Expert AdvicePlumbing

Water Damage

Q: My mother has two bathrooms in need of repair. Both have a shower/tub and a single vanity and toilet. There is water leaking somewhere that has ruined the walls and ceilings in the bathrooms.

Where can we find someone to give estimates?

A: You could hire a plumber to fix the leaks, then find a carpenter to replace any damaged wood in the walls, ceilings, and sub floors. A drywall contractor would replace the wallboard, a tile setter would install new tile, and a floor contractor would install

new vinyl flooring. However, it would be most efficient and economical to hire one general contractor to handle the whole job for you.

General contractors’ licenses are required for home improvement and construction projects that include work in three or more trades, including plumbing, electrical,

concrete, insulation, drywall, carpentry, painting, tile, flooring, etc. Thus, contractors who specialize in small jobs and repairs still need a general contractor’s license

to handle jobs that include three or more trades, even if they do most or all of the work themselves.

You need to find a general contractor who remodels bathrooms because after removing all the damaged building materials, the rooms must be put back together in the same way as any remodel.

However, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to know how much damage is hiding behind the walls in order to give you a firm bid. So you may need to hire one contractor to tear out the damaged materials and give you a bid to repair it, then have a couple more contractors come in and bid on the repairs as well. Some contractors may also give you a bid and then quote you an hourly rate plus materials if they encounter more damage than they expected once they remove the damaged materials. Both practices are common in dealing with water and pest damage.

Good luck!

Kathy Maynard

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