Don’t Hire a Kitchen Remodeling Contractor Before Reading This
Remodeling your kitchen is a major job. Hire the right contractor, and the job should go smoothly. Hire the wrong contractor, and things could quickly turn disastrous.
To find the right kitchen remodeling contractor, you need to determine your remodeling goals, ask the right questions of a potential contractor, and understand how the home improvement process should go. In the long run, you’ll be glad that you searched so carefully for the right contractor.
What to Ask Yourself
Before you start interviewing contractors, it’s a good idea to spend some time on self-reflection. This will help you figure out what you want out of the process and give you some direction for where to go.
What do you hope to accomplish with your remodeling project? You might desire to expand the overall floorplan of your room, rearrange its layout, or simply upgrade your cabinetry and countertops.
You don’t need to develop a full plan for how to accomplish those goals. At this point, your job is simply to be honest with yourself about what you’d like to see done.
How much can you afford to spend? Setting a remodeling budget is an essential step of the process. Trying to spend more than you can afford will only lead to stress.
Keeping your budget low doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have to scrap all of your dreams. A good contractor can suggest lower-cost ways to accomplish some of your plans.
Others with Experience
To whom can you turn for recommendations? Friends and acquaintances who have recently completed a kitchen remodeling project can be some of your best sources of advice.
Find out which contractor was hired for the job, and ask the homeowner for candid reviews of the work that was done. If at all possible, go see the completed job in person.
What to Look for in a Contractor
At this point, it’s time to start talking to some potential contractors. It’s a good idea to talk to about three candidates before determining whom to hire. Here are the type of questions you should ask when getting to know them.
Length in Business
How long has this contracting company been in operation? Although everyone has to start somewhere, it’s a good idea to hire a business with experience under its belt.
Having been in business for a long time doesn’t just mean that your contractor will have worked on plenty of kitchen jobs. It also assures you that the company has systems in place to guide the process from start to finish.
All the Important Paperwork
Does the business have all of the necessary licenses and certificates in place? A reputable business will be able to produce documentation that shows that it is ready to safely and legally complete your construction job.
Ask to see evidence of:
- Contracting license as required by your local government.
- Certificates of insurance for both liability and workman’s compensation.
- Warranties for the contractor’s labor and for various products used for the project.
- Lien waivers for any subcontractors that will be used.
It’s also important to clarify whether the contractor will take care of obtaining any necessary permits or inspections.
Price and Variables
How much is your project going to cost? Your candidates will each provide an estimate. The lowest one is not necessarily your best bet since a contractor who does quality work should be paid accordingly.
Make sure the estimate is detailed. You should be given a line by line proposal that includes every step of construction with material and labor clearly specified.
Proposals are not enough alone. You can’t have an accurate proposal without a complete design and plans to coordinate with your estimate. Your price is based on the measurements and accuracy of a well planned out design.
Have others had good experiences with this company? Word-of-mouth reviews may have initially led you to a candidate, and now it’s a good idea to seek additional reviews.
- Ask for a list of references.
- Check ratings from consumer-advocacy groups.
- See what awards and recognitions the contractor has received.
What to Expect from the Process
When interviewing candidates, you should ask for a rundown of what their kitchen remodeling process looks like. Before committing to a company, you should be able to obtain clear specifics on the following details.
What will the contract for the job look like? First of all, a contract is a must. Even for a small job, if the contractor isn’t willing to provide a contract, then you need to move on to someone who will.
The contract should be very specific. It should include details about price, timeframe, additional costs and more. Don’t be afraid to ask for more specifics to be added to the agreement.
Learn more about negotiating a contract in this video:
Who will be working on your home? Find out if you’ll see the same workers or a rotating crew each day. Ask whether those people will be responsible for any other projects at the same time.
Your contractor may hire subcontractors. Inquire about what companies will be used so you can check their references and licenses.
How long will your project take? The contractor should be able to specify a timeframe from your project. In fact, it’s not unreasonable for your kitchen remodeling contractor to provide a schedule that outlines the work to be done each day.
You should also inquire about what time daily construction will begin and end.
Where should you turn with your questions or concerns? There should be open communication throughout the process. Find out who your contact person will be and what the best way to get in touch with that person is.
Keep in mind that you are going to be working with this remodeling business for a few weeks or months. It’s important that you feel comfortable with the team and can handle having them in your family’s personal areas.
Do you get to sign off on the job before it’s considered complete? You are the customer, so you should have the final say in how the job is done. Your contractor should assure you that you’ll have this opportunity at the end of your project.
Follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way to hiring the kitchen remodeling contractor who is the right fit for your home improvement needs. At NDA Kitchens, we welcome your many questions during the hiring process. Visit our website or give us a call to learn more about our remodeling services.