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Old 09-22-2013, 09:02 AM   #1
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Tips on choosing a contractor?


I want to get some estamates from people about doing my other bathroom. I just dont have time for another one of these.

Who would you go to for installing a tub and tiling the tub surround? Can I expect tile guys to know how to install a tub and maybe plumb a new shower valve?

Also, whats the best process for finding a contractor? Is the only thing I can do is just call up numbers out of the phone at random?

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Old 09-22-2013, 09:26 AM   #2
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Tips on choosing a contractor?


If you know and trust someone who's a contractor (I know several), you can ask them who they would use for their house. You can also check with neighbors or friends who have had work done to see who they used and if they were satisified. Steer clear of Angie's list like the plague.

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Old 09-22-2013, 09:32 AM   #3
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Tips on choosing a contractor?


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Originally Posted by md2lgyk View Post
If you know and trust someone who's a contractor (I know several), you can ask them who they would use for their house. You can also check with neighbors or friends who have had work done to see who they used and if they were satisified. Steer clear of Angie's list like the plague.

Whats wrong with Angie List?
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Old 09-22-2013, 09:38 AM   #4
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Tips on choosing a contractor?


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Whats wrong with Angie List?
Here's just one recent story from this site. Angie's List Drama

Do a search...there's plenty more.
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Old 09-22-2013, 09:45 AM   #5
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Tips on choosing a contractor?


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Originally Posted by kwikfishron View Post
Here's just one recent story from this site. Angie's List Drama

Do a search...there's plenty more.

Hmm. The consensus on there seems to be ask the building material supplier.
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Old 09-22-2013, 09:52 AM   #6
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Hmm. The consensus on there seems to be ask the building material supplier.
That and the suggestions that md2lgyk offered. It's hard to beat word of mouth from people you already know and trust.
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:09 AM   #7
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Tips on choosing a contractor?


Develop your scope of work FIRST. That will give you a means of comparing any quotes that you solicit. It does no good to compare a bid involving a $100 steel tub and 39 cent white 4x4 tile done over greenboard with a $1200 cast iron tub and $3 porcelain done over Kerdi.

Once you have your SOW, then interview a couple of contractors who you've given that SOW previously to the meeting. You're looking for someone who both gives you a price on what you asked for, and who suggests maybe a better or different approach. Avoid contractors who give you bids full of allowances. That's a way to get a low bid without using "real" prices of anything but the cheapest stuff there is.

Personal recommendations from family and friends is the best way to find someone, but don't let that make you blind. Some people have no idea about quality control and aren't able to judge if the contractor that they used did a good job or not. Some people are so focused on the fact that they "didn't get ripped off" to see that they actually got what they paid for: a cheap job.

Fast. Good. Cheap. You can only have 2 out of the three. Choose wisely.
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Old 09-22-2013, 01:07 PM   #8
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Tips on choosing a contractor?


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Whats wrong with Angie List?
Just about everything. There's virtually no screening of who advertises themself there, whether they're telling the truth, or whether they themselves wrote whatever reviews there are.
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Old 09-22-2013, 01:42 PM   #9
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Tips on choosing a contractor?


I'd start with discussions with friends and then with the suppliers. Your bath and tile suppliers likely have a list of contractors they could recommend.

I would not expect your tile people to know about plumbing. But be SURE your plumber understands how to install the fixtures to fit how you're going to apply the tile. As in, know ahead of time what kind of tile and backer setup it going to be installed. Because the depth of the plumbing depends on knowing what thickness tile will be in front of it.
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Old 09-22-2013, 04:06 PM   #10
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Tips on choosing a contractor?


You might ask any trusted tradesman if they know a contractor worth calling.

An electrician or plumber or even a tile setter will know who is worth calling and who is not----

Just a thought----------Mike------------
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:45 PM   #11
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Tips on choosing a contractor?


Contractor should be trustworthy, no matter from where you get the source.
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Old 09-23-2013, 04:23 PM   #12
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Tips on choosing a contractor?


Check for contractors license and insurance, ask for references, call references, check with BBB for any complaints against contractor.
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:53 PM   #13
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Tips on choosing a contractor?


Sorry, but BBB is a joke.
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:26 PM   #14
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Tips on choosing a contractor?


Go stand around in nice tile store. If you seen a homeowner with an interior designer and and a tile guy. He is your man. You'll know. The interior designer is showing what she likes and the tile guy is just standing waiting for her and the home owner selection. Saturday or Sunday is the best day. I have seen this a couple times at a nice tile store located in Crestwood,Il on Cicero Ave.

ps. The tile guy is there for ordering.

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Old 09-24-2013, 06:32 AM   #15
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Tips on choosing a contractor?


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Go stand around in nice tile store. If you seen a homeowner with an interior designer and and a tile guy. He is your man. You'll know. The interior designer is showing what she likes and the tile guy is just standing waiting for her and the home owner selection. Saturday or Sunday is the best day. I have seen this a couple times at a nice tile store located in Crestwood,Il on Cicero Ave.

ps. The tile guy is there for ordering.
Heh, this is pretty accurate. I've used a decorator, a tile consultant and a tile setter for the new house. The decorator makes sure the overall colors and design work. The tile consultant made sure that works within the tiled areas. The setter makes it happen. All three are very different kinds of people, each skilled in their own way. Technically the tile side of it was two guys, one that runs the operation and another that set the tile.

Finding a contractor that's had long-term people is important. It shows they've been able to run the operation long enough for the employees to be able to make a predictable living. I'd be very unlikely to hire someone that didn't have long term people.

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