Remodeling the bath – Part 1- Dealing with the Salespeople.


The original bath.

The original bath.

Dealing with Salespeople.

For the longest time, I have been thinking about remodeling the bath tub by removing it and replacing it with a shower. The idea being that I have read so much about accidents in the bath with people falling and stuff and I have to admit to having a couple of close calls myself. If it wasn’t for the fast reflexes and a decent sense of balance that I still have, I too might be another statistic. Besides, I am not getting any younger, unfortunately, and need to plan ahead to when I can’t do things as well as I would like.

I was at my favorite store, Home Depot and noticed the trailer that sits outside advertising some of the many services they provide so being a naturally curious individual, I wandered inside and took a look at some of the bath remodeling that they had on display hoping to get a few ideas. I was immediately accosted by a salesperson and eventually agreed to let them come to my house and give me a price for my project.

On the designated date and time, a couple of sales people showed up and I led them indoors and showed them what I had and explained to them in detail, what I wanted to have done. Turns out, I might as well have been talking to the Moon for what good it did. An hour and a half later, after all kinds of sales pitches for this and that, I told them they may as well leave as I knew what I wanted  and they had totally different ideas. No matter what I said, they were not interested in remodeling the existing bath, instead, they wanted to tear everything out and replace the perfectly good tiles with a plastic surround. I kept trying to tell them, “No, I want you to take out the tub, leave the tiles, put in a shower valve and new shower base, a couple of grab bars and a set of glass doors”. They finally admitted that they do not do remodeling of the type I was asking and oh yes, to do a complete remodel like what they wanted, would have cost me $11,500 with me buying and installing the glass sliding doors.

It was interesting with some of the tactics they used. Things like, “The tub is so heavy, you will never be able to get it out by yourself” or “You can’t do what you are suggesting as you will get leaks and probably mildew.” or, “Those tiles are not worth saving”. The best one of all was,”The sheets of Hardy Board are so heavy you will never be able to handle them yourself” and on and on. As we sat there, they kept reducing the price with their rock bottom at $6500 still doing it the way they wanted. That’s $5000 less than the original price which I assume was all mark up and profit. This was for a preformed unit with a base and three sides plus the plumbing. I wonder just what a much fancier remodel which included a tile base and all tile walls would cost?

I showed them the door and cordially thanked them for their time and bade them farewell and went back to planning how I could do it myself. By the way, I had made no secret of the fact that I was familiar with construction having spent a lifetime working in the various fields which no doubt had made it much more difficult to sell me their project. Probably a lesser experienced person or one that did not mind looking at white plastic walls might easily be sold by their sales pitch.

I’m quite sure they would have done a good job installing what they wanted to put in and I am not criticizing either the sales people or Home Depot who I know offer this as a service. They should have told me right at the beginning that they don’t do remodeling and that they only do replacement.

In Part 2, I will explain in detail the actual project and what I ran into during the remodeling.

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