Securing the right contractor to tackle your renovation can mean the difference between getting the bathroom of your dreams and having the headache of a lifetime.
- Step 1: Get a written contract that is fair to both parties. Make sure it includes the bid price and payment schedule, details of the work and materials involved, a change-order clause, a limited warranty, a dispute resolution clause, and a waiver of lien. A little legwork upfront will make your remodel go much smoother.
- FACT: According to a 2010 survey by the National Association of Home Builders, 61 percent of remodelers said bathroom remodeling was one of their most common projects during the first half of 2010. In previous years, kitchen remodeling was reported as the most common activity.
- Step 2: Ask for references from their former clients. Contact the references to ask about their job particulars and if they were satisfied with the work, the time it took, and the cost.
- Step 3: Set up interviews with each of your three prospective contractors. A good contractor will help you plan before starting work, acquire permits for you, assist you in purchasing and storing components, and schedule and coordinate projects. Ask detailed questions about your remodel and expect them to ask questions in return.
- Step 4: Research whether your prospective contractors have the proper state and local licensing and any pertinent certifications. Find out what professional associations they belong to, including the National Kitchen and Bath Association, the National Association of Homebuilders, and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.
- Step 5: Narrow down your list of prospects to three. Any more will be overwhelming and just add to the confusion.
- Step 6: Get referrals from family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers who've had positive experiences with contractors. Ask questions and find out if they would hire that contractor on another job.