Before you hire a professional to remodel your bathroom, ask them these seven crucial questions first:
1. Can I see examples of your past bathroom remodeling work?
Read your contractor’s reviews. Comb for details on their punctuality, communication skills, work environment cleanliness and work quality. But if you see negative reviews, don’t dismiss the pro right away. Look at how they respond: if they show strong communication and conflict-resolution skills, they may still be a good fit.
Make sure you also ask for a portfolio of their past work, especially if you have a specialty project in mind. On Thumbtack, you can look at photos of previous work for bathroom remodeling contractors before you hire them.
2. Do you take on bathroom remodeling projects of my scope?
Some contractors specialize in certain kinds of projects. For example, one contractor may do bathroom additions and master bath renovations, while another focuses specifically on small bathroom remodels. Ask this question upfront to save everyone the time and effort of a site visit.
Also, if you need bathroom design services, make sure to ask if your contractor has design training. If not, consider hiring an architect or designer in addition to your bathroom remodeler.
3. How many projects do you run at the same time?
You want a company that has time for you and has long-term relationships with its subcontractors. Make sure you and your contractor have the same expectations about how often they will be onsite once the remodel or renovation kicks off. The contractor should be open with you about how long each stage of the project will take, and they should show a good understanding of what factors could potentially push that timeline out.
4. Who will be working in my home?
Many general contractors serve as the business head and hire foremen to run projects. Ask to meet the project manager and make sure it’s someone you want at your house every day. Depending on the elements of your bathroom remodeling project, your contractor will probably bring in more specialists.
This is a good thing in most cases — you want a specialist for things like drywall, painting, and retiling. But make sure you ask exactly what will be subcontracted out and get background information on those subcontractors.
[Back to top]
5. Are you bonded, licensed and insured?
Any contractor or subcontractor who works on your house should be bonded, licensed, and insured properly according to state and local standards. Insurance can help protect you if your home gets damaged during construction or workers are hurt on site, while hiring a bonded contractor can help protect you if the contractor fails to pay workers, doesn’t pay for permits, or doesn’t finish the work. Here’s more on how to do your research.
6. What permits does my renovation or remodel need and will you get them?
If a contractor isn’t willing to get the permits, it may be a sign they’re not licensed. You may need permits to make sure the work is up to code and that your homeowners insurance will cover it once it’s done. Make sure to ask whether permits are required and, if yes, ask to see the permits before the project starts.
7. How do you work?
What time does the work day start and end? Do workers clean up at the end of every day? Will they haul off garbage and debris? If pros are working inside, ask how they’ll protect your hardwood floors from damage. It’s best to talk about all of this upfront and get it in writing. And don’t just take their word for it — make sure to read their previous reviews carefully to see what other homeowners have said about their working style.