Improving a Home

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Top Questions to Ask Your Bathroom Renovator

Researching various bathroom contractors and finally settling on one can be a daunting process for some. One of the biggest concerns clients have is whether they are being quoted a fair price. Also, there is no way to know a contractor’s ability without having witnessed their work first. Unless you receive a glowing recommendation from a trusted source, it is up to you do your research and ensure you’re hiring the best contractor for the job. Below is a list of questions you should ask your bathroom renovator before he/she begins tearing down the walls.

May I see some samples of your work? A professional will always keep a running portfolio of their previous projects. Always ask to see samples before hiring. These samples usually come in the form of pictures. But if your renovator is really keen, he/she may arrange for you to view a completed bathroom firsthand. How long have you been in business? Be wary of hiring contractors that have been in the bathroom renovation business for only a few years. Ideally, you’d like to hire someone who’s been in the industry for at least 15-20 years. During this time, a contractor will have come across a wide variety of problems and will have found solutions for most of them. Also, a contractor with this much experience will have likely perfected their craft when it comes to painting, tiling, etc. Are any permits required for this renovation? Some municipalities have strict by-laws and zoning requirements for seemingly minor renovations. There are times when contractors will offer to take care of the permit applications for you. Other times, it is your responsibility to deal with the City yourself. Always ask your renovator “who will be in charge of this aspect?” Where does the “messier” work take place? It would be great if contractors could keep all their work contained to one area of the home. But it doesn’t always work out that way. Although it’s the bathroom that’s being renovated, the “messier” jobs and the mixing of materials may have to take place somewhere else. For example, your contractor may perform some heavy-duty tasks in the garage, and then bring the materials up your hardwood stairs. So before the project gets underway, ask your renovator which parts of the house they will be trekking through. Try to protect the floors/walls with tarps and pad out any furniture or valuables that may be in the way. Who are your sub-contractors?

Just because you hire one bathroom renovator doesn’t mean he/she will be completing the job from start to finish. Many general contractors hire others to perform more specific tasks, such as tiling and dry-walling. Find out if your renovator has a history of working with these sub-contractors and ask to see samples of work. Also, keep tabs on the running costs to ensure you’re not getting milked by sub-contractors in the process. Do I need to organize a bin to take the waste/rubbish away? There will certainly be a lot of waste coming out of the renovation site as the project completes various stages. Ask your renovator who will be responsible for taking all that rubbish away. Factor waste disposal costs into your budget, so you’re not surprised when the City or private collector sends a hefty bill your way.