For a small bathroom remodel, you may not need a general contractor. For example, if you simply need some plumbing or electrical work done in your bathroom, hiring a plumber or electrician should be sufficient.
However, if you’re tackling a large-scale remodel, a general contractor can coordinate a team of designers, painters and other specialty contractors to get the job done. Typically, the rule of thumb is that you should hire a general contractor if your project is large enough to require a building permit.
Reach out the best bathroom remodelers near you to start planning your project, assemble a team and get cost estimates.
It’s important to ensure that you and the contractor are on the same page before any work begins, so don’t be afraid to ask potential bathroom remodelers plenty of questions.
Start by reading the contractor’s reviews online. Ask to see examples of their past work — specifically, work that is similar to yours. If you need the bathroom remodel done by a certain date, ask the contractor if they will be able to complete the work by your deadline. And you should always ask how they handle payments.
Here are some examples of questions you can ask:
- What materials do you recommend for my budget and overall vision?
- How much are the materials and labor? What will my final cost be?
- Do you have the proper license and insurance?
- Can I see photos of past bathroom remodels you’ve worked on?
- How long will it take to complete the remodel?
- How do you handle payments?
Remodeling your bathroom can lead to high personal satisfaction, as perhaps even a return on your investment when it comes time to sell your home. When you replace old and worn out surfaces with high-quality materials, it is almost guaranteed to improve the look and functionality of that space. A bathroom renovation can also improve your home’s curb appeal to future buyers and boost its overall value.
To determine if this project is worth the cost, start by getting free estimates from the best bathroom remodelers near you. And if you plan on selling your home, consult with your real estate expert to identify which remodeling projects you should prioritize.
What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a general contractor during the COVID-19 pandemic?
To set up a consultation or appointment with a general contractor during the COVID-19 pandemic, start by performing an online search for local professionals near you.
Message the contractor, and see if they are willing to set up a video consultation call instead of an in-person site visit. With video chat, the contractor may be able to assess the scale of the project, give you better information on what needs to be done and perhaps provide an estimate. Be sure to discuss virtual payments, as well as general strategies for staying safe.
To find out whether a general contractor is considered essential in your area during the current coronavirus pandemic, visit your city or state’s government website, which will have information on essential services.
Find information on national recommendations by visiting CISA’s Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19 webpage. However, not all jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure.
If you decide to hire a general contractor, avoid any physical contact, don’t shake hands, keep 6 feet of distance between you and the pro and sanitize all involved surfaces. Also, use digital platforms to communicate and make payments.
Currently, many general contractors are using common digital payment services like PayPal, Venmo, Square Cash, Zelle, Google Pay and more. And more will likely adopt these and similar platforms as coronavirus continues to force companies to take on digital capabilities.
Contact general contractors beforehand to discuss whether they accept digital payments, and take all necessary measures to meet social distancing recommendations. You can also compare general contractors side-by-side online to see which ones accept digital payments.
General contractors perform manual work and typically need to be present to complete their projects. However, if you come across a profile that states the contractor is offering remote services, ask what those services include. You can also ask if they can perform a consultation via video call and if they can do the job while following guidelines from the CDC and local agencies.
Provided the project is located inside your home, completing the job would require a general contractor to enter your home. But if your project is located outdoors, a general contractor will likely not need to enter your home. Discuss your options with general contractors in your area before hiring.
Bathroom remodeling is made up of three general phases. The first phase is the planning and permitting phase, in which you determine exactly what you want, what materials and finishes will be used, and what the end product will look like. If you’re competent with design you can handle the planning yourself, or you may hire an interior designer to guide you. During this phase you’ll also hire a general contractor who can help execute your remodel vision, coordinating and overseeing all the subcontractors required to do the bathroom remodeling (plumbers, flooring pros, etc.). When your plan is finalized, your contractor should obtain permits for the work you want done. During this time you’ll work together to order all the materials so they’ll be ready and waiting when it’s time to start construction.
The second phase is construction. Bathroom remodeling typically starts with demolition, removing the old floors, shower and vanity to make way for the new. Delays in delivery of materials, or changing your mind and ordering different materials halfway into the project, will mean that construction has to pause until the new materials arrive. Each subcontractor is dependent on the next to do their work, and the general contractor should keep things moving along at the proper timeline, ensuring that the right materials are available and dealing promptly with any unexpected repairs, such as damage discovered behind the walls or under the floor. The general contractor will also coordinate inspections from the necessary officials if you’ve moved load-bearing walls or done electrical or plumbing work. After construction is complete, the final phase of bathroom remodeling is addressing your punch list. These are all the items that need to be corrected before final payment is handed over to the contractor.
For more on how to remodel a bathroom check out The Complete Thumbtack Bathroom Remodel Guide.