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Remodeling Your Bathroom 101

By Frank Lant

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

Better Bath & Tile was started in 1976, primarily as a retail outlet for bathroom and kitchen fixtures and tile. We also offered installation of the items we sold. During the years since, we began to do more installation and construction, and less retail sales. We now operate exclusively as a remodeling contractor, as material for use in bathroom and kitchen remodeling is more readily accessible for the homeowner. We continue to manufacture our own line of custom cabinets, and employ or own tradesmen and craftsmen to complete our projects. Over our nearly 40 years of quality remodeling, and thousands of happy customers, we have created a comfortable, quality, clean experience for our customers at a value that can not be matched by other remodeling contractors.

What are some of the services your company provides?

We are a full service plumbing contractor. All employees are licensed, bonded, and insured plumbers. We offer a range of services from repairing a faucet, replacing a hot water heater, toilet, bathtub, or sink, to full plumbing on new construction projects, and anything in between. We manufacture our own line of custom cabinets, with installation service. We can provide and install countertops, ceramic and porcelain tile, and full bathroom and kitchen remodeling.

What are some common reasons why someone should renovate their bathroom?

The bathroom and kitchen are the most expensive rooms in anyone's home, but they also add or detract the most value. Investing in these rooms increases the value of your home, and the experts say the money invested is returned in 5-7 years. But that is not the most important reason to renovate the kitchen or bath. It can be a health hazard also. Depending on the condition, mold, mildew, and dirt can be creating an unhealthy condition in either room, making it actually unsafe to use these rooms. Sometimes a room just needs some updating and cosmetic changes to keep with the times, sometimes there are new circumstances that arise making it necessary to make changes, and sometimes it's simply in need of repair. Any and all are real reasons to upgrade, and choosing the right contractor can make your experience easy, fun, cost effective, and very satisfying.

How long does the average remodel take?

When we remodel a bathroom, we typically start on a Monday, and are completed in five days, by that Friday. Some of the larger bathroom remodels can go up to 2 weeks, but not often. We can do this by employing our own tradesmen that perform multiple tasks, making any downtime minimal or none at all. Most remodeling contractors use sub-contractors, who are scheduled to arrive on different days, creating a longer time that the room is not available, and a great deal more down time. Kitchens are generally 2-3 weeks.

What is the standard remodeling process, from start to finish?

To begin a project with us, we begin with an in home consultation. I will stop by to look at the project, and discuss ideas with the homeowner. Once we get an idea of what the customer wants to do, we'll get a proposal together. Once the customer agrees to proceed, we meet to get more specific with the selections, make any adjustments necessary to pricing, sign a proposal, get a deposit, and schedule a Monday to begin the work. The work is scheduled generally about 3-4 weeks in the future. During that time, we make arrangements to have all necessary material in our warehouse, so it is on site when we need it, making any delays in the project zero. On our scheduled start date, we arrive and begin. We work on your project every day until completion.

If you could offer advice to someone who is remodeling their bathroom for the first time, what would it be and why?

My advice to anyone considering a bathroom or kitchen project is, find a contractor you are comfortable with. Research the company, and get everything in writing. Ask about change orders, how they are handled and paid for. Get a specific time line, what will be done each day, and by whom. If you plan on doing any work yourself, know your limits. Consider the value of your project, not just cost. There are many items out there that cost less, but are not a good value. Quality is not cheap, but it most certainly can be affordable.

What's the best way for people to get in contact with you?

If you are interested in a free in home consultation, you can reach me by calling Better Bath & Tile at 414-744-6666 or emailing us atbetterbathandtile@gmail.com.

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