You should always have some form of pre-construction meeting with any Contractor so you all know what to expect from each other. You need to discuss the simple things like access, dogs, alarms, plastic protection, etc., especially when it comes to something like bathroom additions.
The biggest concern for all customers, as it should be. You all need to be clear when your Contractor will be on or off the job and why. If you are a small job, find out if you are a filler job (which means your work will be slotted in when time permits…which might be saving you bucks), or if you are truly scheduled. If you are a larger job, understand when there must be down times to allow for other trades to work or inspections, etc…communications is key to keep stress down.
Sounds silly that I need to point this out, but in the remodeling world there are sometimes vast class chasms. Remodeling crews working on your beautiful home are typically working stiff types. Even simple things – coffee and donuts, go a long way. We have seen our guys get many cash tips, and many hugs over the years from our clients. They love having their work appreciated, the good guys really put their heart and soul into it.
Remodeling is an industry where cash flow is critical. Be aware of deposits, some are necessary for the purchase of materials, and some are as good faith. Obviously, the latter should be MUCH less. These days, more vendors are requiring deposits since very little inventory is stocked, and many Contractors have gone out of business in this tough economy. Give deposits accordingly and have a clear understanding what the deposit covers. This is not to say you should ask for receipts for everything. If you have done your homework by checking your Contractor, you need to have some faith by this time. These firms usually cannot produce mounds of paperwork, they just can’t afford the staff to do it.
Bathroom Remodel Change Orders
The public has as impression we love these things because we make lots of money on them. This couldn’t be more false, if you are dealing with reputable Contractors. These things always cost more than they’re worth. We can never charge enough for them, because they are always too much to begin with! Plus they mean a ton of paperwork. Then, even though it’s the customer asking for the additional work or product, it’s always the Contractors fault the whole project escalated in price! Hhmm, I think I was venting. Best scenario – listen to your Designer and Contractor during Estimating and Proposals, you will probably wind up going with the products they suggest in the first place. That’s not to say there won’t be Change Orders. There are what we call Hidden Conditions in remodeling. Things like termite damage, insufficient joist sizing, etc., that may have to be addressed. We always advise clients to consider 5%-10% of the Contract price as a reserve for change orders on larger jobs.