I have hated my master bathroom ever since I moved into my house. It had a small shower with glass doors that had a gold frame, wallpaper that had seams overlapping, tile work that looked like it was installed by someone who had never installed tile before and did not know what they were doing, and what at first glance looked like a big tub but then when you tried to bathe in it you found that the overflow was set so as to not allow more than 6 inches (153 mm) of water in it. When I take a bath I want to be able to soak and relax.
One of the first things I did after moving in was to remove the unsightly wallpaper. To my shock and surprise I found that this just covered up some that had been installed by the builder. To make it worse the builder had installed the first layer of wallpaper directly on the drywall, with no primer coating on the drywall and no wallpaper sizing to make it easier to remove later. So needless to say the job of removing the wallpaper became much bigger than it should have been.
It is now almost 8 years later and it is time to completely gut and remodel. I went with a fairly large contractor here in the Dallas Ft Worth metroplex called Statewide Remodeling, Inc. (Statewide). I knew they charged more for the finished bathroom but I was OK with that as long as they did a good job and did what they said since I knew everything would be up to code and would be permitted by the city. At least I would not have to worry about a contractor trying to screw me. Or so I thought! The day of demolition arrived and some tiny little things were found.
the old shower area after demolition
1) In the old shower area there was not one but two shower pans. Evidently when the shower was rebuilt before I bought the house, the person who did the work did not bother with taking the original shower pan out. He just built the new one on top of the old one.
2) After removing the drywall where that shower had been, we found that there was an electrical switch, and an outlet that were hidden. Both with the boxes turned to face inside the wall and then covered up. Evidently the previous homeowner did not know how to cut a hole in the drywall when they replaced one of the sheets so they just covered stuff up.
Neither one of these items should have been a big deal but Statewide wanted to charge me close to $1050.00 to fix this. The best part was they told me that they needed to pull an electrical permit and that alone was $250.00. They conveniently forgot that they already were doing some electrical work in the bathroom and that the permit to do that work would have covered the other work as well if it was the same contractor doing it. When told this they deducted the $250 off of the initial 1050.00 which leaves 800.00 that they wanted to charge me. By the way, they claimed to not be making any money off of this extra work, and that that they would be passing all of this to the contractors. I asked them to break this 800 down and was told 450 for the shower pan removal and 350 for electrical work. They must believe I am stupid to pay that much for those jobs. This was on Friday and I told them i would let them know on Monday if they were to do it, but i was most likely going to get someone else to do the work. I cut the hole in the drywall and faced the box and outlet into the master bedroom and then nailed the box in place, then turned the box and switch to face into the bathroom and nailed that box in place. It took me about 8 minutes total to do both. Because I did the work I had to get a permit from the city. The cost of the permit $51.00. Did I mention that I asked the electrical contractor who did the other electrical work what he would have charged Statewide to move those boxes? Well I did, and it was not even close to $350. But you probably knew that already.
For the shower pan removal, I spoke to one of my neighbors who has a list of contractors that do work on some homes he owns and rents out. He provided one that wanted $100 to remove the old shower pan. I immediately hired him to do the work. On Monday I called Statewide and informed them I had taken care of the items myself.
I guess we know that when it comes time to remodel my kitchen that I will not be calling Statewide.