Once you start the process of looking through photographs, you’ll get a better sense of what you want to accomplish. You’ll also get a better idea of the amount of structural and surface changes your project is going to entail. We will get into the specifics of what is involved for bathroom and kitchen remodels in the next two posts. For now, let’s consider what’s involved with hiring the right contractor.
Depending on the extent of your project, it’s likely the contractor you hire may also need to hire the services of additional subcontractors such as electricians, plumbers, carpenters, tilers, flooring installers, drywall installers, and painters.
For example, if you’re thinking about installing a walk-in shower in your bathroom this project could entail: removing or adding additional walls, framing, new drywall and paint, tiling experts, moving electrical plugs, installing glass and glass doors, and new plumbing to install the new fixtures in your shower—to name just a few considerations.
NOTE: This is why it is extremely important that when you consider hiring a contractor you understand the extent of the services they are qualified to offer. The last thing you want to be doing is calling additional contractors and scheduling them yourself, especially when this is what you were expecting the general contracted your hired to do!
There are basically three different types of contracting companies you can invest in:
Contracting companies that have in-house subcontractors who work on their payroll. (But it’s unlikely you will find a contracting company that has every kind of subcontractor as a part of their business.) Contracting companies that may not have subcontractors on their payroll, but they have a working relationship with qualified local subcontractors and thus, can provide all the services you need. (This arrangement is far more common in the industry.) Contractors that are an expert in one or two areas, but don’t have qualified subcontractors who work with them. (You will want to avoid these types of contractors for larger projects. However, many of these contractors can be an expert in their respective fields, and they can be utilized if your project is limited in scope.)
So here's TIP #2: How do you begin to find the right person or company for your remodeling project?
Referrals from others who have used a particular contractor is your best option. Researching remodeling companies on the Internet is your next best choice. This search can be subjective, so here’s a few basic guidelines:
Look for medium to large-sized companies, and companies with websites that feature photos or videos of their past remodeling projects. This will help you to gauge the quality of their work. Look for testimonials and/or evidence that they have a long list of satisfied customers. Obviously, you what to make sure they are licensed, bonded, or insured.
Call and meet with the representatives of three or more contractors where the remodeling is going to take place. You want to make sure that the person you meet is not only a professional, but you will be comfortable working with them. It’s rare that you—as the home owner—knows precisely what your remodeling project is going to entail. But once you have a good idea, then it’s time to look into hiring a potential contractor.
In the next few posts we’ll help you to better understand what your bathroom or kitchen remodel might entail, For now, the information in this post will better equip you to engage and work with the contractor you will eventually choose.