Home remodeling Ideas
Home Remodeling Pictures 9 Bathroom Pictures

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Here’s your bathroom – in need of a major remodeling job. Maybe It’s too small and needs some floor plan changes. Or water damage could be causing mold / mildew smells, but you can’t quite figure out exactly where it’s coming from. It’s just old, outdated, and some water damage has started.

This is the situation we found ourselves in. We needed to renovate our bathroom, and wanted to upgrade it from the basic necessities to something a little more luxurious.

We had a plan to get three quotes for the job. We had a good idea of how much we would need to spend – or more accurately, what a bathroom remodel costs, even at a minimum. The bidding process would serve also to find which contractor we communicate with best, and suites our style of doing things.

The phrase – ‘Suites your style of doing things’ can mean anything. If you’ve already done some homework, you know certain things. After meeting with your first contractor, you will most certainly know ‘things’. For example, if one contractor or another says that floor tile must be floated on a bed of mortar, and another tells you that plain old cement board will do, you have a problem, and will need to question your way to the truth on the matter.

Then there’s the local government permit process / inspection / approval process. Permits factor into the cost of your refurbishing project. Not only do you pay your contractor to pull the permit, but sometimes your contractor must wait around for the inspector to show up and do his inspection.

Personally, I find the idea of having a local city government require I get permission (that’s what a permit is after all) just a bit off-putting. On the one hand, it’s none of their business. But on the other hand the process insures that your contractor does work that meets safety codes and good practice. The work needs to be done in strict conformity with local safety and functionality codes, and the inspection process helps to ensure this happens.

Then there’s the shopping. Shopping for your plumbing fixtures, tiles, cabinets, lighting, etc before the bidding process completes is handy too. It helps to be able to tell the contractor that you will be taking care of these items. This two has pros and cons.

One point worth mentioning here, it’s always best to purchase things like plumbing and tiles yourself rather than letting the contractor do it. It may be convenient to let the contractor do it, but we’ve all heard stories of contractors who finish, accept full payment, and never pay the tile or plumbing shop for the parts. Guess who those creditors come after for payment – You!. They can, and will put a lean on your home. You wind up paying twice for the same products. Do the purchasing yourself, or demand receipts from contractors before final payment is made. This goes for any work you have done – get those receipts, or at least ask about it, some proof that the supplier has been paid, and don’t accept “I’ve been in business for 80 years, kind of reply. That doesn’t mean anything.

After having our kitchen remodeled we figured we were real pros at this. Our kitchen remodeling contractor provided a full service refacing solution, so we didn’t have to shop for every single item, which can be a nightmare. The bathroom remodel was a different story. We needed to shop for everything – bathroom cabinet, shower door, tiles, plumbing, everything. So you can try the local kitchen and bath showroom warehouses, but ugh!

Those kitchen and bathroom showrooms can be awful. Over crowded with other customers, and rarely is there someone available to help. All the employees are busy answering 100s of questions and showing catalogs and samples. What usually happens for me is – after patiently waiting for your turn with an employee, the employee sizes you up, and dismisses you as quickly as possible.

Here again, the solution is to find a locally owned, sole proprietor – a plumbing supply shop for example. You’ll talk to the shop owner who’s done his time as a plumber for dozens of years and brought that expertise to the retail helping customers as knowledgeable expert shop proprietor. You might even pay a little more, but you will be getting top quality fixtures that will last years.