9. Consider bathroom supply fees
Most bathroom designers and suppliers do not charge for their design work. In some cases, there can be several re-designs, showroom appointments and site visits. Bear this in mind when trying to negotiate, or asking for discount, as you wouldn’t do this with most professionals! The “value” of the project is what is important. Because of online and unbranded products, bathroom designers have to put together a full specification and design for free (which an architect, Q&S or contractor would charge you for if they did it).
When you are buying from a company with a showroom, think about the investment cost for that showroom. Generally, companies with showrooms have invested over £250,00 to £1m to give you the option to see products (rather than online images). They also have to pay costs of running a showroom, staff training and continual investment.
The best value for money is generally to opt for an all-inclusive package. If what you are looking for is the absolute cheapest price, you may want to pay a designer to do the bathroom design and specification, then buy the individual elements yourself. But be aware of hidden charges – if there is an issue, are they going to fly to this country, or drive hundreds of miles to sort it out? So look for a value that works for you, but also means the designer and supplier have an invested interest in the project.
Don’t be driven by who can discount the most. You need to look at the skill, reputation, professionalism and design quality of a good designer. Have they come up with a solution to your problem that you or other companies haven’t thought of?
Above all, enjoy the process, the selection, the design, the input and meeting the people that will help create your perfect bathroom space. Communicate before, during and after. If the cost is too much, or overruns the initial budget (normally because this hasn’t been said at the start), don’t be afraid go back to them and ask them to re-design or specify alternative products to reduce the cost, avoiding potential embarrassment afterwards or having to change the designer.