You’ll most likely need to run electrical wiring (something that can’t be done perfunctorily in a bathroom), rough in and connect piping, remove existing structures, hang wall material, etc. It’s a project that takes many work hours and requires knowledge and experience. For these reasons, it’s often best to hire a professional bathroom contractor for the installation.
In this guide, we’ll go over some of the best ways to keep your costs down, without sacrificing on quality or durability.
Learn More About Your Upcoming Installation
One of the best ways to reduce your costs is to increase your knowledge of your upcoming walk-in tub installation. It takes no time at all to understand the basics of what’s involved and the types of problems that can come up. This familiarity will allow you to discuss technical details with your walk-in tub professional or bathroom contractor, so that you can plan together for any complications.
You also have a large choice of walk-in tubs. Many walk-in tub wholesalers will also offer installation with a professional. Otherwise, you can buy the tub separately and then contact a contractor to have it installed, or hire a contractor and discuss your tub options with them. In every case, you’ll want to learn more about the walk-in tubs available to you. A quick search online will let you see what experience others have had with a given walk-in tub, while your contractor can let you know which tubs will be a good fit for your bathroom.
Think Long Term
Any home improvement project is best thought of as an investment in the future. When hiring a professional, don’t just go with the cheapest option. Any money you save now could end up costing you a tremendous amount in the future, not to mention increase your risk of hurting yourself getting into or out of your new walk-in tub.
The last thing you want is to pay for a major repair because of incorrectly installed piping. Furthermore, an improperly set unit can shift dangerously as you enter or exit, defeating the purpose of having an accessible bathtub. Finally, any time you’re dealing with electricity and water together, things need to be done with great care and with the right materials.
A walk-in tub is something you’re going to use several times throughout the week, possibly every day, so it will be cheaper in the long run to use durable and high-quality materials. These are all things you should discuss with your walk-in tub professional as the project moves forward. Try to find a walk-in tub professional that balances lots of experience with reasonable rates, and who can help you choose the right materials for your bathroom.
Ask Around or Use an Online Service
Globally, older adult populations are one of the fastest-growing age groups, which means there’s plenty of demand for walk-in tubs. You can use this to your advantage, by asking your neighbors, friends, and family if they’ve had a walk-in tub installed by a professional. A good referral from a friend or neighbor is one of the best assurances you can have of a job well done.
Some questions you may want to ask include, Were you happy with the installation process? Was it completed on time, and were there any hidden fees or unexpected costs? And finally, and most importantly: would you call this professional again?
Otherwise, you can leverage the expert knowledge and large user base of one of the many reputable online services available. These companies work exclusively with trained professionals, and even go so far as to do criminal background checks, validate identity, and verify business filings. You benefit from competitive, upfront pricing, while professionals are guaranteed a steady flow of clients whose needs match their own expertise.
Check for Credentials, Insurance, and Guarantees
Whether you use a service or not, you’ll want to double-check your walk-in tub professional’s credentials and insurance. If you have one professional taking care of the whole job, you’ll want to make sure they’re licensed as both a plumber and electrician as your new walk-in tub will have a motor that needs to be properly installed and hooked up. This will help avoid costly mistakes or the sudden need to bring on a third party at an extra cost.
Generally, professionals are required to have appropriate bonding and insurance before getting licensed, but it varies by region. Double-check that your walk-in tub professional has the appropriate insurance and what exactly it covers. Finally, find out if they offer a guarantee or written warrant for their work, and what the conditions are. If something goes wrong, you don’t want to be left footing the bill.
Buy Your Own Materials
Again, this depends on how you approach your project. If you buy a tub from a wholesaler first, they may be able to arrange for a professional to do the installation, or give you a list of recommended contractors. Otherwise, you can discuss with your prospective professional what materials they recommend and are comfortable working with. Their own insurance or the warranty they provide may dictate which suppliers you can use.
Nonetheless, it’s often cheaper to buy materials yourself than to leave it up to the contractor or involve a third party. For example, subway tiles cost a fraction of the price of high-end bathroom tiles, are highly durable, and easy to clean. Otherwise, maybe you have some piping and wiring leftover from a previous home project that’s available for use. Discuss your options with your walk-in tub professional to find out where you can safely save on costs.
Installing a walk-in tub is an investment in your safety and comfort, so it’s important to find the right balance between your budget and an experienced and knowledgeable walk-in tub professional who uses quality materials. Knowledge and foresight are your greatest tools in this regard, so be sure to do your research based on the guidelines above.