Remodeling a bathroom is one of the most challenging home improvement projects there is. You basically have to build a little house inside a tiny, incredibly private, and personal room. There’s a lot going on in a very small space—and almost always on a tight deadline.
However, in most bathroom renovations, there’s almost nothing skill-wise that’s totally elusive to most carpenters. You might do some basic framing, replace a window, hang drywall, tile, install some flooring, sub out the plumbing/electrical, and do some painting. But in the end, the service a contractor provides–along with his trade-craft–is the key to the castle.
Part and parcel for good service, in my book, is planning ahead.
I spend a huge amount of time prepping for a bathroom remodel and the takeaway here–whether you’re doing it yourself or having it done for you–is that it’s important that you see some of the steps I list below come together. And the more complex a project is, the more I rely on checklists.
One of my checklists (there are several) is all about customer service and expectation management:
- Mapping out the yard and the house: where can I place materials, where can I park, do I need parking permits, what are the restrictions, where can my guys park?
- Where can I put my dump trailer or dumpster?
- How can I enter and exit the house? What doors can I and can’t I use?
- Do you have pets? Can you please see to ALL of their needs so we can work?
- Can we take over a room inside the house for staging materials that can’t go outside, like bath furniture.
- In a gut-remo, I emphasize this verbally and in email: YOUR HOUSE IS GOING TO GET DUSTY. I will do my best to minimize the dust, but I can’t control it entirely. Where there’s budget, I include a maid service to do a final clean-up after I’m done.
- Halo Effect: In a gut job there is a lot of bang-and smash work and this can dislodge drywall, plaster, whatever in other rooms. I let them know this ahead of time and that fixing it will include be an upcharge.
After we do all this, we can actually do some work on the bathroom.