Where should I begin?
The beginning would be a logical start, however this seems a distant memory right now.
When Alex and I moved into our humble abode in October we already had our sights set on a new bathroom. The bathrooms were ok but just not to our taste. The kitchen was brand new from the previous home owners; which made the bathrooms seem even more dated.
We told ourselves after settling in and sorting other priorities we would then set out on a quest for a new bathroom. The secondary glazed windows were put in, curtains were hung up and all the furniture we needed was purchased by the end of November.
After Christmas! Sounded like a great idea to get the ball rolling on the bathroom. nonetheless moving away from home proved difficult to find reputable trades men/women. Unsure with the quotes and hardly any contacts in Manchester, the weeks turned into months without any progress at all.
Me being me, I got impatient waiting for the plumbers to come and do the disconnection of the bathroom. I started hacking away at removing tiles. This proved harder than first expected and after a few days this came to a halt too. In April, the plumbers finally came to do the disconnection, meaning we were free to push on ahead with the rest of the bathroom.
Even with this completed we were still waiting on quotes from other plumbers for the rest of the bathroom (ripping out the old and in with the new). In spite of this, we didn’t know if they were either taking us for a ride with the prices or had a long lead time.
In May we finally got a quote that seemed reasonable and they could start mid June.
So, they did, with no worry at all – paying for only materials up front they arrived (actually a day earlier than planned) to rip out the old bathroom in preparation for plumbing work. As the week progressed things went pretty smoothly. The bedroom however did become what looked like a workshop. Due to living in a small duplex apartment and the bathroom that we were having done was the en-suite – EVERYWHERE looked like a dust bomb had hit it. I came home from work one day to find a tile cutter on top of my dressing table…
Towards the end of the week and the job – things became a little bit slower. I guess the snagging list at the end of any job is always a bit tedious. Nonetheless in a total of 10 working days we received our spare house key back and a brand new bathroom!
Lessons learnt and food for thought;
- Do NOT start ripping out your own bathroom, well until you have someone lined up to do the job. Having two bathrooms helps – we had an unusable one for 4 months! Not ideal.
- Shop around for quotes – we found some way out the ball park with ridiculous add on extras!
- Check their lead time – if they jump on the opportunity you’ve given them and say “we can be here in 2 days”. They obviously don’t have enough work on and this screams alarm bells of bad reviews!
- When you have settled on a plumber/company for the job agree on when payments will be settled. The norm (with smaller businesses) seems to be up front for the materials before the job begins and then pay for the installation on completion of the job (when you are happy with the finished product)! Make sure, even if you are doing a part payment half way through the job that you keep some money back for when the job is complete.
- Be prepared for the mess…dust sheets at the ready!
- Keep the communication going with the company doing the job or the project manager. I found this kept me more in the loop and they were more inclined to let me know what was happening from day to day.
- Last but not least – trust these guys/girls! I found this difficult at first, knowing whilst we were at work someone was letting themselves in and out of our home. Despite the doubts, I returned home and everything was fine!
Just breathe, the end result will be worth it…