Get the most from your initial contractor meeting

A consultation is essential before getting started any major home renovation project, including converting a bathtub/shower combo into a walk-in shower. According to Bruce Berey, owner of Gainey Flooring Solutions in Scottsdale, AZ, a good contractor will typically do the initial consultation on premises. He says these are the topics you’ll want to discuss.

Here Are Some Of The Top Questions To Ask A Bathroom Contractor

1. How long have you been in business?
A long tenure doesn’t necessarily make a great contractor, but it’s an indication of a successful business with satisfied customers. At the same time, ask how many similar projects a contractor has completed.
2. Do you have a contractor’s license and insurance?
It may seem like a no-brainer, since proper licenses and worker’s compensation insurance are the bare minimum requirements when hiring any worker undertaking even a small-scale remodel. But it’s a vital question, so bring it up early in your conversation.
3. Do | have enough room for a walk-in shower?
If you’re replacing a standard tub/shower combo, there should be plenty of room. Berey says the footprint of a standard 5-foot bathtub allows for a generous walk-in shower. It’s even possible if you’ve got a smaller space. The Americans with Disabilities Act says a modest 36” X 36” is the minimum size for a transfer-type shower. Given those dimensions, Berey says he can install a grab bar and eliminate the curb, but warns there’s not much room for turning around.
4. Can you give me a line-by-line estimate?
Rather than ask for a cost estimate during your consultation, give the contractor time to draw up a line-by-line estimate; that way you can study  it to ensure you understand the project’s scope, materials, hardware, construction process, and billing schedule. If you’re pressured to sign an agreement during your consultation, it may be a sign that you are dealing with a sales person, rather than a professional contractor.
5. What’s your general timeline?
Don’t expect to get an exact start date at the time of consultation, but a good contractor should be able to give you a general idea of when work can begin and how long it will take, with variables such as supply chain issues taken into consideration. Guarantees of one-day installation are probably from companies offering low-grade cover-up remodels. A quality job, which involves exposing the pipes (and correcting any existing water damage) and cutting tile to fit your space, will take more time.
6. How should | prepare?
Ask about nitty-gritty preparations, including moving rugs, protecting floors and furnishings, providing a dumpster, and reviewing community guidelines, if you live in an HOA or condo. (Converting a tub/shower to a walk-in shower doesn’t require permits, but your community may have rules regarding working hours and parkings) Berey includes all such prep work in the overall project, but make sure you and your contractor are on the same page.
7. Can | see your recommendations?
This is one of the most important parts of the consultation. A contractor with a healthy track record should be able to direct you to client reviews on sites such as Yelp!, Houzz, and Angi. You can also ask for a list of references you can contact directly.
8. Who will be doing the actual work?
Is the contractor using his or her own employees to do the job, or are they subbing out the work? A contractor using their own employees has much greater control over quality, safety, and scheduling.
9. Can | be at home during the construction?
As long as you have access to another bathroom, it shouldn’t be a problem.
10. Does your contractor provide aging-in-place solutions for seniors?
If you’re a senior looking to have your shower remodeled you must make sure your contractor is certified when it comes to installing accessibility solutions for your shower.
In conclusion, when undertaking a major home renovation like converting a bathtub/shower combo into a walk-in shower, a thorough consultation with a contractor is essential. During this discussion, you should cover key topics to ensure the success of your project:  
  1. Experience: Ask about the contractor’s background and similar project experience.
  2. Licenses and Insurance: Ensure the contractor has the required licenses and insurance.
  3. Space: Confirm if your space allows for a walk-in shower.
  4. Detailed Estimate: Request a line-by-line project estimate for clarity.
  5. Timeline: Get a general idea of the project timeline, factoring in potential delays.
  6. Preparations: Discuss the preparations needed, including moving furniture and adhering to community guidelines.
  7. Recommendations and References: Seek reviews and references from previous clients.
  8. Workforce: Understand if the contractor’s employees will handle the work or if they subcontract.
  9. Presence During Construction: Inquire if you can be present during construction, considering alternate bathroom access.
For exceptional shower transformations, including walk-in showers tailored for seniors in Phoenix and Scottsdale, turn to Gainey Flooring Solutions at Contact owner Bruce Berey at 602-989-8255 for a complimentary consultation. Gain the insights you need to confidently kickstart your home renovation project.