Renovating your bathroom is an exciting project, one which can see a tired old room finally become a comfortable and relaxing place to be.
However, as the old saying goes, nothing worth doing is ever easy, and getting the perfect bathroom for you and your family will inevitably involve some level of disruption as the old bathroom is taken out, and a shiny new one is installed. Having tradespeople in your home isn’t destined to be a stressful process though, and with a few basic ground rules, the entire project should run smoothly. We asked the experts at MyBuilder.com for advice on how to work with tradespeople, and help ensure any job goes to plan.
Put some thought into the hiring process
When you begin the process of renovating your bathroom, the most exciting part is choosing all of the new fixtures and fittings, deciding how you want it to look and feel and how it will all come together. Choosing a tradesperson is a more functional task, but one that deserves some attention, since they are the people who have the responsibility of making sure the bathroom of your dreams is up to scratch.
There are numerous ways to find good tradespeople, from personal recommendations to sites like MyBuilder.com, where you can post a job and hear from local bathroom fitters with the right experience, and see what their previous customers thought of them.
When speaking to prospective bathroom fitters, it’s important to ask what relevant experience they have with jobs such as yours, and how they will approach your job.
At this point of getting quotes, it is important to set up expectations around payment and supplies. Though you may have bought the bathroom yourself, will the tradesperson be supplying things like pipework and grouting? Is there a deposit involved? Will there be a snagging process where the tradesperson agrees to correct any faults for a certain period after the job is finished? What will the timings be like—are they working on another job at the same time? Answers to these questions can help decide if you’ve found the right tradesperson to work with.
Sort out the practical details
Once you’ve found the right tradesperson and set a date for the work to begin, you need to make sure all the small, but essential details of the process are in place to make sure everything runs smoothly. That means things like ensuring the tradespeople will have a place to park their van for the duration— no tradesperson will be happy getting a parking ticket while on the job, or have to walk half a mile to pick up a forgotten tool just when they need it.
If you’re hiring a skip for disposing of the old bathroom, will it be on your property, or will you have to get the correct licence from your local authority if it’s placed on a public road? Similarly, make sure you arrange access—if you’ll be on site throughout, this is less of an issue, but if the work will be carrying on when you’re out of the property, will the tradespeople be able to access it if they have to leave to get supplies?
Take care of deliveries
A new bathroom takes up a fair amount of space when packaged up, so having it sat around the home for any length of time can be quite a nuisance if you’re not prepared. Making sure you have room to put it aside is common sense—even a garage is fine, as long as it’s dry and doesn’t experience extremes of temperature, which could cause some materials to bend or warp.
While this may encourage you to put off deliveries until the last minute, it’s still better to have them in place earlier rather than later. If there any issues with delivery and they come after your tradesperson was due to start work, it sets back the whole project. Similarly, you should always take the time to inspect your products as soon as they arrive to ensure they are what you ordered and that there are no problems with what you’ve been sent. Waiting until the moment of installation to find out the bath is the wrong colour also risks setting back the entire process.
Learn to work with your tradespeople
It’s something many people wonder when they have tradespeople working in their home— how involved should you be? Should you leave them in peace for the entire length of the project and simply wait to see the final results, or should you be with them every moment, making sure they’re sticking to the plan and treating your home with kid gloves?
Ultimately, the solution requires finding a middle ground—staying involved enough to make sure you’re happy with progress, while not scrutinising everything until the tradesperson feels like a lab rat. The old stereotype of builders and other tradespeople is they’re tea-drinking machines who need refreshing every five minutes, but while the odd drink may be appreciated, most tradespeople don’t expect to be fed and watered for the duration of the job. And while it is important you check in to make sure the job is progressing and your decisions are being stuck to, no one wants to feel like they’re being constantly watched. A dialogue must go both ways as well—you should be available in person or on the phone to handle any issues that may crop up, or respond to any questions they may have.
Keeping open communications is the key to ensuring a project goes smoothly. Follow that throughout the days the work is carried out, and before too long you should have the bathroom of your dreams.
If you have more questions about hiring and working with tradespeople, head to MyBuilder.com.
More from "Ask the experts"
Got a question about bathroom installation? With our series of "ask the experts" blog posts, you may just find the answer. Simply click on any of the links below:
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