Ask Your Question

Angie's List Answers is the trusted spot to ask home improvement and health questions and get answers from service companies, health providers and consumers. For ratings and reviews on companies in your area, search Angie's List.

Top 30 Days Experts
Rank Leader Points*
1 kstreett 240
2 Guest_9020487 110
3 Guest_9190926 105
4 GoldenKid 100
5 ahowell 95
6 KnowledgeBase 95
7 skbloom 80
8 Guest_98024861 70
9 Guest_9311297 70
10 Guest_9400529 70

*Updates every 4 hours

Browse Projects By Category

Question DetailsAsked on 10/20/2011

I am in the process of doing a bath remodel and wonder what the protocol is regarding deposits and contractors

Doing a bathroom update within an existing space. All plumbing and electrical is fully operational

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

4 Answers


Hello. Not entirely sure what you are asking, but generally contractors request an initial deposit for any work which allows them to begin the process of purchasing supplies necessary for the work. A third of the way through the project, some request another third of the total and the balance is due at the end of the work.

Does this help? Feel free to rephrase your question or ask another.

Respectfully, Maria Perron, ASID, NKBA, NAHB, NCIDQ #022820

Answered 8 years ago by Maria


Pay no deposit. Again, pay no deposit.

Get formal proposals from at least three reputable contractors. Check their references. Inspect their work, if possible.

Your remodel will go smoother if, in advance of requesting proposals, you have determined the specifications of the plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures, hardware fixtures, tile and color, vanity cabinet material and color, vanity counter and color, flooring and color, etc. The clearer you are prior to solicitating proposals, the easier it will be to compare proposals.

Licensed general contractors, by law, in most states have mechanic's and material supplier's lien rights against any property to which they make improvements. Payment of their investment into your project is guaranteed by law. Conversely, your protection is that your contractor must meet his contractural obligations to you in order to qualify for payment for his work. If any contractor requires payment prior to commencing work, walk away.

In the general contract, include a clause or an exhibit that stipulates a payment schedule -- a percentage of the overall contract amount after each of the number of stages necessary for a complete job. Example: 30% after completion of all rough plumbing and rough electrical; 30% after drywall; 30% upon completion of the project; 10% within thirty days of completion. The last 10% gives you a opportunity to live with your contractor's work for a few weeks before releasing final payment.

If there is significant alteration from exising plumbing or electrical conditions, I suggest that the project be permitted thus requiring inspection from the local municipality -- further verification that the project is properly constructed.

Require a one-year's written guarantee prior to making final payment. Be confident that you contractor will be around in one year.

Good luck

Answered 8 years ago by Larry


It is customary for most projects to require 50% deposit at acceptance of the project and then the final balance at the time of substantial completion. The deposit allows the contractor to purchase supplies and obtain a permit. The final payment on the balance would be used to pay off any other debts, including subcontractors.

Larger, more detailed projects could require more payments (maybe completion of mechanicals such as HVAC, plumbing, electrical) or staining & finishing.

BEWARE of contractors that require more than 4 payments. Here in Wisconsin, a contractor is considered a "lender," as more that 4 payments are technically "installments."

Answered 8 years ago by wirtzswoodworks


Laws on payments and deposits can vary by state and the scope of work. Most likely you should expect to make three payments, a deposit to get started, a clearly defined progress payment and the final third upon satisfactory completion of the project.

When evaluating contractors for your project we stronglyrecommend requiring them to provide separate and specific line item pricingfor:

1) labor items suchas demolition, plumbing, framing, flooring installation, painting, etc.

2) finish materialquotes for things like flooring, tile, plumbing fixtures, lighting, doors, etc.

By breaking contractor quote's down into individual laborand finish materials you will be able to compare apples-to-apples pricing frommultiple contractors. For example, ifcontractor #1 quotes a job assuming white 6x6 porcelain tile (cheap) andcontractor #2 quotes based upon an imported hand painted white 6x6 tile(expensive) you'd likely not know the difference except contractor #1 may seema lot less expensive.

This approach helps both you and the contractor ensure thereis an accurate, aggressive and sustainable quotation for his/her services.

It also gives you the assurance that you can choose thefinish materials you prefer at the best possible prices and without having to pay any contractor mark-up.

Consider an using interior designer discounts via an affordable online interior design firm. Services can include creating optimal finishspecifications that you can use to get multiple price quotes with.


Answered 8 years ago by HMDhome

Related Questions

Terms Of Use
Privacy Policy