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some advice on getting a trade to refit a bathroom and ensuite

Discussion in 'Trade Talk' started by hottdang1, 14 Sep 2016.

  1. hottdang1

    hottdang1

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    Hey all,

    My first post so hi folks

    I've just moved into a a new area (3 bed house) and want to have the bathroom stripped and refitted - also some work in the ensuite and I'd welcome some opinion on these points if I may

    I'm not adverse to DIY - I could probably do all this work myself but i'll be a lot slower than a trade and probably not as tidy - also I work distance so don't want to do this myself


    questions :)


    I plan to go out to the local trades on checkatrade - is this a reputable method as we don't know anyone local?
    Any alternatives?
    - There is a bathroom showroom down the road but i don't want to pay potentially inflated rates (if the ones in my old area are anything to go by)

    should I buy the new bathroom suite myself or allow the installer to get us one from his/her wholesaler (obviously we'd need to pick it)
    - thinking cost primarily here

    Any tips for getting the right trader? I plan to ask for a portfolio but is that common practice?

    any brands to recommend (if we're allowed to name them here)?

    Should I expect the fitter to also handle tiling as we'll re-tile the bathroom?

    Do I buy the tiles myself?

    We live in Northamptonshire - any suggestions on a good price to refit a three piece bathroom suite? Not planning on any major plumbing changes - room layout will stay same and taps likewise (house is only 13yrs old)

    I recall talking to a tiler friend of mine of old, he said he charged by square metre (he's not local to use and has since retired)
    Anyone advise if this is how tilers work their cost and what that rate should be for tiling in Northants?

    For the ensuite - new tray, shower and enclosure - again, should I buy these?

    thanks - all the best
     
  2. muggles

    muggles

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    Checkatrade is a private entity funded by the tradesmen who are members of it, and as such it has an interest in keeping those tradesmen happy. This may or may not be done in the form of moderating bad reviews posted by unhappy customers, thus allowing a tradesman to retain a good reputation... Try Buy With Confidence, if it's running in your area - it's run by the government's Trading Standards department, and is therefore very much a neutral party. Even better, ask for recommendations from your new neighbours! Go say hi, get chatting, you'll want to meet them sooner or later (unless you're one of these unsociable types...) Streetlife.com is also a good place to ask - again, you're getting the direct opinions of local residents.

    It's up to you whether you buy kit yourself or allow your chosen installer to supply it, but from an installers' point of view it's a royal pain in the arris if a customer supplies the kit (especially off the Internet) and something is wrong/missing/damaged/faulty, as time can be lost waiting for them to sort it out. In other words, if your installer supplies, it's up to him to get any defects remedied, but if you supply it's up to you and any additional time incurred waiting for this to be sorted would be chargeable as extra. Your installer may also be able to pass on trade discounts to you

    Personally I don't carry a physical portfolio, I just keep my website and Facebook page up to date with my latest projects

    It's hard to recommend brands when you've not been very specific about what it is you need or what your budget is, but for good kit you can't go far wrong with Carronite baths (or Trojancast, if you can find them), Kudos shower enclosures, Duravit/Laufen/Villeroy & Boch/Twyford/Kohler/Ideal Standard sanitaryware, Aqualisa showers, and Grohe/Hansgrohe/Bristan/Perrin & Rowe/Marflow St James taps

    Most installers will have a tiling contact they use if they don't do tiling themselves, failing that you're back to Buy With Confidence or asking the neighbours again. I'd generally expect a customer to supply the tiles, as that's something that's fairly easy to do without getting it wrong. Let your tiler supply the adhesive and grout though, or if any come loose in the future they'll blame you for supplying the wrong adhesive. Some tilers charge by the metre, others will want to see the job and price for the job as awkward corners and awkward tiles will be harder to deal with and take longer.

    As for how much it should cost, get three estimates and go from there. There are too many variables to be able to even come close to an estimate without seeing it
     
  3. motorbiking

    motorbiking

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    Having done two bathrooms myself and most recently had a builder do two for me i thoroughly regret not taking the time off and doing it myself. Finding a good plumber who tests things, can solder pipes without burning timbers, mounts radiators the right way around and doesn't have to come back several times to fix faults which cause damage seems very hard.

    If you can get one, on recommendation the go with that. I've never found those on checkatrade any good.
     
  4. handyjack

    handyjack

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    How do you mount a radiator the wrong way round?
     
  5. motorbiking

    motorbiking

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    Tower rads with baffles fitted have specific flow and return, connect them the wrong way around and they take ages to get hot all over as the hot water doesn't go up and down the pipes properly.
     
  6. hottdang1

    hottdang1

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    Thanks for the advice guys - lots of valuable info and definitely stuff I'd never consider - I'll put myself around with the neighbours ....

    Thx :)
     
  7. FiremanT

    FiremanT

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    Whereabouts in Northants? I know someone who is closing his bathroom shop to retire ASAP. No idea what he has left, or whether he is still doing the fitting, but I saw him recently at a family do, and he spoke as if he was.:

    Dave Leaker (Honestly. I've known him for decades and never thought of the obvious joke, until writing his name:rolleyes:)
    Del-Mari 01536 206325
     
  8. Millwright

    Millwright

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    That’s not necessarily a problem.




    No, you’ll be MUCH tider.




    Checkatrade, Federation of Master Builders, all complete works of fiction, full of cow boys and chancers. Not worth the paper they are written on.




    Word of mouth or don’t bother at all.



    No tips, they’re all deceiving arse holes. If you do insist on going for one, be wary of any who won’t let you see or know of previous work.
     
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  9. skenk

    skenk

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    Hi Millwright, just wondering what you do for a living? So I can label everyone in your industry as deceiving arse holes. Thanks.
     
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  10. L95

    L95

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    Get a professional tiler. Pop into a local tile shop and ask for their recommendations. Or once you find a good tiler/plumber etc, ask them if they know anyone decent who can do xxx and vice/versa.

    Don't bother with bathroom showrooms and B&Q fitters as they are pretty **** and just wing it mostly. (Go on, google trustpilot B&Q, I dare you!)

    If you get a builder or a plumber suddenly go "Oh I can do it, it's easy" then don't listen. It may be tempting but they are probably no better than yourself if not worse. But don't get me wrong, there are some traders out there who are good fitters second and plumbers first.
     
  11. FiremanT

    FiremanT

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    Lots of useful comments by knowledgeable members of a forum.:LOL:

    OP: Not all trades are conmen. Not all showrooms employ chancers for fitting. They tend to be high profile, and bad news travels fast.

    B&Q are expensive and don't employ the fitters - they are all contractors. Nothing wrong with a contractor per se, it is just that a large chunk of your hard earned goes to B&Q, on top of their sales profit.

    Certainly with kitchens, a local showroom will do a better deal than B&Q, without all the lies about massive discounts (which always end this weekend. They have to, as the new massive discount sale starts on Monday)

    Above all, most of the forumites in this section are trolls and nutters.
     
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  12. hottdang1

    hottdang1

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    wow - quite a read all this lol !!

    I'm still sorting this out - most of the fitters I've been in touch with via recommendations haven't shown up to quote (obviously too busy and obviously I'm in the wrong job) or they didn't want to quote because they're booked out for months

    so anyway, anyone had experience with buildbase?

    There's one 5mins at end of road (bit unusual because we're kinda off the beaten track) but I know they're a chain as seen them round North London on my work travels

    They're all about bathrooms etc anyway according to the advertising out front of their joint

    thanks all
     
  13. cjard

    cjard

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    There's a van I see around from time to time, sign written as Neil Mashiter.

    The guy ain't a plumber; shame though, cos if he had been then neil@mashiter.com would have been an awesome email address
     
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