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Question DetailsAsked on 6/19/2011

Is remodeling an emotional roller coaster for everyone?

We are being forced to remodel our bathroom-at least get a new tub/shower because the tub is leaking into our kitchen ceiling when we take baths. I called one company and their price was outrageous. Another contractor came over and sounded good. But has not been reliable when coming over to show us bathtub colors etc. He also got upset when I asked to his a copy of his insurance. Now we have to get estimates again. I just feel so incompetant and I don't want to get ripped off again. (Another story). How can you get quality work at a reasonable price? Can anyone give hints on how they selected a good place?

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10 Answers


[quote user="Pabslp"] the tub is leaking into our kitchen ceiling when we take baths.[/quote]

Maybe you youngsters should bathe separately for a while or at least calm down. I know, completely not necessary.

[quote user="Pabslp"]

How can you get quality work at a reasonable price?

Can anyone give hints on how they selected a good place?


You don't mention what is "broken" - - only that the thing leaks into the kitchen ceiling. Is the tub/shower actually cracked and in need of replacement? Or, is the seam/caulk betwen the base or tub and the wall leaking and could be repaired? Could it be the drain that has developed a leak and could be repaired? Any chance the pipes that supply water to the tub/shower have a leak that could be fixed?

Is there a plumber in your area that you have used or one that advertises as giving free estimates? Heck, if there are two, call them both and compare the results. That could let you know what is really broken and which path to head for.

Do you have a company you would normally call on for problems/service on your water heater or furnace? Many of those also are plumbing companies and if you are satisfied with one side of the building, they could work to satisfy you out of the other.

Once you are clear on what needs to be done (remember that stopping the leak is one matter, but you may need to have the kitchen ceiling tended to as well), then comes the "where to turn" phase.

Ask a friend can help sometimes but you stand the risk of irritating a friend and stressing their relationship with someone else.

Looks like you are a member of Angie's List...have you looked in the list for someone? Has there been any particular reason that none suit you?

Is there a big-box store you where you and your husband shop? Lowes, Home Depot, Menards and others come to mind. Many of them have referrals you can get to various contractors or even people working independantly.

If you get really stumped, some times the folks at Angie's office can help. Call them and let them know the type of service you are after, where you've looked and what problems you've hit. They will try to get you headed down the right path.

Don't worry about anxiety...we all do it. The more unusual the challenge the easier to hit anxiety. And, incompetant isn't where you are... I use the word ignorant and it irritates some folks. That is merely a lack of knowledge and it can be cured. When I feel that way, I hit some of the DIY web sites and read/look through their tutorials and step-by-step descriptions for what I think I need. Often not so I can do them but so I'll know what someone else is talking about and it helps me figure out what is a cause and what is a symptom.

Give us more on what the symptoms are. Tell us who helped you decide that it requires a tub/shower replacement. And, let us know what trades (plumbers or others) you deal with on a regular basis for other work so we can tell you which might be useful this time.

I know you asked how we go about it....all the above. Which ever works on a given task. Trick is getting one to work 'n that's why you're here. Now, tell us more.

Answered 9 years ago by Old Grouch


Pabslp, based on what you discribe you need to find a reputable licensed/insured general contractor.

Absent an overflow issue. a bathtub rarely leaks into a lower level room unless the plumbing failed. Before you can obtain estimates for repairs, the cause must be ascertained. It will probably require ripping a hole in the downstairs ceiling for a visual inspection.

Like O'd Grouch, I await more info

Answered 9 years ago by tessa89


This is the kind of very frustrating situation we've all gone through, so don't think you're alone! This is where Angie's List is going to be very useful to you. Like Mike, I'd recommend getting several free estimates from highly-rated Angie's List companies.

I was alarmed when you talked about bathtub colors. What makes you think you need a new bathtub? Tubs themselves rarely fail, unless they are so old that a hole has rusted through.

It could very well be that the cause of the problem can't be found without taking a chunk out of the ceiling below, but since that's going to have to be done anyway why not let someone do it? I also want more information when you can get it to us, but it doesn't sound to me like you'll need a completely new tub. It's possible someone in the past put a lot of drain cleaner down the pipes and a hole in a pipe has formed slowly (this happened to me in a place I was renting years ago). It's also possible a fitting just needs to be tightened or a short section of pipe replaced.

No matter who recommended these people to you, anyone who gets cranky when you ask to see proof of insurance or license is not someone you want anywhere near your house. Likewise anyone who can't show up for appointments. There are plenty of those kinds of people in the world and they shouldn't be encouraged. Check out the reviews on Angie's List for plumbers and get several estimates. Don't commit to anything under pressure, and come back and let us know what's happening, okay?

You are not alone.

Answered 9 years ago by Commonsense


An update. We know we need a new bathtub because over 2 years ago, it was also leaking. It is a fiberglass bathtub that has a crack in it. We had a liner put on the bottom and that solved the problem for a while. We don't want to waste anymore money with fixing it. The liner was pricey. It only leaks if we take a bath. We can shower. We live in a condo and it is 32 years old. The builders did not put in the best of stuff. We also want a bathtub with a wider space and bars that we can use to lift ourselves up. We are in our fifties and anticipate we will be needing them.

We decided not to go with the friend of a friend. He didn't show up twice. One time he called me back at 6pm and sounded drunk. He also was upset when I asked to have him show us his insurance and licenses. No one had asked him to do this in 23 years.

I joined Angie's list in desperation and it was the best money I spent. I found at least 3 companies to call that seem to have work done around our price range. The comments were all positive also.

Thanks for all your input and suggestions.

Answered 9 years ago by Pabslp


I forgot to say, that I want the company to ascertain what damage has been done and fix everything before a new tub is put in.

Answered 9 years ago by Pabslp


Angie's List is a real bargain, isn't it? The list isn't a guarantee of good service, but it sure levels the playing field. Oh, a fiberglass bathtub - less than satisfactory. Sounds like you're on the right track now. Let us know what happens with this.

Answered 9 years ago by Commonsense


Thanks for all the support. We found a company through Angie's list. They will start the bathroom project the last week of August. We feel real good about the company and what we will have done.


Answered 9 years ago by Pabslp


That's great news! Be sure to make a list of exactly what you want done, being as detailed as you possibly can. Then make sure the people who come to the house understand the list and are comfortable with it. Communication is the key.

Answered 9 years ago by Commonsense


bathroom remodeling and the emotions rising high with it.

funny, i havent read the word "remodeling" on the article.


bay area home remodeling

Answered 9 years ago by jeremymcnelson


Yes. Remodeling is always emotional. :)

That being said, it should never, ever be painful!

Please reconsider doing any work with a contractor that makes you uncomfortable, miserable or belittles you. YOU ARE THE CLIENT!

Please call your local NARI chapter to ask about mediation or referrals.

Answered 8 years ago by wirtzswoodworks

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