Bathroom Remodel Part 3: Decision Time!

The bids are in! I received a call last week from Contractor B with his estimate. If you’ve read Part 1 and Part 2 on my bathroom remodel, you probably knew that I’d already made a decision on who I would be using. But I couldn’t really make a definite decision until I had all of the information.

Here are the basics:

Contractor A: Contractor A is a large-scale company that does a lot of remodeling work. They have great references, but I haven’t actually seen any of their work. Which wouldn’t have mattered anyway, since they planned to subcontract the entire project to another company. Also, it would be many months (3+) before they could even schedule the remodel. Yikes!
Estimated Price: $4,600+

Contractor B: Contractor B is the owner of a small company. I know several people who have used this company, and have seen their work. They aren’t the type of company that does high-end remodeling projects, which is fine for what I need. His team would be the ones on site doing the actual work. And they can start in about 2 weeks, and will have everything wrapped up before the end of April. Contractor B gave me a “range price”: The low end is what the remodel will cost. The high end is because we aren’t 100% sure what caused the subfloor damage, so he wanted to build in a buffer if there was extensive plumbing or joist damage, etc.
Estimated Price: $2,000-3,000

That’s a pretty big difference in price! A big part of the price difference has to do with Contractor A subcontracting the work out; He has to account for profit for 2 companies to make it worthwhile, instead of just one.

I knew that Contractor B would be more affordable, but I preferred him even before I knew his price. From talking with him, I felt like he was much more knowledgeable about older homes. He also seemed more in tune with what was appropriate for a house in my market. His suggestions were logical. He talked me up on replacing the toilet. There’s nothing wrong with my old one, per se, but a new, average model ($100, instead of the $40 one I have) toilet would pull the room together better. And yet he talked me down on other things, like replacing all the brushed nickel fixtures with brushed bronze, which could have run into hundreds of dollars. I trust that his company is going to do a good job on this project. I didn’t really know what to expect from Contractor A. The guy who came out to my house was only minimally knowledgeable of bathroom remodeling. Plus, he wasn’t even with the company who would be doing the work.

I’ve hired a variety of contractors for a variety of projects over the years. You never can be 100% sure on how things will turn out. It’s important to do your research. Talk to several different contractors. Talk to people who have worked with them in the past. From there, the most important thing you can do is trust your gut.

The big decision is made. Now it’s time to get this project rolling!

– Cindy W.

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