Well, we've gone through 2 more 6 hour visits from the remodels. Things are going well. It it easy to think work should go faster, but I hang around enough to see that there is more involved that I thought (or that I thought I was getting in this project).
I'm a relatively good homeowner to work for. I stay out of the way (but reachable). I peek in only when the 2 workers are out of the area doing other stuff elsewhere in the house. The workers are comfortable enough to complain about "SOME" people they have worked around. I've even provided a couple of tools they didn't have with them.
When they complain about having worked too many days in a row or have some unexpected problem, I commiserate appropriately with personal experiences in D-I-Y (without comparing those to their professional experiences. When they want to gripe about something (personal or project-related) I listen well and let them talk.
When they ask where the soap dish or towel rack should go, I ask a couple questions about the options and then give them an answer quickly.
So things are going along well.
Friday was demolition and tub replacement/new plumbing day. The existing tub was the cheapest the builder would provide (surprise, surprise), the tile backer board was the cheapest available, some of the wall studs were misaligned, and the tiles didn't extend as far as the should have. And the edge tiles were just regular tiles, not the rounded-over tiles (again, no surprise).
One thing remodelers are notorious for is exposing the studs and subfloor and finding "rot and mold", increasing the work (and cost) of the project. These guys said that all looked fine. I felt a LOT better about them after that, because I was prepared to fight about it. I don't know tiling, but I do know wood.
Monday was the installation of new concrete backer boards for the new tiles, and starting new tiles. They did 80% of that. There was an issue about the in-tub towel holder. The manager said he hadn't installed one of those in 10 years ("no one wants them"). But I did, and pointed out that he was supposed to replace what was there. So he found one. He had to drive 30 miles to a supplier, but he did.
The tiler was extending the tiles to an edge of the wall, and discovered the wall was bowed inwards slightly. Not a functional problem, but something that could be noticed. So he said he could remove and replace the metal corner former (the technical term escapes me). I asked him to find out the cost. I was expecting several hundred dollars, it was $75. Cool...
And they may have regretted the estimate. The corner form has ~100 holes for nailing in the form, and (according to the tile guy) "some crazed lunatic used every single one".
Today, they finished the tile. That last 20% was a lot of detailed tile-cutting work as they installed the towel bar and the couple rows of tiles above it, bullnose (rounded) tiles along the edges, and even down the outside edges of the tub down to the floor.
Tomorrow is the grouting between the tiles. Thursday is the application of a grout sealer, inspection, and final payment. I can hardly wait. The cats will be thrilled, too.