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.
Ask for recommendations.
Most certainly, word of mouth is your best route to a qualified kitchen remodeling contractor. Ask your relatives, friends and neighbors about those they may have worked with. Most people will be glad to tell you their good experiences. As an alternative, you can research online and read reviews featured in reputable 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 of all, check if they have all the required licenses, whether local or state, and designations from industry associations like the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) or the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA). None of these assure you of a good job, but they will certainly increase your chances of getting a good one. Keep in mind, however, that certifications are not all created equal. Don’t hesitate to ask what their certifications are and the process for obtaining 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 do you have to interview, you may ask. Maybe one but remain open for a maximum of three.
More quotes only mean more confusion. On the NARI’s website, you will find a list of questions you should ask your potential contractor. The way they answer these questions is important, but to be effective, communication must work 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. You have to trust the person.
Ask for references and check with them.
This part is more crucial than you might 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 won’t give you references, you already know what that means – they’re hiding something.
Have a written contract.
Once you have zeroed in on a particular contractor, scrutinize their contract. Is it presented professionally? Is it balanced? 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.