How to Hire Bath Remodeling Contractor

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We’ve got Everything You Need to Hire a Bath Remodeling Contractor

It’s time for a makeover! Whether you’re buying, selling, or just want to update that late ‘80s powder room a bathroom remodel provides great return on investment. Remodeling’s 2016 Cost vs. Value Report shows a nation-wide 65.7 percent ROI for bathroom remodels, while areas like the Pacific region, bring back 76.2 percent. The numbers are on your side, it’s time to stop the bathroom suffering.

Alex, Paul, and Leo share their remodeling expertise to prep you for your bathroom redo. Because you might as well love your loo.

What are the financial benefits of a bathroom remodel?

The bathrooms and kitchen are the primary rooms a prospective buyer looks at when purchasing a home, explains Leo. Remodeling a bathroom, updating its features, and even reconfiguring the floor plan can greatly increase the return on investment of your real estate investment. Besides improving the appearance of the room, shares Paul, you improve the functionality of the room. In addition to the value it adds to the home, a space that accommodates you and your family is important for daily life.

How long does the average job take and what are the most common remodels?

There are typically 3 phases to any remodeling and construction project, shares Leo. The planning and permitting phase, the construction phase, and the punch list finalization phase. The planning and permitting phase varies from city to city due to different procedures in each building department—however, the average time for this phase is 3-4 weeks, he explains.

The construction phase can also vary depending on if the remodel is a straight same-for-same replacement, or if plumbing fixtures and electrical devices are being added or relocated. The average length of a full bathroom remodel—taking into consideration inspections—could take anywhere from 4-6 weeks, Leo shares, citing that the most common updates for a bathroom remodel are tile flooring, tub/shower wall tiles, vanity, counter top, and lighting.

SemBro Designs and Remodeling does a lot of what they call “facelifts.” These jobs are typically completed in five to eight working days, shares Alex, while more extensive bathroom overhauls take longer.

One to three weeks is common depending on the amount of work, says Paul. His clients often start with the shower area, he says, by customizing the plumbing, tile size, setting, and design. New paint is always in order after the shower is done, he says. Next, flooring and cabinetry can be modernized with updated materials. Last but not least, the lighting in a bathroom is very important, says Paul.

How much does the average job cost?

Wouldn’t you know, there is no average job! The remodelers share the ranges of what can commonly be expected.

Most jobs we handle cost between $10,000 and $15,000, shares Alex.

The baseline for a bathroom remodel averages around $3,500, according to Paul. More frequently, a bathroom remodel can cost between $5,000 and $10,000. I personally have been involved in bathroom remodels that have cost $22,000, says Paul.

The average bathroom remodel could cost anywhere from $6,500 – $12,250, depending on size, scope, and materials used, says Leo.

The moral here? Be upfront in your requests about budget and desired outcomes.

What happens from start to finish once someone books your quote with SemBro Designs?

First, we schedule an onsite visit to make sketches, take photos, discuss scope of work, and materials, explains Leo. Then we prepare floor plans, permit applications, notice of commencement and supporting documents for the building department. We then record the NOC and submit the application package to the building department. Once the permit is issued, we perform the demolition. After the demolition we do the rough plumbing, then rough electrical, followed by framing, drywall, plaster, paint & flooring. All in that order. There are several rough inspections that occur in that sequence as well, to make sure things are going as planned. After the walls, floors, and ceilings are finished, we install the vanity, plumbing fixtures, electrical devices, and trim out all of the accessories. From there we schedule final inspections and perform a walk through to address punch list items to complete, shares Leo. When the client is 100% satisfied, the project will be officially completed.

Bathroom remodels can be an enjoyable experience, says Paul. I speak with clients one-on-one by phone before a site visit to prepare myself for what they might need. After inspecting the site, I go over design options with the homeowner, then write out a specific and detailed estimate, explains Paul. Once the estimate is accepted, I send a written contract and we sign. At this point, a collection of 10% of the job’s estimated total is legal and common for a contractor to do. I find jobs go well when a client has done their homework and identifies the materials they want used. This process of material selections by the owner can take some time but is well worth the diligence, according to Paul.

SemBro Designs reviews the request and follows up with a phone call/ email to introduce themselves and set an appointment to meet and discuss a proposal for the requested work, says Alex. The proposal is written and presented to the homeowner during a secondary meeting, and if all is agreed upon, a contract is signed. From there, work is scheduled by the production manager to be completed.

What questions should someone ask before hiring a bath remodeling contractor?

Do you plan on applying for any permits? Do you have the proper insurance and licenses? Do you have before and after pictures of previous projects to preview? You want to make sure they are going by proper procedure, recommends Alex.

How long have you been doing this type of work? May I speak with past clients of yours? Who will be performing the work? How long will the process take? Will you be servicing other jobs at the time as my home? What can I do to make the process easier on you as the contractor? Get all the information you need upfront, suggests Paul, so there are no surprises later on down the line.
What do you wish new clients knew about the process?

I wish more clients knew how long some building departments take to approve a permit. Many people are surprised by the time it takes, although we do our best to communicate the timeline before any contracts are signed, says Leo.

That you get what you pay for, says Alex. And that it’s always best to have a General Contractor handle the management of the job.

Not everything goes as planned, states Paul. For example, after demolition problems like bad framing by the original home builder might be revealed. That needs to be dealt with before contractors can move forward. Another example of the unexpected could be structural water damage from previously undetectable or unnoticeable leaks. A homeowner should be prepared for these possible problems, because the total cost of the remodel will increase due to the additional work that was unforeseeable but is necessary to do a good job.

Any advice about choosing a contractor?

Unfortunately, in Ohio, licensed people will often illegally “rent” their licenses to unlicensed companies, says Leo. Look out for companies where the licensed qualifiers are not present. A second warning sign is a company asking for a large deposit up front. We only require a 10 percent deposit up front; followed by progress payments as work progresses. The key is not to overpay up front so the contractor owes you a substantial amount of work to get caught up, explains Leo. Keep pace with the work as far as payments go and request partial lien releases with each payment to be released from liability for materials or to subcontractors.

Homeowners should always check out the contractor’s insurance policies and their accreditation, suggests Alex.

Investigate the contractor’s past work and clients, recommends Paul. Good, clear communication is very important. If you can’t communicate with the contractor, look for someone else. Also, a contractor that asks for too much money up front is someone you want to stay away from.

Where can clients save money on a bathroom remodel?

Find a contractor that does most of the trades himself, recommends Paul. Although it’s not easily accomplished—because it is difficult to be good at more than one trade—it will reduce the cost of having a general contractor subcontract out to multiple companies to tackle various parts of the project. Price shopping is very important when it comes to the materials. Local retailers are the best places to buy your materials, opines Paul, because you don’t have to pay for shipping costs and there are fewer problems if a return needs to occur.

Select materials that are within a budget you can afford, suggests Leo. The actual rough work and labor will always be more or less a fixed price, but the costs can jump substantially if you select really expensive tiles, vanities, and fixtures are selected.

Alex agrees that when the client purchases their own materials it’s a cost-saver, but warns against doing so without the guidance of a professional contractor.
Where should someone absolutely not cut financial corners in their remodel?

All three resoundingly agree that you should never cut financial corners when hiring a reputable, licensed contractor. Someone who is not skilled can damage your home or your materials, costing you more money in the long run. Do your research to avoid sorrow later.

You’re all set with the questions to ask, are you ready to redo your bathroom and hire a bath remodeling contractor?


From kitchen upgrades to total home remodeling, SemBro Designs and Remodeling knows how to do it right and we love to build the confidence of every Columbus client, year after year.

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Home Maintenance To-Do List for June

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Get your house organized and ready for summer with a mix of home maintenance and decluttering musts and breezy room refreshes

Summer officially begins June 20 this year, but why wait until then to get into the summer spirit? Get a jump-start by prepping your home and garden for warm weather, setting up the perfect drip-dry spot for beach towels, reorganizing the kitchen (hello, smoothie bar), and more. These 18 to-dos cover all the bases, so you can enjoy the season to the fullest.

1. Keep an eye on irrigation systems. A faulty sprinkler or irrigation hose that goes unnoticed can quickly cause big problems for your lawn and garden. Make a habit of checking each component once a week, especially in summer.

2. Install screen doors. If you use them, now is the time to take down the storm doors and put up screen doors to let the summer breezes pour in. Be sure to inspect screens carefully, patching holes as needed — even a tiny hole can be enough to let in a mosquito.

3. Empty standing water regularly. Speaking of mosquitoes, the best way to keep populations down is by regularly checking your property for standing water and emptying it. Even a saucer of water can become a mosquito nursery, so leave no pot unturned!

4. Reorganize your kitchen. The change in seasons is a good time to rethink how you have things arranged in the kitchen. If there are small appliances you use more in the warmer months (a blender for smoothies, perhaps, or an ice cream maker), move them to a more accessible spot, and you will be more likely to use them. Stations devoted to a certain purpose can also do wonders. If you have children on summer vacation, create a self-help station stocked with healthy snacks. Or create an iced-coffee bar or smoothie-making station for yourself with all needed supplies within reach.

5. Update first-aid kits and emergency supplies. Be prepared for everything from minor snafus to natural disasters with well-stocked first-aid kits in the house and car, plus emergency supplies for your family and pets. Not sure what to include? The American Red Cross has a helpful checklist.

6. Make space for summer crafts. A dedicated space for arts and crafts can provide screen-free entertainment and a creative outlet — and it’s not just for kids! Even if you must work all summer, having a space to devote to a hobby can re-energize and inspire you.

7. Organize and put away school papers. If you do have kids, at the end of the school year, it can be tempting to jump right into summer. But taking the time to sort through each child’s school things will help prevent clutter from piling up, and you can start the summer fresh. Sort through the papers, artwork and projects from the year, and choose the best representative pieces (and those that most pull at your heartstrings) to save in a portfolio or document box, then recycle the rest. If you want to preserve more than you can keep, consider scanning the artwork into your computer and creating a photo book with the pictures.

8. Set up a spot to dry beach towels and bathing suits. Soggy, sandy beach towels getting dragged through the house is a mess waiting to happen — but you can easily prevent this with a bit of planning. Choose a dedicated spot, either just outside the door (a covered porch works well) or in the mudroom, as shown here, and hang a row of sturdy hooks for wet towels and bathing suits. Once dry, sand can be easily shaken off outdoors, so it doesn’t end up in your washing machine!

9. Lighten up decor. Roll up heavy rugs, put crisp percale or cooling linen sheets on the beds, and bring in accents in lighter hues for the warmer months ahead. Breezy white curtains look delightfully cool in summer, but if the weather gets quite hot where you live, you may want to leave heavy window coverings in place. Closing the shades during the heat of the day can actually help keep your house cooler.

10. Keep cooling systems running smoothly. Take the time before hot weather sets in to dust ceiling fans, install window air-conditioning units, and schedule maintenance for a whole-house cooling system.

11. Refresh your bathroom. Shower curtain liner looking a little dingy? Bath towels seen better days? Give your bathroom a mini spa makeover, and swap out your tired old bath linens for fresh, fluffy new towels and a new curtain liner. Use a woven basket to corral rolled towels. And contain toiletries on a tray or in zippered containers.

12. Schedule major outdoor projects. Whether you are dreaming of a new patio or need to replace a deck, don’t delay booking a pro for your projects. Their schedules tend to fill up quickly in the summer.

13. Clean gutters and downspouts. If you did not get your gutters cleaned in spring, be sure to get this essential task checked off your list as soon as possible. Leaf- and debris-clogged gutters can lead to leaks and siding damage with summer storms.

14. Plant bee-friendly flowers. Help give pollinators a place to thrive by adding bee-friendly native plants to your garden now for fall blooms. Which flower species you choose will depend on your region; ask for assistance at a local nursery specializing in native plants if you are unsure.

15. Give your garage or shed a clean-out. Since you’ll likely be spending more time in your outdoor spaces during the summer, it’s a good idea to take some time at the start of the season to clear out space in your storage area. Take old paint cans to a hazardous waste drop-off point, sell or give away items you no longer want, and organize what’s left into zones of use: garden tools and supplies, outdoor adventures and sports gear, and household tools.

16. Catch up on projects and maintenance. No one is perfect, and chances are there are a few home maintenance projects you’ve been meaning tackle. Why not make June the month to get caught up?

17. Get seasonal gear ready. What with camping and beach trips, summertime activities come with a lot of gear. Get it cleaned up and ready now, so you’re not surprised by a leaky tent or blown-out beach umbrella when it’s too late to replace them. And if you plan to waterproof anything (tents or outdoor tablecloths, for example), now is the time.

18. Make your summer must-do list. Beach days, lemonade on the porch, pick-your-own fruit farms — with so much to look forward to in summer, don’t let it zip by in the blink of an eye! Be sure you are making the most of your season by creating a list of your personal must-dos and posting it where you can see it. A big chalkboard or family bulletin board would be ideal.


From home maintenance to kitchen upgrades to total home remodeling, SemBro Designs and Remodeling knows how to do it right and we love to build the confidence of every Columbus client, year after year.

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Home Maintenance and Cleaning Checklist for May

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Get your house and yard in good order now, and you’ll be ready to enjoy the summer days ahead

With Mother’s Day and Memorial Day coming up this month, there is plenty of incentive to get those outdoor spaces ready to entertain. From scheduling house painting to organizing your outdoor cooking tools, tick these 10 items off your to-do list so you can get to the good stuff: hanging out around the grill, kicking back on the porch and savoring the season. Let the countdown to summer begin!

Paint or stain your home’s exterior. Longer days and generally milder weather makes May a good month to schedule house painting. If your home has a wood-shingled exterior, replace any damaged shingles and have a fresh coat of stain applied if needed.

Check exterior lighting. Make sure all outdoor lights are in working order, including porch lights, landscape lighting, and motion-sensing security lights. Replace bulbs or schedule repairs as needed.

Get ready for grilling season. Giving your grill a deep cleaning before the start of the season will help it work more efficiently and prevent flare-ups. Clean the grates and interior with a grill brush and wash the exterior with warm, soapy water. Clean and organize your grill tools (tongs, spatula, skewers) and pick up charcoal or propane if needed.

If you have a gas grill, be sure to check the fuel line for cracks, and clean out any clogged burner holes.

Inspect kitchen and bath fixtures. Keeping an eye on these areas can help prevent costly water damage and repairs later on. Regrout or caulk around counters and tile as needed. If you come across any slow leaks, have these repaired as well.

Check safety devices. Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors; replace batteries as needed. Check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher and replace it if necessary.

Get walls dust-free and touch up paint. Use a dusting attachment on your vacuum or an electrostatic duster to clean away dust from walls, paying special attention to corners and baseboards. For a deeper clean, wipe down walls with warm, soapy water after dusting. Rinse with clean water, using a lint-free cloth. Touch up paint as needed on interior walls and trim.

Refresh bedrooms. Rotate the mattresses on all beds and flip over if possible.
Dust nightstands, lamps, headboard, blinds and decor.
Swap heavy duvets for lighter weight bedding for the warmer months.

Deep clean the laundry room. Run the washing machine with specialty tub cleaner (or with vinegar for a natural solution) on a hot water cycle.
Wipe the rubber rim inside the door of the washer and dryer and remove lint from the dryer vent with a vent brush or vacuum attachment.
Clean countertops, mop floors and restock supplies.

Prep picnic supplies. This is the season for alfresco feasts. Be ready for impromptu picnics by sorting through your outdoor dining supplies at the start of the season and keeping a basket of essentials within easy reach.

Your kit doesn’t need to be extensive to get the job done: a cheese knife, small cutting board, bottle opener and blanket, plus a few outdoor dishes and cups should see you through many a picnic.

Add a relaxing porch feature. Make your porch an inviting place to relax and hang out with the addition of a porch swing, rocking chairs or a glider. Too much sun? Crisp white outdoor curtains provide shade and look chic. Just add a tall glass of iced tea or lemonade, and you’ll be ready to savor the season in style.


From kitchen upgrades to total home remodeling, SemBro Designs and Remodeling knows how to do it right and we love to build the confidence of every Columbus client, year after year.

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Bathroom Mold Inspection Tips

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The bathroom is one of the most important and most used rooms of any home. Here are some Bathroom Mold Inspection Tips for your Home. Everyone in a given household uses the bathroom multiple times a day which results in plenty of water being used on a daily basis. The plumbing fixtures and high level of moisture make the bathroom a common spot for mold growth which can cause considerable damage once it appears. You should always be checking your bathroom for any sings of mold so you can take care of the problem before it results in major damage. The following mold prevention tips can help you prevent bathroom mold.

1. Use a Moisture Meter: Moisture meters are a very inexpensive investment and they can help you discover areas with high levels of moisture that are prone to mold growth or water damage.

2. Check the Sink: Sink faucets are a common source of moisture that can lead to bathroom mold. Turn on the water to make sure the sink is working properly and check the pipes underneath the counter for any leaks.

3. Check the Toilet: Toilets are another major source of leaks that can lead to significant water damage or mold growth. Inspect the component parts of the toilet to make sure they are attached properly and check around the bowl for any leaks. You should also flush the toilet to make sure it is flushing properly.

4. Check Bathtub and Shower Fixtures: Turn on the water in your bathtub and check for any leaks or excess moisture around the fixtures and tub. Check the outside of the tub as well to make sure it is properly sealed to the floor. Next, turn on the shower and look for any leaks around the shower head.

5. Use Exhaust Fan: Most bathrooms are equipped with an exhaust fan to help reduce the level of moisture. If you take hot showers, you should have the fan on during and after the shower to reduce moisture and condensation.

Moisture is the biggest cause of mold growth in the home which is why it is very important to control and reduce the level of moisture in your bathroom. Performing this mold inspection will help you prevent bathroom mold by identifying and addressing any moisture issues. If you find mold in your bathroom despite your best efforts to prevent it, your next step is to do a bathroom remodel. You can call SemBro Designs for all your Bathroom Remodeling Needs. We are a leading provider of mold remediation services in the Columbus, Ohio area and we use innovative mold removal methods and technology to effectively remove mold in a non-invasive and cost effective manner. We also do full Bathroom Renovations, Kitchen Remodeling and Flooring Installation. Give us a call today 614-853-4448.


From kitchen upgrades to total home remodeling, SemBro Designs and Remodeling knows how to do it right and we love to build the confidence of every Columbus client, year after year.

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Kitchen Cabinet Material

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Explore These Beautiful Kitchen Cabinet Material Options for Ideas

When preparing to renovate an old kitchen or install a new one, one of your first jobs will be to decide on the kitchen cabinet material you’ll use.

There is a wide range of materials available for cabinetry ranging from budget-friendly to high-end. With a little bit of research, you’ll be able to make this important first decision and be on your way to a stylish and efficient cabinet design.

The most common material used for kitchen cabinets is wood. However, there are numerous types of woods used that will change the look and cost of your kitchen design. Common woods found in cabinetry are oak, cherry, maple, mahogany, birch and pine. Stylistically they vary in their color and their grain. Oak and maple tend to be lighter in color, while cherry and mahogany have a richer hue. In terms of cost, pine is the cheapest cabinet wood you can use while mahogany is one of the most expensive, with oak and maple falling in the mid-range in terms of price. Durability of the various types of wood is also important to consider. Pine’s budget pricing makes sense, as it scratches and dents easily. Oak and maple are very hardy, and mahogany ranks as the most durable among common cabinet woods.

Alternatives to wood kitchen cabinets include stainless steel, Thermofoil and laminate. Stainless steel is a durable and low-maintenance kitchen cabinet material. It can provide a more industrial, contemporary or modern feel to a kitchen, but the cost of stainless steel cabinets is significant. Thermofoil and laminate are more budget-friendly synthetic kitchen cabinet materials. They are surface finishes or veneers generally applied over a material such as particleboard. They mimic the look of wood but are non-natural materials that are more durable and are easier to clean than real wood.

Bamboo and lyptus are renewable resources that an environmentally conscious homeowner might choose to use in a kitchen remodel. These ecofriendly materials are extremely durable and can give a more modern feel to a kitchen. It should be noted, however, that they are costly materials to install.

Whether you are re-facing old kitchen cabinets or installing a complete new bank of cabinetry, the materials you use will go a long way to defining the design aesthetic of your kitchen, as well as the budget for your project.
Other Kitchen Cabinet Materials

Wood Kitchen Cabinets
Pine Kitchen Cabinets
Stainless Steel Kitchen Cabinets
Cherry Kitchen Cabinets

Bamboo Kitchen Cabinets
Oak Kitchen Cabinets
Recycled Kitchen Cabinets


From kitchen upgrades to total home remodeling, SemBro Designs and Remodeling knows how to do it right and we love to build the confidence of every Columbus client, year after year.

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