Remodeling your bathroom can be an exciting and stressful experience. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could approach your project with the knowledge of the most experienced remodeler?
At Porch, we’re here to empower homeowners by providing the tools and confidence to hire great home improvement professionals. Make sure you’re prepared for every stage of your bathroom remodel with our informative guide step-by-step guide.
If you’ve submitted a project request on Porch, expect to hear from up to four contractors over the next 24-48 hours.
If you haven’t yet:
- What is your company name, location and phone number?
This information allows you to vet the professional once you’re off the phone. This can be done by viewing their profile page on Porch (this will be listed on your project page) and by searching for reviews on other sites like BBB.
- Are you and your subcontractors licensed, bonded and insured?
Bottom line is, if the contractor answers no to this question, you should not hire them.
- When would you be able to start a project like mine?
This question will determine the availability of the professional. If you have a specific schedule you need to stick to but the professional won’t be available for a few months, it may be worth considering other options before requesting an estimate. On the other hand, if you need to arrange financial aid before the project starts but the professional has a large job planned for the time that you’d like to start, you will need to know this.
- Would you be able to provide references for previous clients?
Like licensing and bonding, references are an extremely good vetting tool. If a professional cannot provide any references for clients, it’s not a good sign.
These are questions that are relevant to all bathroom remodeling projects but you may have additional questions that are important to you. Asking questions gives the contractor a better perspective of your priorities and will enable you to determine who is right for your project.
Choosing your contractors
When deciding which contractors to request estimates from, make sure you thoroughly vet them first. You don’t want to waste your time meeting with a contractor only to find out that they don’t have a license or bond! Take a look at these vetting tips to ensure you Hire the Best Remodeling Contractor.
You can check whether a license is valid by typing, “check contractor’s license” and your state into a search engine. If you have any questions about this, you can contact the Porch Homeowner Support team for help.
Unless you’re fortunate enough to pay for your remodel out of your own pocket, you will probably start by researching home loan options. Find out Which Home Loan is Right for You.
Now you know how much you can spend, it’s time to prepare your budget. There are a couple of factors that determine the price of a bathroom remodel, the size and shape of the room and the quality of materials used. According to HomeWyse a basic 50sqft bathroom remodel should cost around $8,000-$10,500. Whereas, a 100sqft bathroom remodel using higher end materials could range between $11,000-$15,000 (these figures may differ from state to state). Having an idea of the quality of materials you can afford will allow the contractor’s estimate to be better suited to you. Here are some tips on How to Keep Your Remodeling Budget From Running Wild.
National Kitchen and Bath Association advises that this is where your money should be spent:
Design Fees: 4%
Cabinetry & hardware: 16%
Lighting & ventilation: 5%
Doors & Windows: 4%
Walls & Ceilings: 5%
Faucets & Plumbing: 14%
We advise requesting estimates from at least 3 contractors. Not only will this give you an idea of the cost, it allows you to get to know the contractor and their ideas for your project. This is crucial to selecting the right contractor for you.
Here are a few questions you should make sure you ask remodeling contractor during the first meeting:
- What is the payment schedule and process?
- Do you use materials from a specific supplier or can I choose items from retail stores?
- What is the best way to contact you? (email, phone or text)
- How long have you worked with your subcontractors?
- How long do you predict my project will take to complete?
- What kind of project do you specialize in?
After accepting a contractor’s bid for your project, make sure you get a written contract before any money is exchanged. The most important things to look for in your bathroom remodel contract are:
- A payment schedule
- Details of materials used and their cost and warranty
- Permit information
- Warranty of workmanship
For more details, see: What to Include in a Contract and Why It’s Important.
Within or as well as the contract, a subcontractor lien waiver should be signed. This will prevent you being liable for the contractor’s failure to pay his subcontractors or vendors. Not until the contractor has proven that all materials and workers have been paid in full should you sign a lien release.
Preparing for your project to start
Your bathroom is probably going to be out of order throughout the remodel. Make sure you’re prepared by arranging with a friend or neighbor to use their bathroom. Another option is setting up a temporary bath/toilet in the basement. This may cost around $500 but saves on a commute to the shower. Here are more Things to Expect Throughout your Remodel.
If you’ve followed these steps to find a great contractor then you’re well on your way to a stress-free remodel. At Porch, we understand that accidents happen. If any damage is caused to your property as a result of the professional we can help you make this right. Read about the terms of our Guarantee.
If you have any questions throughout your remodel, the Porch Home Assistant Team will be happy to help. They can be reached via email at email@example.com.