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Getting It Right the First Time

December 17, 2014

We recently had the chance to meet with a wonderful woman, let’s call her Kathy, who was in desperate need for remodeling help.  A little background first; Kathy is a graduate of the University of Utah and is now a practicing physician in the Salt Lake area.  She lives in a spacious condo near Sugarhouse.  She has done multiple small projects to personalize her condo, i.e. flooring, paint, etc.  A while ago she started a major bathroom remodel with a contractor.  Right off the bat, Kathy realized there was something wrong.  Whenever Kathy asked questions of him she got vague responses, though he assured her he knew what he was doing.  Once the work began the problems went from bad to worse.  The construction quality was dismal and each phase of the project drug on for quite some time with large lapses in between without any communication as to what was going on.  When the contractor started the finishes, Kathy decided she had had enough and kicked him off the job.  The day I showed up Kathy told me she had been without that bathroom for months and the mental anguish was killing her.  She called us to look at her other bathroom and to give her input and possibly a price to finish the work of the other contractor.  When walking through the steps we take and the process for doing the work she was very impressed with our professionalism and our long list of references that we often share.  We talked about what was involved with doing the work and I gave her some ballpark pricing to take care both bathrooms.  Unfortunately Kathy had spent a lot of money with the first contractor and most of his work needed to be removed and done over.  A bathroom that should have cost her $12-$14k was now going to cost her nearly $20k total because of all the rework needed.

Here are the things that Kathy learned the hard way;

  1. Always get references from your contractors, the best contractors always have lists of happy customers.
  2. Always be sure that your contractor has the proper licenses and insurances
  3. Always ask your contractor about getting permits. These aren’t always necessary but if the contractor is scared to get permits, they are usually hiding something or don’t have the proper credentials to get the needed permits.

We at Fine Remodel love working with great people to create great projects.  We strive to ensure that our customers have a great experience with their project.  This is accomplished through thorough communication, especially before we start the project to minimize surprises.  Remember, the only thing that costs more than doing it right is doing it twice.