Once you have worked with your designer, and the kitchen of your dreams is becoming reality, it is time to think about hiring a contractor.
It is important not to let your excitement cloud your judgement, however. When choosing a kitchen remodeling contractor, it is best to set your emotions aside and use common sense to make your choice.
Contractors play an important part in the remodel, and like all other professionals, their expertise and your satisfaction can vary greatly.
By doing some research, asking questions, and being diligent, you will be able to find the kitchen remodeling contractor that will meet your needs.
Ask For Referrals
If you neighbor or friend, or even your mother-in-law, had a great experience with a contractor, ask for their contact information. Word of mouth is often the most accurate advertising that a company can have.
Chances are, the contractor will display the same expertise and professionalism with your project as they did with your friend's remodel. Ask the person referring if there were any issues with the contractor.
If so, how did the contractor resolve the problem? Question what they like the most about the contractor and his work.
Check Out Credentials
Once you have some recommendations, do a bit of research. Make sure that the contractor is properly licensed and meets all state and municipal insurance requirements.
Check out their website to inquire if they are members of any professional associations or have advanced course work or certifications. Most contractors who have a website will display this information along with customer testimonials and photos on their site. Try to find out how long they have been in business.
If the contractor does not have a website, you can call and ask for the information before even setting up an interview. A salesperson or receptionist should have the information, and if not, will have someone else return your call.
Interview Prospective Contractors
If you are satisfied with the credentials, set up an interview. During the interview process, ask questions. Get specifics on contractor availability and how long they estimate that your job will take.
Take some notes so you can compare answers after you have interviewed multiple contractors. Let the contractor know if there are any specific things that you might see as an issue.
For example, you have a dog or a sleeping baby. Or maybe some structural issues will come up that could have some hidden problems. How they respond might be important as to how well you will work together.
And pay attention to the questions that the contractor asks of you. The more questions, the more thorough the estimate will be.
Ask For and Check References
When you set up the interview with the contractor, ask him to bring references and photos of past jobs. Call his references and ask questions. What did they like about the service? What didn't they like? Were there any issues? Would they use this contractor again for another remodel?
You should also request a copy of the contractor's certificate of insurance and licenses. Check online to see if there have been any negative reports posted to sites such as the Better Business Bureau.
Get a Quote
Get a quote and get it in writing. If the contractor tells you he will have a quote ready in a week, expect it to be done in that time frame.
If the quote is late, or if there is no communication, this may be a sign that there would be problems in the future.
Study the estimate and compare to others. If one quote is either way lower or higher than the others, question why. This may be a sign that they are overlooking something essential, or are padding the prices.
Remember in choosing a remodeling contractor for your kitchen, you are inviting a contractor and his crew into your home.
You need to keep you and your family's safety at the forefront of your decision. That is why referrals are so important. And ask your designer for recommendations as well.
She can tell you who she has worked well with in the past and would recommend.
If you are just getting started, we would love for you to schedule a design consultation. Contact us today to bring your kitchen dreams to reality.