I know most of our advice revolves around our children and how to manage little ones, but I have a story to share and a word of advice from my experience these past couple months.  As my children have gotten older, I’ve been feeling the need to make some changes to our home.  I was considering a couple renovations to expand our kitchen and potentially remodel our downstairs bathroom as well.  I spoke to a few of our neighbors to see if they had any recommendations on companies and I heard some wild stories.  My neighbor to the left, Mike, had called 3 or 4 different Portland-based contractors for estimates on his bathroom remodel and every single one provided a drastically different price.  Mike chose one of the companies that gave mid-range estimates and called some of the previous clients as part of his due diligence.  He then proceeded to begin the project, but did not review the paperwork and contract very carefully.  The bathroom contractor he chose used low quality materials and cheap labor, which resulted in some really shoddy work.  It was so poor that he stopped the contract half way through with the help of his attorney and ended up hiring a different company from further out in Oregon. My neighbor on the other side, Jane, had a similar experience – although her issue was mostly involving poor quality materials that were used to redo her bathroom.

After listening to their experiences, I knew I needed to actually visit the company showrooms in person to see what kind of work they do and to get a feel for each contractor instead of basing my decisions almost entirely on price like my neighbors (and probably most people).  So as part of my research, I visited numerous kitchen and bath showrooms to see the different woods, tiling, stones and materials offered and to speak to the owners to get an idea of how they are.  I ended up choosing one of the contractors I spoke with, and I have to say that I am very pleased with the results of the bathroom remodel. The space looks much more open and inviting.

Before and After Bathroom Remodel

So, all in all, what I learned is that it’s best to base your decision of which contractor to hire on factors other than just price.  Although price can sometimes be cost prohibitive, it can make a world of difference in your experience.  Yes, I paid a few thousand dollars more than what I would have with the cheapest of quotes I received, but it was worth it.  Why?  Because I was kept in the loop throughout the process, selected the items I wanted from the showroom displays, and knew exactly what I was getting (because it was all detailed in the contract).

I hope you enjoyed the story today.  Have you had any experiences with home remodeling?  If you’d like to share, please send us a message!