Bathrooms and kitchens are what sell homes. Remodeling an outdated bathroom is almost a guaranteed way to improve the value of your house. A few ideas that can ramp up the wow factor of your bathroom design include installing glass tiles in your bathtub or shower, replacing a dated vanity with a modern upgrade, or reconfiguring the layout of your bathroom to improve functionality.
Simple changes to improve aesthetics include a fresh coat of paint, adding pops of color by painting the inside of vanity drawers or adding fun décor pieces, and replacing dated fixtures. However, if your heart’s desire is for a complete bathroom remodel you will need to hire a contractor to do the job right.
Things to Know Before Hiring a Contractor
Hiring a contractor can be a daunting process. Here are 5 things to know before hiring a contractor.
- Get Estimates from Multiple Contractors. Don’t automatically hire the lowest bidder. While the potential savings can sway your decision, you will want to find out exactly why that contractor is charging less. Perhaps he has great connections and can save you a bundle or maybe he uses inferior materials that will require replacing within the year. Sometimes paying a little more at the start of the project can save you major cash down the road.
- Check Permit Requirements. It is very likely that your city has permit requirements that must be met before you can begin your bathroom redesign. Make sure your contractor is familiar with these permits to avoid renovation headaches and city citations.
- Ask For References. Any competent contractor should be able to provide you with a list of multiple references. Ask specifically for references related to your project if at all possible. Just because a contractor did a great job remodeling a kitchen does not necessarily mean the same will hold true for your bathroom design and remodel.
- Check for Insurance. A contractor should have personal liability insurance, worker’s compensation, and property damage coverage. If they do not, any insurance issues that arise will fall to you. Ask for proof of insurance and make copies to have on hand.
- Get a Written Contract. This is perhaps the most important thing you must do before hiring a contractor. You will want to ensure that your contract includes the contractor’s basic information, a rough start and completion date, a payment schedule for the contractors and suppliers, information on how the contractor handles changes to the scope of the project initially laid out in the contract, a list of materials and their specifications, what the contractor’s responsibilities include (try to secure a broom clause that makes the contractor responsible for site cleanup), any oral agreements, information on product warranties for materials, and the right to cancel the contract within three days if it was signed in your home or at a temporary place of business. This is known as the Cooling-Off rule and is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
By securing a skilled contractor, you can ensure that your new bathroom design will not only be beautiful, but well-constructed and to code as well. Doing the legwork at the beginning to properly research your contractor will help you avoid potential pitfalls and headaches associated with bathroom renovations.