How to Find a Good 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 what steps you take, you should end up with your best option.
Most certainly, word of mouth is your best route to a qualified kitchen remodeling contractor. Ask around – your friends, relatives or neighbors may have some recommendations to make. 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.
Review 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. Do remember though that certifications can vary widely. Don’t be shy asking what their certifications are and what it took to obtain them.
Talk to the candidates.
Narrow down your list of candidates and arrange a meeting with every one 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.
More quotes only mean more confusion. You can find on the NARI website a checklist of questions to ask your prospects. Observe how they answer these questions, but take note that effective communication always works both ways. What’s most important at this stage is finding a contractor who will listen to your inputs instead of imposing all of his ideas. Personal chemistry is important because this is a longstanding relationship. 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. Any contractor who refuses to provide references probably has skeletons in their closet.
Have 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? The contract should include, among several other things, the bid price and payment schedule, a waiver of lien (so unpaid suppliers and subcontractors cannot put a lien on your property), an express limited warranty, and the job’s start and end dates. If you know nothing about kitchen remodeling contracts, ask the help of a knowledgeable friend or relative.