It can be a tricky task when hiring a bathroom remodeling company. The Bay Area is chock full of home remodelers, from independent owner/operators to the full service design centers. And, if you’ve never considered hiring a bathroom remodeling contractor before, it can be difficult to know who to trust and who is reliable.
For starters, it’s essential that you do your homework. Quality bathroom remodels don’t come cheap, and choosing the wrong company could be a very costly mistake. With this in mind, we thought it might help to put together a few of the things that are vital for you look out for before contracting your remodeling company, so let’s take a closer look.
Years in Business
Bathroom remodelers and builders spring up all the time around the Bay Area. But the reality is that it’s difficult to gauge how good they are if they haven’t been in business for very long. A company with no history should set off a warning light for savvy consumers. Ultimately, businesses in the remodeling trade that aren’t very good do not tend to survive very long, so the age of a business is a good indicator right off the bat. However, there are some other important factors that we’ll explore further.
The Better Business Bureau is an excellent service for consumers looking to hire a bathroom remodeling company. If the business you’re looking at has been established for any length of time it’s a safe bet that they’ve been reviewed and rated by the BBB. An ‘A+’ rating is considered the highest grade, however, many good companies may have an ‘A’ or even a ‘B+’. Even the best and most well-intentioned businesses can have the occasional dissatisfied customer, but the BBB website allows these complaints to be viewed on their website, along with any reply or explanation from the business owner.
In the Bay Area, Diamond Certification is considered the “Gold Standard” and is a very prestigious sign of a reliable and trustworthy business. Using a rigorous 12-step process to determine a businesses quality assessment, they conduct a telephone survey a minimum of 100 real customers to establish the rating. Only those companies with a score of 90% or higher qualify. With ongoing surveys, they’re able to ensure that each Diamond Certified business maintains their standard of excellence. If they don’t, they’re at risk of losing the award. So, any bathroom remodeling company that’s kept their Diamond Certified status over multiple years is going to be a very safe bet.
Yelp Reviews & Google Reviews
The beauty of the Internet is that you can look up almost any business and find out what people think of it using services like Yelp and Google reviews. This can be a double-edged sword. Make sure that you take the overall picture as an indicator of service, rather than relying on one wholly positive or entirely negative statement. The San Francisco based review site, Yelp, has become somewhat infamous as a platform for nastiness by both unscrupulous consumers and unethical competitors. In some cases, the business owners have taken negative reviewers to court on the basis of how much damage had been done to their livelihood. Part of the problem with some of these sites is that it’s almost impossible to tell real customers from phony ones since they aren’t usually vetted by the website publisher. Keep this in the mix but add a grain of salt and give more weight to sites that validate verified buyers.
Bathroom remodelers come in all shapes and sizes, and some may specialize in a specific type of build. If you’re looking for a particular job, it’s a good idea to find a firm that offers this specialization. With a general remodeler, they might not have the same level of expertise in that specific area. The opposite is probably true when planning a large project or a complete bathroom remodel. Going with a larger, full-service firm could be the best choice.
Bathroom remodelers who offer a range of bathroom products can often get a better price for you on raw materials because they usually have greater buying power. Given the vast expense of upgrading a bathroom it’s a good idea to use a service that can give you what you need for a better unit price. There’s only so much you can appreciate, though, with just pictures of tiles, bath tubs and sinks when looking at them online or in a catalog. So it’s a much better idea to select a Bay Area bathroom remodeler with a showroom or design center you can visit and actually get up close and personal with the look and feel of your future bathroom.
Free In-Home Consultations and Written Estimates
Finally, avoid bathroom remodelers that try and charge you for in-home consultations or written estimates. These should always be offered free, just as they are by every reputable Bay Area bath remodeling service.
We hope these tips and suggestions have been helpful in getting you started on the path to finding the right bathroom remodeling company for your project. Let us know your own ideas, thoughts or feedback in the comments below!