Hiring a Contractor for Your Kitchen Remodel
A kitchen remodel is a huge investment. Hiring a contract who will do a good job makes all the difference for how well the job turns out. In addition, the contractor you hire will determine what your experience throughout construction will be like.
Hire the right contractor, and you can relax knowing that your project is in good hands. Hire the wrong one and you could be facing problems, from unfinished work to being sued if workers aren’t paid.
Who is Responsible for Hiring the Contractor?
You, the homeowner, are responsible for hiring the contractor. You may choose to go with a contractor your kitchen designer recommends and uses regularly.
However, if your project involves moving walls, raising ceilings, building add-ons and other major construction work, you will need to hire a general contractor.
A general contractor is the right choice for your project if you have had your project designed by a kitchen designer, and you now need someone to manage the construction of their design.
The contractor your kitchen designer works with can be the one to do your cabinet installation.
If you decide to do the work to find a contractor for your project, this article offers tips and guidelines to assist in your search.
Finding the Right Contractor for Your Project
Word of mouth recommendations and personal referrals are the best options. Start by asking friends, family, neighbors and colleagues who might have had work done. People you trust and have personal relationships with. Most people have at least one person they know who has recently had home improvement work done.
Obviously, there are online searches for contractors, but that can be a daunting task. Word of mouth is the first choice.
If you decide to search online, look at well-known and respected sites that post ratings and reviews, such as
- National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
- National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI)
- Better Business Bureau
- Angi (formerly Angie’s List)
- Home Advisor
See if the contractors you are interested in have up-to-date websites or a Google My Business listing. Look on the Better Business website at BBB.org to get their history of complaints and read verified customer reviews. Be aware that just as there are unreliable contractors, there are also unreasonable homeowners. Even a good contractor can receive a complaint.
Who Is the Right Contractor for Your Kitchen Remodel?
How can you be sure that you found the right contractor for your project? Here’s a few things to look for to help you decide:
- Communication. Budgets and timelines should be laid out before the project begins and any changes during the project should be communicated in a timely and honest manner.
- Review photos of a contractor’s work. If possible, not just the final project but throughout the renovation process. Our Designer/Partner River’s Edge Cabinetry has done an excellent job documented their remodels.
- Get references and speak with the contractor’s past customers.
Know Your Rights
The Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act outlines additional requirements including the need for a signed contract for projects over $500 that includes start and completion dates, details of the work, costs and the consumer’s right to cancel the contract. There are also limits to down payments and deposits for projects over $5k. For more details visit the resources tab at attorneygeneral.gov.
If hiring a contractor for your kitchen remodel project has you feeling anxious and unsure, we’ve compiled a list of things you can use to check a contractor’s qualifications.
1) What SERVICES does the contractor provide? And what areas does he serve? Start with the basics. You want to make sure the contractor is experienced with kitchen remodeling – it’s a specialty in itself.
2) REVIEWS. Ask to see reviews that demonstrate the contractor provides a great experience and has many positive reviews to prove it.
3) PHOTOS OF COMPLETED PROJECTS. Ask to see photos that show the projects the contractor has worked on.
4) LICENSING AND CERTIFICATIONS. Ask to see licenses that show the contractor is legitimate and meets any applicable regulations. Ask him to describe what type of work the certifications allow them to do.
5) GUARANTEES. Ask what guarantees the contractor offers beyond the manufacturers’ warranties.
6) COMMUNICATION. Ask who will be available to answer questions and address concerns during business hours. As if they respond to emails promptly or if they prefer to text.
KDP exists to offer insight and advice about all things related to kitchen remodeling. Our goal is to connect homeowners with talented, experienced kitchen designers who live and work in their communities. We are a serious resource for anyone preparing to remodel their kitchen so they can make the best possible choices about designers, contractors and products.