Three Sure Fire Keys to Relieve the Stress of Remodeling

Plan

They say the key to any successful project starts with the prep work, and the same is true with a bathroom remodel project. A bathroom remodel is no place for improvisation, which typically leads to costly overruns and poor choices you may later regret. Before ripping out the first tile, think hard about how you will use the space, what materials and fixtures you want, and how much you’re willing to spend. The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) recommends spending up to six months researching, evaluating, and planning before beginning work. Create a roadmap that will guide decisions, even the ones made under remodeling stress. Once work has begun — a process that averages two to three weeks — resist changing your mind. Work stoppages and alterations add costs. Some contractors include clauses in their contracts that specify premium prices for changing original plans. If planning isn’t your strong suit, hire a designer. In addition to adding style and efficiency, a professional designer makes sure contractors and installers are scheduled in an orderly fashion. A professional designer charges $100 to $200 per hour, and spends 10 to 30 hours on a bathroom project.

Budget

Establish the scope of work you want accomplished down to the exact details of what materials you want by manufacturer and model number. Leave no margin for interpretation or error. Better yet, if the contractor will allow you to go to the fixture showrooms and order the materials under his account, then do it. Validate each new material selection with the contractor in the context of your budget. Clearly establish a budget or a not-to-exceed number, and share it with your contractor. They will provide you with construction cost information that you will need to understand how to develop your budget. Do not let daydreaming or well-meaning advisers—that know nothing about the budget— sway you.

Find the Right Contractor

Now might be a good time to visit with a bathroom remodeling contractor who has a showroom or offers bathroom remodeling design services. Visualizing your project before it gets underway can help define your expectations of the overall project and illustrate how different design and layout choices will work. For instance, if you were interested in changing the location of the toilet, shower or sink, an
experienced bathroom remodeler can help you determine if these layout changes would be prohibitively expensive for your budget.

Some states or cities have no licensing requirements for contractors, which can make it difficult for homeowners to check up on contractors before they hire one. Don’t rely on the contractor’s word to know whether his or her license is valid. Most licensed contractors have their license number on their business cards or their trucks. Verify it through appropriate state agencies. For Idaho visit Web.DBS.Idaho.Gov/Etrakit3 for verification. Bathroom remodeling work often requires electrical and plumbing work, two of the most often regulated trades, so make sure you hire a qualified, legitimate professional.

JeffMooney is the owner of Custom Bath Solutions, Southern Idaho’s preeminent Best Bath Systems distributor. For more information visit the showroom at 480 E.
Franklin, Meridian or visit BestBathShowRoom.com.