Once you’ve had your first meeting with a potential bathroom or kitchen contractor, the next conversations you have will address the timeline and your contract, including all the questions surrounding that. These questions are vital for a smooth renovation process. Make sure you, as the client, ask anything and everything you can think of before signing your contract. In today’s current climate, many concerns surround the timeline of the project, it usually ends up being the first thing to inquire about.
When discussing the timeline of your project with a potential contractor, keep in mind that good quality work can take time. Beware of contractors who claim a job can be completed in a few weeks. Even if all materials needed for the project are in stock, it can take 4-10 weeks for the physical part of the job to be done properly, depending on the size of the bathroom or kitchen you’re remodeling. Demo, preparation, installation, inspections, trim, painting, and more all fall into this timeline. A reputable contractor will ensure your home is not demoed until all materials are in hand and inspected, this will minimize the impact on your day-to-day life. A reputable contractor will also complete the work properly, cleaning up every day to make as little of a mess as possible in your home.
Another way to know if your bath and kitchen remodel contractor is reputable is by ensuring a comprehensive estimate is included in a contract with clear, reasonable terms and expectations in place. This contract should include anything and everything your job entails. For example, a contract for a bathroom renovation should include standard items such as material costs, demo cost, installation, and included designer costs. But there should also be a section for permits, engineering, and potential “unseen” things. This can include a material breaking in transit or installation, countertop cuts, glass enclosure options, and checking the electrical system to ensure it’s up to code. These things should be addressed or included in the beginning of the project, too often they can be left out, leading to higher costs down the line that you aren’t expecting.
Something to be aware of is that a reputable contractor will not ask for a steep front-end down payment. If the contractor is asking for well over 50% as a down payment before work has even started, then this is a big red flag. These tend to be the situations when, after the job has started, there end up being issues and you, as the client, end up paying for all these issues when you only expected to pay what the original estimate was. Disreputable contractors can add extra charges, delay the project, and do poor quality work. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do other than sit and wait for the project to be done since you have already made such a large investment. At the end of it you will be stuck with something that ended up costing more than you wanted, and the result isn’t what you had in mind. Always make sure your contract goes over any possible issues that could arise and the estimated cost given to you at the beginning matches the cost you pay at the end.
When you decide to sign a contract and commit to a contractor for your renovation, always ask plenty of questions. A reputable contractor will have the answers and make sure you feel comfortable with the process, never pushing you to sign a contract you aren’t ready for. With a fully comprehensive estimate and a timeline for payments, materials, and labor, a smooth renovation is achievable. Come back next week when we will discuss the communication with your contractor and go into detail about engineering and permits needed for the remodel.