Things to Check Before Hiring a Bathroom Fitter

new bathroom suite

Fitting a bathroom is an exciting project that can breathe new life into your home. But it’s also a messy job and a serious investment. That’s why it’s important to make sure you hire the best person for the job. Here’s a list of things to check before hiring a bathroom fitter.

In this article, we’ll cover:

plumber fitting a shower head

Questions to ask before finding a bathroom fitter

Before you look for a bathroom fitter, you should take the time to think about the scale and cost of the project. The better you understand your project, the easier it will be to communicate your requirements.

What is your budget?

You need to be clear on what you can expect to pay for your new bathroom – and how much you are willing to stretch to in case things don’t go according to plan. Be realistic with your estimates and build in some wiggle room for unexpected costs.

What are your requirements?

Look for inspiration for your project in magazines and blog articles. Think carefully what the job will entail so you can communicate this to your contractor. You should also consider areas for compromise – what are must-haves and what are optional extras?

Are there any jobs you are willing to do yourself?

You’re paying for the bathroom fitter’s labour, not just materials – and the more work there is for your fitter to do, the more you will pay. Are there any parts of the project that you would be happy to do yourself, such as removing or replacing tiles?

What will you need while the work is going on?

Fitting a new bathroom is inevitably going to cause a bit of chaos. Tradespeople generally do their best to minimise inconvenience. However, it’s still a good idea to consider any challenges the disruption might present, such as being without a toilet or shower. Can you manage by showering at the gym, or should you schedule a week away while the works are being completed? Check out our article for ideas on how to cope while your bathroom is being fitted.

professional tradesman using spirit level on shower tray

How to find a good bathroom fitter

Now you know what you require, it’s time to put together a list of potential bathroom fitters. Your bathroom fitter should be:

  • Qualified
  • Insured
  • Skilled
  • Reliable and trustworthy
  • Right for your project

Where to find licensed bathroom fitters

A bathroom is a difficult thing to live without, and a poorly fitted bathroom is an expensive mistake to make. Cowboy tradesmen may do the job incorrectly, damage your property, or vanish before the work is completed, turning your dream project into a waking nightmare. For these reasons, you should make sure to hire a reputable, licensed bathroom fitter. You can search for a professionally vetted tradesperson via the Federation of Master Builders.

Get recommendations from family and friends

If you have any friends or relatives who have recently had a bathroom fitted, ask them if they would recommend the professional who fitted it. Request pictures of their new bathroom or pay them a visit to see the fitter’s work in person.

View the fitter’s portfolio

An experienced bathroom fitter should have a body of work to show prospective clients. Ask to see their portfolio, especially any previous projects that are similar to yours. Some tradespeople include images on their websites or social media profiles. Others will provide them on request.

Fitting a new bathroom takes a wide skillset, so the fitter you choose needs to be up to the challenge. Use this opportunity to check the quality of their work and whether they are familiar with the style you require.

Check their online reviews

Read online reviews from previous customers on websites like MyBuilder and Checkatrade. Some reviews may include photos so you can view the contractor’s workmanship. Look for reviews of their character, too. The tradesperson will be in your home for an extended period, so it’s important that you feel comfortable around them and that they are trustworthy.

Ask for customer references

You can ask the contractor to provide references from previous clients. Happy clients might be willing to chat with you about their experience and send over a few photos of their finished bathroom. They might even invite you over so you can see for yourself!

Check what services the fitter can provide

Different fitters may specialise in different skills. Try to find a fitter with the right expertise for your project, especially if your bathroom is unconventional or you have specific needs.

You should check if the fitter plans to subcontract any parts of the work to another tradesperson, such as tiling or electrical work. This gives you a chance to check out the subcontractor, or to source your own tradesperson for the work if you prefer.

Finally, check whether they will dispose of your old bathroom suite for you. If not, this is something you will need to arrange separately.

Check the fitter is insured

You should ask your tradesperson for proof of insurance so you’ll be protected legally if something goes wrong. Public liability insurance covers you and the contractor in the event of injury or property damage. Employer’s liability insurance covers you if the contractor is injured in your home. Citizen’s Advice provides more information on what types of insurance to look for when hiring a contractor.

tradesperson fitting a basin

Get quotes for your bathroom fitting

Once you’ve narrowed down your list, it’s time to talk numbers. When getting quotes for your bathroom fitting, take care to follow the advice below.

Get multiple quotes

It’s important to get several quotes before committing to a tradesperson. Aim for at least three and try to arrange home visits. It’s best for prospective fitters to see the bathroom in person as this will give them a better understanding of the work that’s required.

Communicate your requirements clearly and in detail

It’s important to be clear and thorough when discussing your requirements so that you get the most accurate quotes possible. Being vague or downplaying the scale of the job will only result in unexpected costs later down the line. If certain aspects of your project are going to be too costly or impractical, it’s better to find out before starting the project. Prospective contractors may be able to suggest alternative solutions.

Make sure the quotes cover all aspects of the project

The last thing you want is to move forward with a quote only to be hit with extra hidden costs. Make sure your quotes cover all aspects of the job, including:

  • Materials
  • Parts and equipment
  • Labour
  • Disposal of your old bathroom suite (if applicable)
  • Subcontractor costs (if applicable)
  • Timescale

Read our blog article for more information about plumbing costs.

Don’t be tempted by a bargain quote

Unusually cheap quotes could indicate a lack of experience or that the contractor is not properly insured. It’s better to invest in an experienced professional than be stuck with a botched bathroom.

Get your quote in writing

Don’t settle for verbal agreements. Make sure to get your quote in writing. When you finally decide on a bathroom fitter, you should also get a written contract and read it thoroughly to make sure everything is accounted for. This will prevent any disagreements or unexpected price increases after the work has begun. If possible, secure start and end dates for the project to minimise inconvenience.

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