Finding the Right Kitchen Remodeling Contractor
Looking for a good contractor for your kitchen remodeling project may seem daunting, but it need not be so. 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. Ask your relatives, friends and neighbors about those they may have worked with. Most people are eager to share their positive experiences with others. As an alternative, you can research online and read reviews featured in reputable consumer websites.
Review your prospect’s credentials.
With a list of prospects in hand, you can start calling these contractors to pre-screen them, or visit their websites to learn more about them. First off, you’ll want to know if they have all the required state and local licenses, along with certifications from professional associations like the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) or the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). None of these guarantee a great job, but they do increase your chances considerably of being satisfied with the contractor’s work. Note, however, that not all certifications are the same. 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 set up a meeting with each of them. How many contractors do you have to interview, you may ask. Perhaps one but it won’t hurt to stay open for three at most.
The more quotes, the more confusion. On the NARI website, you can find a checklist of good questions to ask a prospective contractor. Observe how they answer these questions, but take note that effective communication always works both ways. At this stage, it’s important to find someone who will listen to what you have to say, instead of doing all the talking. Personal chemistry is important because this is a longstanding relationship. It’s crucial to trust the person.
This part is more important than you may think. References let you see what’s in store for you with the contractor by hearing the stories of those who have hired them before. If the contractor refuses to provide references, that’s red flag.
Get a written contract.
Once you have zeroed in on a particular contractor, scrutinize their contract. Does it have a professional presentation? Is it fair enough to you? Among other things, the contract should have an express limited warranty, a waiver of lien (this will keep unpaid suppliers and subcontractors from putting a lien on your house), the bid price and payment schedule, and the project’s start and estimated end dates. If you have no background with kitchen remodeling contracts, find a friend or relative who can help you.