up front. It is standard to seek a deposit to secure a start date, and then ask for installments throughout.
Keep in mind that the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law in Pennsylvania states that a contractor cannot ask for an initial deposit of more than 1/3 of the contract price plus the cost of special-order materials.Ten: Is There Any Aspect Of this Project That Concerns You?
Contractors who have been in the game for a while know ahead of time which areas of a project they spot as potential problems. Get them to talk about it before you sign the contract, and discuss worst-case scenarios.
If you are on the lookout for a reputable and trusted bathroom remodeling contractor in Pittsburgh Legacy Remodeling is here to help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to learn more about our track record, our methods and our ideas to help you get the most from your bathroom remodeling project.