Finding the Right Kitchen Remodeling Contractor
Finding a good kitchen remodeling contractor may feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you know the steps are necessary, you will end up with your best option.
There is no doubt in the world that word-of-mouth is your best bet when it comes to finding a kitchen remodeling contractor. Your relatives, friends and neighbors could refer you to some of those they may have happily worked with. Most people will be glad to tell you their good experiences. As an option, you can read reviews featured on popular third-party consumer websites.
Check your prospect’s credentials.
With a few prospects, you can start your preliminary research, which you can do through phone or by checking out the contractor’s website. First and foremost, you’d like to know if they are licensed (state and local), and whether they belong to a professional association such as the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) or the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). While they don’t guarantee a great job, they do increase the likelihood that you will be satisfied with the results. Do remember though that certifications can vary widely. Don’t be shy asking what their certifications are and what it took to obtain them.
Talk to the candidates.
Trim down your list of prospects and book a meeting with all of them (separately, of course). How many contractors should you interview? Perhaps one but it won’t hurt to stay open for three at most.
Too many quotes can make it confusing to decide. On the NARI’s website, you will find a list of questions you should ask your potential contractor. Observe how they answer these questions, but take note that effective communication always works both ways. The most important thing at this point is finding someone who will listen to you rather than doing all the talking. This is a longstanding relationship, so it’s important that you have a personal connection with your contractor. Trust is crucial.
Ask for references and check with them.
This part is more crucial than you might think. References give you a sneak peek into your future project through the experiences of those who have worked with the contractor before. If the contractor won’t give you references, you already know what that means – they’re hiding something.
Have a written contract.
After choosing a specific contractor, examine the contract. Is it presented professionally? Is it fair enough to you? The contract should include, among several other things, the bid price and payment schedule, a waiver of lien (so unpaid suppliers and subcontractors cannot put a lien on your property), an express limited warranty, and the job’s start and end dates. If you have no background with kitchen remodeling contracts, find a friend or relative who can help you.