When I first purchased my home I did not have enough funds to really tackle the situation in my main bath so I just gave it a little superficial facelift. Now four years later, I had managed to save enough money to give it the "to the studs" remodel it was begging for. This time however, it was not to be a DIY, but I was going to have contractors come in and do the work for me. This was my first time having other people being totally responsible for the timeline and outcome of a project in my home so I was a little nervous and learned a number of lessons along the way.
1- Good trades people tell you that they can do something because they can and not because they're willing to try.
I hired the same guys to do the demo, rebuild, drywall and tiling. They didn't quite have a handle on the whole drywall thing so it caused a lot of delays and frustration as they kept having to "fix" it. It had dragged on so long that I ended up calling in another professional to finish the job.
2- Responsible trades people do show up on time.
If anyone tells you that "they're all the same", it's because they haven't met the right people. I had a great experience with my plumber. He arrived at the scheduled time or if he couldn't, would call in advance to inform me. While he was in my home, he was focused on the task at hand and completed what he had set out to do.
3- Communication is key.
Letting people know EXACTLY what you expect if crucial. I provided measurements, sketches, "inspiration photos" and described my ideas verbally so that we all knew what we were working towards.
4- Hiring your friends is tough
Going from friend to paying customer is not an easy transition, especially when your new "employees" refuse to accept you as such. Having to give your friends a "talking to" is never fun and neither is being disappointed by them.
5- In the end, it all works out
How? I'm not sure. It's the magic of the theater transposed to home renovations. Although the project dragged three weeks longer than originally planned, it's done now and it looks great. I love the calmness of my new bathroom.
My new favourite things:
I love my new rainhead shower and the glass wall. The combination of the light allowed to filter into the tub/shower areas and the wonderfulness of the rain (ahem... shower) makes me feel like I'm on vacation for 10 minutes every morning.