We live in a 1BR/1BA condo in Los Angeles. The bathroom is from the
70s and is in desperate need of a makeover. It is a little too big of
a job to undertake by myself. We want a contracter to do it. Where
can I get educated so when I talk to a contracter I dont get raked over
the coals? Thanks for your help!
1) Ask the Condo Assoc for requirements that have to be met.
They may be able to suggest reliable contractors as well.
2) This is a ONE bath unit?? What will you do when the guy
has it tore out for a month and doesn't show up??
Sounds hi-risk to me.
3) In today's market, it may be very difficult to get a
contractor to agree to any kind of time-limit in writing,
let alone penalties.
You will need evidence of liability coverage and workmens comp
from him (call the carrier to verify) at the least. License?
This job will be a tough one (IMHO). It's a small job
and it's (to you at least) vital.
Condo association for referrals will be your number one stop.
You need a list of action items that will need to be followed.
Be careful when selecting materials unless you want your shower, for
example, out of commission for a couple days. If you choose ceramic or
granite tile for a tub or shower stall - the adhesive and grout needs
time to dry - meaning no showering for you. Same with the floors - if
you ceramic you may not be able to use the potty for a day or so.
I have remodelled many one bath apts/condos and you need to realize
your limitations if you NEED the bathroom to be operational on a
Things to remember:
Upgrade walls using paint rather than tiles, new wallboard etc.
Replacing a vanity/sink is an easy task that should only take a few
hours. Same with toilets - less time actually.
Floors - if using ceramic - do it in stages where you give the floor
time to dry while still be ing able to use the faciities. replace the
toilet last and do it in the morning so tat at night you can use it
Shower surrounds - maybe go with a kit - installs and can be fully
functional in a few hours.
On 9 May 2006 08:50:22 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
We had a contractor completely renovate our only bath -- down to the
studs with removal but no relocation of fixtures -- about 18 months
ago. We were never without a toilet but were without bathing
facilities for three nights (visited friends) and without showering
capabilities for a few weeks. We made do with a spray head/hose while
sitting in the tub. It's a really small bath, so the fancy footwork we
had to do occasionally wasn't a big problem.
A couple lessons learned...
1) However long the estimate for the time frame, add at least 50% for
unexpected delays. Ours was supposed to be 2-3 weeks and in the end it
was closer to 6 weeks.
2) Word of mouth/personal experience is your best referral on a
contractor, in my opinion. We're not in a condo so I can't speak to
their requirements but after our experience I will never again hire a
contractor that doesn't come recommended by someone I know or is at
least within a couple degrees of separation. Either that, or ask the
contractor-provided references if they'd let you personally visit to
see the finsihed work. DH found our guy on 'Angie's List', called a
couple references and that was it. Pfffft. You should see the drywall
joints; my 10-year-old could have done a better job.
That, and one of the delays was due to an unanticipated pipe issue he
discovered when he removed the tub. He requested that we get it
repaired before he put in the new tub. Huh? Can't you do it? "Not
really qualified (at least he admitted that -- it could have been much
worse!) so you need to call a real plumber. Only tell him you're a
DIYer, or that I'm your brother or something, because I'm not licensed
to do this level of work and could get fined $5,000."
Functionally we're not having problems so I guess that's a good thing.
Cosmetic issues can always be amended but leaks? Ugh.
Needless to say, I don't think much of the vaunted Angie's List.
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