Your Guide for Choosing the Best Remodeling Contractor
Finding the best bathroom remodeling contractor need not be daunting. Do a little homework, ask some questions, and you will almost certainly be able to choose a well-qualified Fairfax bathroom remodeling contractor. Here is a guide that will help you find the right one for your job.
1. Ask Your Friends and Neighbors for a Recommendation.
Word-of-mouth referrals from people you know are a great way to start the process. Online sources like Angie’s List publish information about highly rated bathroom remodelers in the Fairfax area. Another really great source for Fairfax bathroom remodeling contractors is the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). All of those referral sources give you a good way to start your search. With your word-of-mouth referrals and the online sources, you will most certainly find the top-rated Fairfax bathroom remodeling contractors.
Be sure to inquire what made their experiences with a contractor the best. Go a little further and find out how the contractor handled problems that arose during the project. Invariably there will be the usual renovation project issues such as permitting delays, worker absences, unexpected complications, and the like. Beware of contractors with multiple complaints about cost overruns and shoddy work. Most importantly however, ask people if they would use the contractor again.
2. Do a Little Research Online.
Once you have a decent list of Fairfax bathroom remodeling contractor names, visit the contractors’ websites and view the photograph gallery of the projects they have completed. Expect that the contractor will have posted the jobs they are the proudest to have completed, so you’re assured knowing that you see their best work. Is it along the lines of what you have in mind? Then make sure they are licensed by the state and local municipality and they carry appropriate insurance. In addition, see whether they are members of professional organizations such as NARI. NARI has a code of ethics and standards of practice that their members have pledged to follow.
Through NARI membership, a remodeling contractor can become a Certified Kitchen and Bath Remodeler (CKBR). CKBR professionals specialize in kitchen and bath remodeling projects.
A CKBR certification is not easy to obtain. It shows that the contractor possesses expertise in materials, layout and installation particular to kitchen and bath renovations. The CKBR certification sets skilled Fairfax bathroom remodeling contractors apart from other remodeling contractors. It proves that they have been in the remodeling of kitchens and bathrooms for at least five years continuously, completed a minimum or four kitchens and/or bathrooms each year, obtained at least 16 hours of continuing education, and successfully completed a comprehensive 200- question examination under the supervision of an examination proctor. With this level of commitment to their profession, don’t be surprised it estimates for your job by certified contractors run a little higher than others.
3. Phone Interview.
Start with a phone interview to narrow down your list. Find out if your job is a size and type the Fairfax bathroom remodeling contractor is able to do. Ask for a list of referrals and contact them to get information about the contractor. Once you identify your top three or four based on your phone conversations, you will want to check the Virginia consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau to make sure they do not have a lot of complaints lodged against them.
4. Face-to-Face Interview.
Now that you are satisfied with your preliminary screenings, you are ready to meet your top choices. Nothing beats a face-to-face meeting. You will get a sense of whether the contractor and you will be able to get along and communicate well, though you don’t want to go with someone based only on a good personality.
You should have them come to your home to look at your project, discuss what you have in mind, and give you recommendations about how to proceed. It would be helpful to the Fairfax bathroom remodeling contractor if you have pictures from magazines or websites to help explain your vision of your project. Illustrations of tiles, paint colors, fixtures, and anything else you want can help the contractor give you a better estimate of costs.
Speaking of estimates, insist on written estimates. Give the same information to each contractor you interview so that you can compare estimates and work styles. Be aware that generally materials account for 40 percent of the total cost, and the rest covers overhead and the typical profit margin, which is 15 to 20 percent.
When it comes to payment, find out ahead of time how the Fairfax bathroom remodeling contractor expects to be paid. If the contractor wants half of the amount before starting work, it could be a sign the contractor has financial problems or is worried that you won’t pay the balance when the work is complete. For large remodeling or construction projects, a payment schedule often starts with 10 percent at contract signing, three payments of 25 percent evenly spaced over the duration of the project, and a check for the balance when you feel every item on the punch list has been completed.
Finally, make sure that the contractor you ultimately select guarantees the work.
5. Get It in Writing.
A reputable Fairfax bathroom remodeling contractor will put it all in writing. A written contract should lay out each step of the project, including the payment schedule, proof of insurance, a start date and projected completion date, and other important details about the project.
Contact a Reputable Fairfax Bathroom Remodeling Contractor for More Information
In general, an average bathroom remodel will average about $10,000 to $11,000, with low-end remodels typically as low as $2,500 while high-end remodels cost around $25,000 or more. With that much money on the line, you want to be confident you are hire the best contractor you can afford and get a wonderful bathroom renovation. Contact a Fairfax bathroom remodeling contractor for a free quote on your job.