Monday, 24 March 2014

Choosing The Right Contractor For a Bathroom Renovation

Renovating the bathroom inside a home is a great way to improve both the decor and function of this critical area. It's estimated that the average person spends approximately 2 weeks of each year in the bathroom, so it only makes sense for homeowners to create a fully functional, attractive bathroom. But how do you know which professional contractor to hire for the job? This week, we're going to reveal some tips on how to choose the right contractor for a major bathroom renovation project.

There are dozens if not hundreds of professional contractors in all of the major cities throughout the U.S. Whether you live on the east coast, west coast or anywhere in between, you don't have to search long to find a contractor willing to perform the renovation. But just because they have a professional-looking ad in the phone book doesn't necessarily mean they are the right choice.

Check Reviews

Past customer reviews say a lot about a business, and contractors are no exception. If you haven't done so already, hop online and perform a basic Google search of the contractor's name to see what comes up. Assuming they've been in business for a while, you should see some reviews published on sites like Google Places, Angie's List and Yelp.

You can also check out the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to determine whether or not the contractor has any open complaints.

Licensed, Insured and Bonded

Of course, you'll want to check and make sure the contractor is licensed, insured and bonded before hiring them. While most people have seen or heard of these terms before, few people know what they actually mean. See below for a breakdown of each of these terms and why they are important for professional contractors.

  • Licensed means the contractor has passed the state and/or city's testing for their trade. All licensed contractors have a number that clients can cross reference with the state's licensing database to verify its authenticity.
  • Insured means the contractor has their own insurance to pay for on-site injuries. Allowing uninsured contractors to work inside your home is just asking for trouble, so don't make this mistake.
  • Bonded refers to the company's 'backup' funds and assets to pay for lawsuits filed by clients. If a bonded contractor fails to finish the job, you can take them to court to recoup the costs.

Call Around

One of the most common mistakes homeowners make when hiring a bathroom contractor is saying "yes" to the first one they come across in the phone book or online. Even if the contractor sounds friendly, offers a good price, and has all of the right answers to your questions, you should still call around to get quotes from other professional contractors in the area. It only takes a couple of minutes to make a phone call, but doing so could yield hundreds or even thousands of dollars in savings.

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