We spoke to some of the experienced tradesmen/helpers specialised in “Bathroom Fitting” to find out the key things you should know in order to make the right choice:
With many larger jobs, it’s advisable to post a detailed project and send detailed messages after you get quotations, from at least three tradesman. The detail and scope of their quotation can tell you a lot about their process.
It’s important to make sure that all the quotations are like-for-like – do they include materials and labour, as well as any subcontracting the tradesman may do, and VAT? (remember you do not pay more than their quoted price for the work you explained in your project)
If the tradesman/helper will be removing and disposing of the previous bathroom features, is that included?
The only way to accurately compare quotations is if you are comparing like-for-like, and to get them from people who have seen the job in person.
Taking a sample of at least three quotations can can help you spot any that seem unreasonably low – if this is the case, it could be the sign of a tradesman/helper who wants to win the job, but will make up the true value by adding on extra costs during the course of the build.
You have to get everything out up front, give all the information, so everyone knows what’s included and what to expect. It should be clear about things like materials too. “A picture is truly worth a thousand words” so use photos you can easily upload them while posting your project.
The cost of your project will of course be affected by the scope of your work – if you are looking to hire a firm to design your new bathroom as well as fit it, it will be considerably more than a simple installation project. The cost will also change depending on whether or not you purchase the bathroom yourself, either from a store, or the internet, or whether you employ a fitter first and get them to purchase the bathroom. In some cases, this can work out cheaper, as fitters may have relationships with manufacturers, or be approved installers, and can pass their trade discounts on to you.
This also minimises the risk of buying elements yourself, only to find they are substandard, or don’t fit your space. If you do choose to make the purchase yourself, it is important that you communicate with your fitter to make sure they are familiar with the particular brand and comfortable with fitting it. The same goes for items like tiles and accessories such as towel racks, taps and fitted toilet roll holders.
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It’s always worth speaking to a tradesman/helper before you go out and buy everything, just to make sure you’ll be getting the right stuff. Remember your tradesman/helper can source the best stuff cheaply. They can also think about the bigger picture because of their experience – You may just want to swap in a new bath, sink and toilet without realising it can mean changing things like tiling as well.
You need a tradesman/helper who knows their products – it’s all in the detail. If you buy a cheap, bad sealant that cracks after a few weeks, what happens? If that’s on a bath, and the crack means there’s a leak, and the wall and floor and electrics are damaged, that’s a huge problem – all because you tried to cut a corner. So please be aware of the risks before you do a partial job yourself in a bid to save some money which in the end may end up costing you more than it would’ve if you had discussed it with you tradesman/helper. Also check out Check their knowledge of building regulations.