Hiring a trusted contractor is the first (and most important) step when remodeling a bathroom. There are many qualities that an effective contractor must demonstrate to make your remodel as seamless as possible- you should you hire someone that performs not only the quality of work you expect, but also has the management and communication skills to ensure your project is finished in a professional and timely manner. Before you begin your next bathroom remodel project, make sure you've done your due diligence with respect to finding the perfect bathroom contractor for the job.

Word-of-mouth: Word of mouth is one of the most powerful influencers in the service industry. Obtaining a referral bathroom contractorsfrom a trusted friend or family member could save you valuable time with the research process. Third-party review sites like Angie's List or Yelp are also a great way to learn from satisfied (or unsatisfied) customers in your area.

Check licenses: After narrowing your search down to a few bathroom renovation contractors, conduct some research on the internet and/or over the phone. Ensure that the contractor is properly licensed and insured within your city, county, and/or state. A legitimate contractor should not hesitate to provide proof of Contractor's Licensure, Liability Insurance, or Workers' Compensation Insurance.

The right fit for you: Just because a contractor comes with all the right bells and whistles does not necessarily mean that he's a good fit for you and your family. Make sure you and your contractor are on the same page. It is important to feel comfortable and at ease, as you will potentially be allowing this person into your home for an indefinite amount of time.

Get everything in writing: After establishing the legitimacy of your potential contractors, obtain two or three written estimates for your project. Do not simply take the bottom-line costs at face value-compare scope of work items and verify that each estimate is a fair, apples-to-apples assessment of the work to be performed. After an estimate is agreeable and a contractor is selected, sign a formal contract/proposal before any work is commenced. A formal contract should include a detailed scope of work, a project schedule, materials to be installed/applied, the payment plan, and legal formalities in the event that unexpected should occur.

Use good judgment: Before signing any agreement, use your good judgment. Verify that the document seems legitimate, professional, and fair. After all your hard work and diligent vetting, you will be confident you that you chose the right contractor for your bathroom remodel.

This post is part of our series on Home Renovation Ideas.

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