The Complete Guide on Things to Do Before Hiring a Bathroom Fitter

Published by: Kevin Sears

07th March 24

How To

Reading Time: 11 minutes and 8 seconds

Whether you're looking to enhance functionality, update aesthetics, or address plumbing issues in your bathroom, hiring a good bathroom fitter is a crucial step in ensuring a successful outcome of your bathroom renovation.

However, before you bring in the experts, there are several essential tasks to complete in your bathroom first. In this guide, we'll provide a complete checklist of things to do before hiring a bathroom fitter for your renovation project to make it a smooth and stress-free experience. We’ll also add tips on what to look out for and vital questions to ask when hiring a bathroom fitter. No need to look any further before making that exciting phone call.

Six Essentials Steps Before Hiring a Bathroom Fitter

Define Your Goals: 

Before reaching out to a bathroom fitter, it's essential to define your bathroom renovation goals. Consider what aspects of your bathroom need attention – whether it's a complete renovation, fixing plumbing issues, or a cosmetic facelift. Clearly outlining your goals will not only help you communicate effectively with the fitter but also assist in creating a realistic budget and timeline.

‘How can I define my bathroom goals?’ You might be asking. Here is how:

  • Make a list of current issues you face in your bathroom or aspects you’d like to improve. Do this by identifying existing problems or limitations i.e. outdated fixtures, insufficient storage space, poor lighting, plumbing issues etc.
  • Are there practicality aspects you’d like to improve like optimising the layout for more space, a larger shower space for improved mobility etc.
  • Consider long-term goals, are you renovating for personal enjoyment, preparing the house for sale or accommodating for future lifestyle changes? How will your long-term goals impact your renovation choices?

Set a Realistic Budget:

Renovations can quickly become costly if not properly budgeted. Take the time to research and gather estimates for the various elements of your project, including materials, labour, and potential unforeseen costs. Setting a realistic budget will enable you to communicate openly with your bathroom fitter and avoid any financial surprises down the line.

You might be thinking ‘How do I set a realistic budget?’. Here is how:

  • We suggest you allocate your budget based on priority, focusing on essential elements of your renovation first before considering the optional upgrades.
  • Research and gather cost estimates for different aspects of a bathroom renovation. This includes the materials, labour, fixtures, and any additional services they may need (e.g. plumbing or electrical work).
  • Include a contingency fund in your budget. Unexpected issues or changes in the project scope can arise, and having a buffer helps alleviate the impact on the overall budget.
  • Are you willing or able to take on any do-it-yourself (DIY) aspects of the renovation? Make a lift of aspects you can realistically do yourself. While DIY can save money, it's essential to assess skills realistically to avoid costly mistakes that may require professional intervention later.

Create a Design Plan:

Even if you're not a design expert, having a rough idea of the aesthetics you want can significantly aid in the renovation process. Collect inspiration from magazines, online platforms like Pinterest or Houzz, or even create a mood board. This will serve as a reference point for both you and the bathroom fitter, ensuring everyone is on the same page regarding the desired look and feel of the renovated space.

Some tips for creating a bathroom design plan: 

  • Explore your personal style preferences. This could involve creating a mood board with images of bathrooms you love or collecting samples of colours, materials, and finishes you like.
  • Think about the overall ambiance you want to achieve, whether it's a spa-like retreat, a modern and sleek space, or a classic and timeless design.
  • Consider the maintenance requirements of the materials and fixtures you like. You may prefer low-maintenance options, especially if you have a busy lifestyle.

Assess Plumbing and Electrical Systems:

Prioritise a thorough assessment of your bathroom's plumbing and electrical systems. Identify any leaks, water damage, or outdated wiring that may need attention. Addressing these issues before the fitter begins work can prevent more significant problems later in the renovation process. 

How do I access my plumbing systems?

  • Inspect the bathroom for any visible leaks or water damage. Look for stains on walls or ceilings, warped flooring, or bubbling paint, as these could indicate underlying plumbing issues.
  • Turn on taps, showers, and bathtub taps to check for water pressure and drainage. Slow drainage or low water pressure may indicate clogs or issues with the pipes.
  • If possible, visually inspect the plumbing pipes. Look for signs of corrosion, rust, or mineral deposits. Pay attention to joints and connections for any signs of leakage.
  • Test the flushing mechanism of the toilet. Listen for unusual sounds, and check for leaks around the base. A constantly running toilet may indicate a faulty flush valve.
  • Examine seals around the base of the toilet and bathtub. Worn or damaged seals can lead to water leaks. Also, check the caulking around the edges of fixtures to ensure a watertight seal.
  • Ensure that the bathroom has proper ventilation to prevent moisture buildup. Inadequate ventilation can lead to mould growth and damage to the plumbing and structural components.

Alternatively, hire a professional plumber to access your plumbing systems for you, before hiring a bathroom fitter.

How do I access my electrical systems?

While bathroom fitters or contractors are often skilled in various aspects of bathroom renovations, it's typically your responsibility to ensure that the electrical systems in the bathroom are in good condition before the renovation begins. It is advisable to hire a professional electrician to access your electrical systems within your bathroom before hiring a bathroom fitter.

The benefits of doing this include preventing delays by addressing issues beforehand, efficient communication with your bathroom fitter, code compliance and accurate budget planning.

Here are some aspects may want to think about before the electrician inspection:

  • Consider whether the current lighting setup meets your needs or if adjustments are necessary.
  • If you have noticed moisture build up you may want to invest in a new exhaust fan. 
  • If you plan to incorporate new electrical elements in the renovation, such as heated floors, additional outlets, or smart home features, discuss these requirements with the electrician.

Address Asbestos and Mould Concerns:

If your home is older, there may be a risk of asbestos or mould. Arrange for professional inspections to identify and address any hazardous materials before the renovation begins. This step is crucial for the safety of both the occupants and the workers involved in the renovation. 

How to address any asbestos or mould concerns in your bathroom:

  • Professional Asbestos Inspection:

  • Before any renovation work begins, it's advisable to have a professional asbestos inspection. Certified asbestos inspectors can identify the presence of asbestos-containing materials and recommend appropriate measures for safe removal.

  • Safe Asbestos Removal:

  • If asbestos is found, it's crucial to hire licensed asbestos abatement professionals for safe removal. DIY asbestos removal is strongly discouraged due to the high risk of exposure.

  • Visual Mould Inspection:

  • Conduct a visual inspection for any signs of mould, such as discoloration on walls, ceilings, or around fixtures. Musty odours are also indicative of mould growth.

  • Professional Mould Inspection:

  • For a comprehensive assessment, consider hiring a professional mould inspector. They can identify the extent of the mould problem, the type of mould present, and recommend appropriate remediation measures.

    Extra Things to Consider Before Your Bathroom Fitter Arrives:

    Before selecting a bathroom fitter, it's essential to carefully consider these various factors (that you might not have thought about) to ensure a smooth and successful renovation. Here are some crucial aspects to keep in mind:

    Consider the Access to Your Property:

    Evaluate the accessibility of your property for the bathroom fitter and their team. Assess factors such as narrow hallways, staircases, or tight corners that may pose challenges during the transportation of materials and equipment.

    Discuss with the fitter the dimensions of large items like bathtubs, shower enclosures, and vanity units to ensure they can be easily transported and manoeuvred into the designated space.

    Bathroom Delivery Requirements:

    It is also essential to check the bathroom delivery requirements of the company you purchase any fixtures or hardware from. You can check our delivery requirements here: 34 St John Delivery Requirements.

    Parking for the Tradesman Vehicle:

    Address the parking arrangements for the tradesman's vehicle. Allocate a convenient and safe space for parking, allowing for the easy loading and unloading of tools and materials. A designated parking spot near the entrance will enhance efficiency and reduce the time required for the project.

    Parking Permits:

    Check whether parking permits are required for the bathroom fitter's vehicle, especially if your property is located in a controlled parking zone or an area with limited parking spaces. Acquire the necessary permits in advance to avoid any disruptions or delays.

    Carpet Protection for Hall, Stairs, and Landing:

    Protect your home's interior by discussing and implementing measures to safeguard carpets in high-traffic areas like the hall, stairs, and landing. Consider using protective coverings or temporary floor mats to prevent damage from heavy foot traffic, tools, and construction materials.

    6 Things to Do When Hiring a Bathroom Fitter

    Research and Shortlist Bathroom Fitters:

    Take the time to research and compile a list of potential bathroom fitters in your area. Look for companies with positive reviews, testimonials, and examples of their previous work. Recommendations from friends, family, or neighbours who have recently undergone bathroom renovations can also be invaluable.

    Once you have a shortlist, contact each candidate to discuss your project, request quotes, and gauge their responsiveness and professionalism.

    Tip: You can contact one of our showrooms for fitter recommendations in the local area.

    Check They are Familiar with Your Kind of Project:

    Ensuring your bathroom fitter understands your renovation vision is vital for project success. First, review the fitter's portfolio and ask for references from clients with similar renovation goals. This provides insight into their experience and ability to handle projects like yours. 

    During the initial consultation, discuss your specific requirements and observe how well the fitter grasps your vision and offers relevant insights. Request their input on the design aspects of your renovation to gauge their familiarity with your goals. 

    Additionally, inquire about any specialisation areas they may have, aligning with your project needs. These steps collectively help you assess the fitter's understanding of your desired bathroom renovation, ensuring a smoother and more successful process.

    Check Credentials and Insurance:

    Always verify the credentials of the bathroom fitters you're considering. Ensure they have the necessary licences and certifications to operate in your area. Additionally, inquire about their insurance coverage. A reputable bathroom fitter should have liability insurance to protect you and your property in case of accidents or damage during the renovation.

    Ask for a Detailed Quote and Timeline:

    When you receive quotes from potential bathroom fitters, make sure they provide a detailed breakdown of costs. This should include labour, materials, and any other potential expenses.

    Moreover, request a timeline for the project, specifying milestones and deadlines. A clear and comprehensive quote will help you understand the scope of the work and avoid any surprises down the line.

    Check Their Availability:

    Occasionally, companies may have a backlog of projects extending for several months, even as they provide quotes for new undertakings. It's advisable to communicate your desired start date for the bathroom renovation during discussions to find out the availability of their teams for that specific timeframe.

    Knowing their schedule helps you plan and coordinate the renovation timeline effectively. If a fitter has a tight schedule or is booked for an extended period, it may impact your project start date and completion time. Being aware of their availability allows you to align your expectations and timeline with theirs.

    Ask if They Offer Any Guarantee:

    Ask the bathroom fitter if they offer any guarantee. A guarantee signifies that the fitter stands behind their craftsmanship and is committed to addressing any issues that may arise after the completion of the project. This can be particularly crucial in the long run, as it offers you a form of protection and recourse if unexpected problems arise after the renovation/project.

    A guarantee demonstrates the professionalism and reliability of the bathroom fitter. It indicates that they take pride in their work and are willing to take responsibility for any issues that may occur within the specified guarantee period. This commitment to customer satisfaction is a positive sign of a reputable and trustworthy service provider.

    Having a guarantee in place also sets clear expectations for both parties involved in the project. It outlines the terms and conditions under which the fitter will rectify any defects or problems. This proactive approach to addressing potential issues contributes to a smoother and more satisfying overall experience during and after the bathroom renovation.

    Once you have chose your bathroom fitter, here are the next steps:

    1. Communicate Clearly with the Fitter:

    Once you've completed the above steps, schedule a detailed discussion with your chosen bathroom fitter. Clearly communicate your objectives, budget, timeline, and any specific preferences or concerns you may have. Establishing open and transparent communication from the outset is key to a successful renovation.

    2. Sign a Detailed Contract:

    Draft and sign a comprehensive contract that clearly outlines the scope of the project, the agreed-upon timeline, and the payment schedule. Ensure that all details, including materials, labour costs, and any specific requirements, are explicitly stated in the contract.

    A well-drafted contract protects both you and the bathroom fitter, providing a reference point in case of any misunderstandings or disputes during the renovation process.

    3. Finalise Design Details:

    Work closely with the bathroom fitter to finalise design details before the actual construction begins. Review and confirm the chosen materials, fixtures, colour schemes, and layout to avoid any changes or surprises once the renovation is underway.

    Clear communication on design elements ensures that both parties are on the same page, minimising the likelihood of issues arising during the construction phase.

    4. Coordinate Logistics and Preparation:

    Coordinate logistics and make necessary preparations for the renovation. This includes clearing the space, removing any items that could hinder the construction process, and ensuring that the fitter has access to necessary utilities.

    Discuss logistics such as working hours, access to the property, and any specific rules or preferences you may have. Adequate preparation sets the stage for a more efficient and organised renovation, reducing disruptions and potential delays.

    Additional Tips For Before/During Your Bathroom Renovation:

    • If you are ordering a new shower, order your shower enclosure last after other fixtures are installed, as you may need a different size than expected.
    • If ordering tiles, use a tile wastage calculator. A tile wastage calculator is used to estimate the amount of additional tile material that may be needed for your construction/renovation project to account for potential waste during the installation process. When tiles are cut, shaped, or if there are any breakages, a certain percentage of the tile material may be lost, leading to wastage. The tile wastage calculator helps determine the extra quantity of tiles required to accommodate these potential losses.
    • Additionally if you do not order enough tiles, the next batch of tiles, even though the same, maybe a very slightly different shade of colour. Make sure to order enough tiles so that they are not a different shade of colour.

    Conclusion:

    Completing a bathroom renovation is an exciting project that demands careful planning and thoughtful execution. Our complete guide has outlined the essential steps to take before hiring a bathroom fitter, ensuring a seamless and successful project. We hope our guide has helped you - from defining your renovation goals, preparing your bathroom for renovation and choosing the perfect bathroom fitter for your project. 

    Explore our other blogs for bathroom design inspiration

    Kevin Sears

    About Kevin Sears

    Kevin Sears is a bathroom and interior design blogger here at 34 St John. He creates original content utilising his extensive knowledge of the bathroom industry and latest trends.

    Item successfully added to your basket

    :

    Your basket has item(s):

    Your basket is empty

    Don't forget your essential items

    You may require these for installation.

    • Sale

    Why do I need this item?