Watch out for Scams When Searching D.C. Area for a Bathtub Refinisher

Watch out for Scams When Searching D.C. Area for a Bathtub Refinisher
Bathtub refinishng in D.C.

Bathtub refinishng in D.C.

Refinishing instead of replacing your bathtub is a popular option these days for Washington-area residents wanting an affordable bathroom update.

So popular, in fact, that Paul Burns of Porcelain Tub Restorations in Bowie, Maryland, has noticed an explosion of scammers promising a professional job at rock-bottom prices.

That makes finding a quality D.C.-area bathtub refinisher for the job even more difficult.

“If you’re trying to save some bucks, it’s not worth it,” Burns says.

It’s common, he adds, for tub refinishing companies to show up on web searches in the D.C. metro region with fake addresses. Do some sleuthing, and you’ll find those address are actually hotels or empty lots, he says.

“You really have to investigate the company you choose,” Burns says.

Phone numbers, too, often are fake and serve only to forward you to a different number. “How good is your guarantee when you only have a cell phone number?” Burns asks.

These tub reglazing “companies,” Burns says, cut corners on preparation, use inferior materials and promise guarantees they have no intention of honoring.

Burns admits that his prices aren’t the cheapest, but he says focuses on offering a top-quality service, rather than the cheapest. “Often, when I do an estimate and leave my card, I tell them to keep it for when they go a cheaper route and it doesn’t work out,” Burns says.

Reglazing a standard bathtub in the Washington area should cost in the $450 range, with the inside of a clawfoot bathtub (a common feature in Georgetown and Capitol Hill row houses) costing about $500, he says.

Still, it’s a good deal considering a new bathtub and installation can cost $3,000 to $5,000.

Local homeowners tend to consider having bathtubs refinished as part of the home staging just before putting their house on the market.

That’s a good idea, Burns says, but why wait? “They end up wishing they had done it a lot sooner, so they could have enjoyed the nice job.”

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