Getting Your Money’s Worth – A Minor Bathroom Remodel in Chesapeake Virginia

From the Desk of:

Kris Austin, Chief Estimator for Jim Hicks Home Improvment

It doesn’t matter if you are in Yorktown, Virginia Beach, or anywhere else.  If you do a little homework, you can probably save money or get a lot more for your money if you call in the real pros to give you a consultation.  Recently my dad, against my recommendations, invited a local big-box hardware store consultant into his bathroom for a free estimate to replace his fiberglass tub – after all, it WAS free and he thought maybe they would have a unique idea.  I told him to make sure he gave me a call before doing anything.  Over a week later he called me back to tell me what -unnamed big box hardware store – wanted to sell him and asked for my opinion.

My reply was this:  1) They took over a week to get back to you with a price on something they specialize in?  You’d think they could give you price on that within a day or so, if not right in the house since its their specialty.  2) They were trying to sell you a product that is right on the shelf in their store at an incredible mark-up.  A $400 to $800 item installed for a total contract value of over $6800, no shower enclosure included, no faucet included, no clean up or disposal included.  Now, there is labor necessary to perform that work; however, $800 product – $6000 labor?  It just doesn’t add up.  3)  The quality of the item they were selling was inferior.  4) When you asked them about a glass enclosure they responded HOW?!  (The consultant recommended getting a curved metal rod and shower curtain to maximize usable shower space, i.e. their store doesn’t sell or have a relationship with anyone who does sell glass shower enclosures but they DO sell the rods and curtains).

I told Dad, don’t go buy this and pay $6800 for -unnamed big box hardware store – to install it and that I could do much better for him:

Instead, let me get the real pros to come in and build something like the shower on the right.  It will cost you a couple hundred dollars more but will include the faucet, glass enclosure, disposal, and clean-up afterward.  In addition, you will have the peace-of-mind knowing that it was installed properly, with a professional level of craftsmanship, and it will look great!  And, should you, in the unlikely event, have any problems with it, the contractors involved will stand behind their work!  I can’t say the same thing for the -unnamed big box hardware store – or their subcontractors.  

Which one would you go with?

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