How Much Should I Pay My Bathroom Remodeling Contractor Upfront?

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Lynne Paton

Subject: withholding last payment

can I withhold a last payment if the work is not complete? It is a custom door and after being installed there was a scratch found in the glass so a new door was ordered however it has not been delivered OR installed yet. can I withhold the last payment? the contractor is threatening going to court

Lynne Paton

Subject: contractor

can I withhold a last payment IF the project isn't complete? I had a custom door ordered and found a scratch in the window therefore had to order a new one. the contractor is threatening to go to court if I don't pay the last 1,000.. however the replacement door isn't delivered OR installed yet.. what are my rights?

Cindy Novak

Subject: The Contractor Contract

Our contractor gave us a description of and monies allotted for each room or remodel he is doing in a home we purchased. He is now trying to give us laminate floors instead of wood ones after allocating 11.45/sq ft (about 4.00 over the price with install of real hardwood floors) saying wee aren't paying enough as he needs to use the money for other things in the house. We signed off on this----Can he now start playing around with our money like that?

Randy Lofthouse

Subject: down payment, contract

In my professional experience. I have had the best results requesting 100% of construction/remodeling materials up front, and 50% of the labor as well. All in one check. This gets the project rolling and me committed to going shopping for everything we'll need, or "staging a project". I don't like having to request several checks, however, some projects that linger or become delayed, will result in a simple request for draw. A small payment, say $500-$800 to keep project under control. If both the homeowner and the contractor have each other by the tail, neither will loose. Absolutely, check references.

Ran Hansen

Subject: Problem with paying a large down payment

I paid a contractor $900 representing 1/2 the $1,800 cost of a job. Then the contractor delayed and dallied, stretching a 1 week job into months. The job is still not completed and he is asking for more money. By paying in advance there is no incentive to do the work. I have no objection to paying for work once it is done.

Carolyn Williams

Subject: window replacement initial cost?

A complete cost labor & materials $3800 job for replacement of patio door/window, dinette and bedroom windows.
Other estimate $12,000.00 for replacement, contractor not local.
The contractor is local and has installed same in other units at my condo.
He did not answer all my questions like if permit required, no paper contract however emails confirm total costs material and labor.
Contractor request costs upfront to order materials.
Is this reasonable to pay all materials upfront or is % of $3800 acceptable, balance on completion? thx

Albert Keuftedjian

Subject: Down Payment

In my 29 years experience in this field and with all my past and present jobs always my down payment is 10 % and the balance on a progress payment leaving no more than 10 % toward the end, once the owner is satisfied with the work the final payment is paid. The only time I will ask more on down payment is if the owner asks me to purchase the fixtures,tiles, etc for them

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had


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I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.


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I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.
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That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.