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How to hire guide: bathroom designers and fitters

scuseme how to hire guide: bathroom designers and fitters

The bathroom of your dreams becomes reality when you hire the right tradespeople. Here are some tips on finding the best local bathroom designers and fitters to get you on your way.

plumber, bathroom installers, bathroom designers and fitters, scuseme

Finding a good bathroom designer and fitter

Word of mouth recommendations from friends and family are the best place to start.  But if you don’t know anyone who has had their bathroom refurbished recently, then online reviews can prove useful. All scuseme endorsed bathroom designers and fitters have their own business profile pages, where you can read reviews from previous customers.

Look for bathroom fitters with lots of positive reviews and check their profile photographs and company websites. Get in touch to find out if they have undertaken work like yours.  But also ask about their specialities, such as bathroom design, wet rooms or accessible bathrooms and showers.

At scuseme when we meet our bathroom fitters and designers we ask about the trade associations they are members of and the on-going training they undergo, such as The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineers and Gas Safe regulatory updates.   We believe that further accreditation from a trade association might give you extra reassurance about a prospective bathroom fitter’s professionalism.

Always ask for references from any prospective bathroom designer and fitter. Bathroom refurbishments don’t come cheap so previous customers are the best source of reference.  Use local tradespeople so you can easily check their work.

Consider whether you’d rather employ a single business to cover the range of jobs involved in installing a bathroom, or whether different aspects of the job could be done by specialist traders. Would an experienced tiler, who could complete the job quicker and to a better standard, save money or be worth any extra cost? Apply the same test to other tradespeople, such as plumbers or painters and decorators.

Bear in mind that any gas-related work should be carried out by a Gas Safe-registered gas engineer, while qualifying electrical work must be undertaken by a Part P registered electrician.

You can find an endorsed bathroom designer or fitter in Cambridge with scuseme.

Getting bathroom design and fitting quotes

There are many places to seek inspiration and an idea of costs: friends, the internet, bathroom showrooms etc.  Good bathroom designers and fitters will have plenty of sources to access bathroom furniture and fittings from a range of manufacturers. Take your time browsing for ideas – the best bathroom designers won’t pressurise you into a sale.

Each bathroom and home is different, so it’s not possible to estimate a job exactly without visiting your property.  Do not trust any trader who quotes for a job without first seeing it.

Get at least three quotes for any bathroom design or fitting job, whether large or small. Try to get quotes that can be easily compared and make sure they include any ‘hidden’ costs such as disposal of your old bathroom, or perhaps you can recycle or sell parts. Ask potential bathroom fitters if they have a minimum charge – this could work against you if you only need a small job doing, in which case, you might be better off employing a handyman rather than a specialist.

Subcontractors and suppliers

Fitting a bathroom requires a wide range of skills, and it’s worth finding out from your trader how they deal with this. It may be your bathroom fitter already has a trusted network of subcontractors. But if this is the case, you will not have personally hired each trader, so you’re placing a lot of trust in the project lead.  Ask about the credentials of all subscontractors.

If your trader subcontracts, ask where the responsibility ultimately lies for each part of the installation. You don’t want to be caught in the middle of a dispute, as one trader blames the other. It’s also worth checking that your prospective bathroom fitting company has insurance that covers them for any damage inadvertently caused to your property.

If you feel strongly about personally hiring a tradesperson, such as a decorator or electrician you trust, then you must co-ordinate the project schedule, so you do not jeopardised it.

Be clear on the supply of materials, too. It might work out cheaper for you to buy your own bath or basin, for example. However, if the bathroom fitter can get trade prices and organise convenient delivery, this could be a better option for your project.

Hiring a bathroom designer and fitter

If you’re undertaking a complete bathroom refurbishment, then your bathroom design company might have supplied a sketch or mock-up. Make sure you are clear on all details of the drawing as once agreed, the fitters should follow it precisely.

Any major work should come with a contract which you must sign at the outset. Check this carefully – it should include, as a minimum:

  • the total cost
  • the payment schedule
  • the start and completion dates.

Make sure you understand the terms of any insurances and guarantees, too.

Paying for bathroom work

If a job demands lots of costly materials, then it’s reasonable to expect to pay a deposit in advance of the work. But if you do this then reserve a significant proportion of the payment until the job is completed.

However you and your trader agree to deal with payments, get your ‘contract’ in writing. It doesn’t need to be a formal contract – an email detailing your agreement will do as it provides a paper trail, which should help avoid misunderstandings or disputes later on.

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