So you’re remodeling your kitchen, but you don’t have the time or skills to do it yourself. Whether you’re carrying out a small or big kitchen remodel, choosing the right contractor for the job is important.
But with so many options available, this can be difficult. You need to make sure you choose a contractor with the right skills and expertise to carry out your kitchen remodeling project to the highest standards.
This article highlights the key factors you need to take into consideration when choosing the best contractor for your kitchen remodel.
Carry Out Research & Get Recommendations
Start your search for the perfect contractor by carrying out research and gaining recommendations. Ask friends and family whether they have hired contractors for recent projects and if there is anyone they could recommend for your kitchen.
You should also research online for local contractors – a trustworthy contractor will have a professional website, a social media presence, case studies, reviews, testimonials, and are easy to contact. Check out online review sites such as Yell and Better Business Bureau to assess their credibility and reputation.
Compare Work and Portfolios
Compare contractor portfolios and look at each contractor’s case studies to see examples of their work. These may include photographs, videos, blueprints, sketches, and plans and should show images of before, during, and after the project. Check the quality of the work and see whether they have completed similar projects to your kitchen remodel.
You want to choose a contractor who specializes in the type of work you’re carrying out and has experience and expertise in your area so that they know the specific details of what’s required. You could even visit current job sites to see how they work and inspect past projects to get a feel for the finished project.
Licensed, Insured, Certified
All quality and trustworthy contractors should be licensed, bonded, insured, and certified. Each of these will vary from state to state, so make sure your contractor has the correct up-to-date credentials so that they complete the job safely, legally, and properly.
Contractors should have liability insurance that protects you if they cause damages to your home or there are any injuries on your premises. Likewise, a surety bond will protect you if a contractor does not finish the job or goes out of business.
Your contractor should also have a license in which they have to take an exam or education course to prove they know all building codes and processes. This demonstrates that they have the right credibility and knowledge, are qualified to carry out the work, and will comply with all rules and standards.
A reputable contractor will have a list of references that you can check through, each including a list of jobs with a name, address, and phone number of each customer. You can email or call past customers and ask for testimonials about the contractor’s service.
Ask whether the contractor stayed on schedule and met deadlines, whether they kept the site clean, how unexpected problems were handled, whether they arrived on time, whether they offered reasonable costing, what their routine and process were, whether they communicated well, and what the quality was like. You could even ask to go and see the contractor’s work in-person at the reference’s home.
Interview the Contractor
To help you choose the right contractor, call up all possible contractors or arrange a meeting to ask questions and learn more about them. Ask about their work process, whether they can give you an estimate for the project, how long the work is likely to take, their work schedule and timetable, whether they have experience in your area, whether they are licensed, and whether the team carrying out the work will be in-house or sub-contracted.
From this chat also try to gauge whether they are friendly and whether you can communicate well with them. This interview will allow you to greater assess their capability and reliability and gain a greater understanding of what to expect if you take them on as your contractor and whether they are right for your project.
You should compare bids and estimated costs for the project so you know what you can expect to pay. The bid should include an itemised breakdown of costs including the price of materials, labor, and expenses so you know exactly what the contractor is charging for and where your money is going.
However, you need to get the right balance between cost and value – you shouldn’t always go for the lowest price as this is not necessarily the best. Contractors with rock-bottom prices may indicate a compromise on quality and that they are probably cutting corners somewhere and there may be hidden costs that will only become apparent further down the line.
You should also never pay more than 10% up-front at the beginning of the project. You will most likely make three payments of 25% evenly spaced throughout the project and the final 15% at the end only when you are fully satisfied with the work.
Draw up a Contract
You should have your project set out in writing in which every detail of the project is included in a contract. The contract should be a complete description of the project and include details for every stage including the timetable and deadlines, start and end date, costs, payment schedule, materials, and working hours.
This contract should be agreed before any work begins and signed before any money is exchanged. This will protect you if there is a dispute between you and the contractor and allow you to set expectations to ensure a successful renovation.
Bio: This post was written by Optiplan Kitchens, one of the UK’s leading kitchen manufacturers and retailers, selling high-quality, handmade, bespoke kitchens with over 30 years’ experience.