Kitchen remodeling is the single most popular home renovation and is the home improvement job that adds the most value to your house. In fact, you’ll recover 80-90% of your kitchen remodeling costs in the added value of your home. It is without a doubt one of the best improvements you as a homeowner can make. However, the kitchen is the heart and soul of any home, so it’s important that your kitchen remodeling project be a positive experience for you and your family. By finding a good honest contractor your kitchen remodel will enhance your house and your life.
It’s essential that you hire a certified professional to remodel your kitchen. Depending on what you would like accomplished, kitchen remodels can be the most expensive of all home remodel projects. In order to get the most bang for your buck, it’s important to do your homework and hire the best contractor for your needs. It’s also a good idea to prepare for the remodel beforehand so that you’re prepared for such a large home improvement project. A number of factors need to be taken into consideration when searching for your ideal kitchen remodeling contractor. Below are 7 tips toward finding a good, honest contractor.
1. Prepare beforehand- It’s important to figure out what you want to accomplish with your kitchen remodel before bringing in a contractor. From a practical perspective, figure out exactly what you want to change in your old kitchen and what details you want to see in your new kitchen. Write down a list of everything you want in your dream kitchen. This will help your contractor visualize what it is that you are looking for. You need to be familiar with your budget and prioritize your wants and needs accordingly. A kitchen remodel and can be a fairly long and arduous process. It’s important to be realistic. It may take some time, by very messy, inconvenient and stressful. Being aware of what you’re in for will lessen the strain that a kitchen remodel can have on you and your family. And knowing what you want will go a long way toward getting a kitchen that you truly love.
2. Find a Contractor- Once you have armed yourself with a good plan, a set budget and a good attitude it’s time to find a contractor. Websites like goodhonestcontractor.com are devoted to matching people like you with their ideal contractor. You may also ask friends and other homeowners if they have any suggestions. A contractor's reputation among former clients is the best gauge of his or her work. It's also a good idea to look at the work a contractor has done for previous clients. If they have a website where you can look at projects they have completed, even better.
3. Set Appointments- Set up appointments with at least three contractors. Here are a few ideas of questions to ask a prospective contractor: Ask the same questions of each contractor so the comparisons are fair, and when you’ve narrowed it down to one or two, check their references thoroughly.
- How long has the company been in business?
- May I visit a site you're currently working on?
- How early will work start in the mornings, and what time will workers leave each day?
- Who will be the contact person if I hire this company?
- What kind of payment schedule will you expect?
- What kind of insurance does the company carry?
4. Conduct a thorough prospect check- Once you have narrowed down the list of potential candidates, it’s important to do your homework. These people are going to be in your home and involved in a large financial investment so check them out thoroughly and make sure to meet with several contractors before making a final decision.
Gather References- A professional will easily give you a list of references and volunteer this information from the beginning of the process. If certification is a requirement in your area, make sure to see their credentials. If they are unwillingly to supply any of this information it may be a red flag.
Call References- Call references directly and ask them the following questions:
- Would you use this contractor again?
- Were there any complications? If so, did the contractor respond promptly, was he courteous and did he charge you for any additional work?
- Did the job come in on budget? If not, by how much did he exceed budget? Were the extra charges justified?
- Was a designated foreman available to address your concerns?
You want a point person for questions and concerns you have throughout the job. Check with the BBB- Search the Better Business Bureau website at http://www.bbb.org to locate your local bureau. Enter the company’s name on the website to see if they are BBB accredited and if they have any complaints against them.
5. Get an estimate- Estimates should be free; avoid a contractor who wants to charge you. Estimates should be given to you in writing and include these essentials:
- The work to be done in detail
- The specific materials to be used
- A time frame for the work to be completed
- A firm price
- The company's guarantee on the work
6. Things to watch out for- Absolutely do not hire a contractor if he or she requires cash only or pressures your for a same-day decision, doesn’t have or can’t provide proof of insurance or applicable licensing, or requires you to get the necessary permits.
7. Double Check- So you’ve chosen your good honest kitchen remodeling contractor but before you sign the final paperwork do a thorough inspection of the contract. If you have any questions, ask your contractor. You’re spending a lot of your hard-earned money, so you deserve to get exactly what you agreed to. Don’t let minor problems go unresolved in an effort to reclaim your home faster and see your new kitchen quicker.