Part 2 of Choosing your bathroom remodeling contractor

More on the important subject of choosing a contractor for your remodeling project

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As planned, three different contractors were called in to discuss things a submit a quote or bid. With each contractor we invited in, our bathroom remodeling plan was refined. This meant that the cost of all three quotes was not created equal, and would need to be corrected later on in the decision process.

In this case, one bid for the remodeling work came in at around $20k. Wow, too much since another $3k in plumbing and tile were to be provided by us. The next quote came in at a staggering $30k. Mind you, we're not talking about an enormous Martha Stuart bathroom here, rather a dinky 5' by 10' closet sized bathroom.

The third and final quote was bid at $8k - another wow!. Why so low? This contractor would work without pulling the "required" costly permits and inspections - something I would prefer. After all, it's none of the city's business whats going on in my bathroom. So long as safety codes are strictly adhered to, then all obligations are satisfied - period! But I digress.

The $30k contractor was out - far too much. Even though his communication skills were good, the cost was prohibitive. The $20k contractor (referred to as Acme Remodeling) and the $8k contractor (referred to as Roadrunner Economy Remodeling) needed to be looked at more closely to figure out the difference. This is where communication as discussed in the previous article becomes important.

Despite the enormous difference in cost between the two, we were far more comfortable with Acme remodeling than Roadrunner. The sense was that we agree on what was to be done, that it would be done right, and corners wouldn't be cut. That professional tradesmen would do the work, and not Home Dumpo parking lot attendants. Acmes presence was a professional one, while Roadrunner seemed to came off more like a guy who's getting buy.

Don't get me wrong here. Roadrunner came to us as a personal referral, and without solicitation - that's a testimonial. His work is probably perfectly excellent. But the perception was more important. The cost of the Roadrunner bid, although low, if done wrong is too much money to waste. Acme on the other hand, will have no excuse for shoddy work, forgotten details, bad fits, or anything other than perfection.

This is the dilemma we faced - A contractor that fit into our budget - after fixtures and tiles that we supply - but lacks our confidence, versus a contractor that blows the budget, but gives confidence that the job will be done right and with accountability.

Your dilemma will differ, and if at all unsure, you can always get a couple more bids to get a better feel for the appropriate cost range of your bathroom remodeling project costs. In other words, you millage will vary. Just keep an attitude of zero tolerance for shoddy contractors - make sure they know it. If a contractor shows up late for your bid - send them home, and call another.

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