Planning a Professional Bathroom Remodel? 10 Questions to Ask Your Contractor Before You Start

If you have bathroom remodel plans this spring or summer, you’re not alone. Updating your bathroom can help you maximize space, improve the look and feel of your bathroom, and increase your home’s overall value. In our post 7 Reasons To Hire A Professional For Your Bathroom Remodel, we discussed how DIY bathroom remodels can potentially lead to problems. Working with a contractor ensures that you achieve the final result you envision, without having to embark on dangerous or complicated projects that may yield undesirable results.

The partnership between contractor and homeowner is an important one. These are some basic guidelines to follow when looking for a professional contractor for your Portland or Seattle bathroom remodel project.


Hiring the right professionals for the job is of the utmost importance. A key way to vet potential contractors is to ensure that they’re licensed in your state. If you hear “no” or “I don’t need to be licensed,” you should be skeptical. Don’t be afraid to ask for a copy of their license to see whether it’s still valid.


After determining that a contractor is licensed, it’s also a good idea to ask whether he or she has insurance. A good contractor should have general liability insurance to protect your home and property, and workers’ compensation insurance to protect you in the event that a subcontractor is injured while working on your residence.

Guarantees and home warranties

Ask your potential contractor what guarantees and home warranties he or she offers. Contractors who are established will generally return to your home 6 months, 12 months, and 2 years after project completion to fix issues, address faulty products, and satisfy warranty obligations.

Time in business

Ask how long the contractor has been in business, and what training they’ve received. Furthermore, you want to ascertain if this is their full-time job. If they do contract work “on the side”, they might not be as expert as they claim.


A solid contractor should have references or testimonials available from past clients. It may be a good idea to speak with them about their experience, what they liked and disliked, and whether they would use that contractor again.

Experience with your desired design

If you’re a Portland or Seattle homeowner considering a bathroom remodel you should determine whether your potential contractor has completed projects similar to yours in the past. If so, how many? Have they done that tile design you’re in love with, or something similar to it, before? If so, it’s likely that they have the expertise to bring your vision to life. As mentioned above, it’s wise to speak with references, especially if those clients had a project similar in size, scope, and budget to yours. You can also check out their profile on industry sites like Houzz or Porch to see examples of their work.

Communication process

It’s important to know who you’ll be communicating with throughout the bathroom renovation. When you work with a professional for your bathroom remodel, you should be assigned your own project manager who will help you to select materials, coordinate the installation process, and keep you informed every step of the way. This project manager will ensure that your experience is effortless from beginning to end, and that the completed bathroom design is exactly what you want.

Other commitments

Learning how many projects your potential contractor has on their plate can help you to determine whether they will be fully committed to your bathroom remodel plans. It can also help you weed out the contractors who accept every project that comes their way, regardless of whether they have the time to fulfill their obligations. You’ll also want to make sure that they have enough staff to support your project.


How your project will be billed to you should be determined before work begins. Ask the professional how much you will need to pay upfront for work to begin, and when you will be billed for the remainder and any other costs.


Ask your contractor about the design, demolition, and renovation processes. Will your contractor and designer come to your home to see your bathroom before beginning work, or just look at pictures? What is your contractor’s process for the cleanup and disposal of materials during demo? How will damage to the home be prevented during the remodel?
Hiring a licensed, professional contractor with extensive experience will lead to a more seamless bathroom renovation. In summary, when choosing a contractor, trust your gut, do your research, and seek references from friends and family.

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