You’re finally ready to remodel your kitchen, and like many others, you’ve decided to hire a kitchen remodeling contractor to perform the work. Before you dive in and hire the first contractor you find, there are several things to consider in order to select a quality contractor who is a good match for your project. The tips below include the main things you should know before hiring a kitchen remodeling contractor.
1. Choose a General Contractor
A specialty contractor works on one particular aspect of the project (example – installing cabinets) whereas a general contractor manages all aspects of the project. They will be in charge of design, getting building permits, hiring and supervising subcontractors, and scheduling inspections. This simplifies things so you can hire one company and hold one company accountable for the project, rather than hiring several contractors to perform each individual part of the remodel.
2. Do Your Research
Get advice from friends, neighbors or coworkers, but don’t forget about internet research too. When researching local contractors online, consider:
• What are other people saying? Look at the company’s ratings and reviews to see what unaffiliated third parties are saying about the contractor.
• How long have they been in business? An established company who has worked in the area for years has proven the test of time and likely holds a good record and reputation.
• Are they licensed? Most states require the contractor to be licensed and/or bonded.
In your research you are evaluating the contractor as a whole, but it’s also important to evaluate their fit with your project. Does this contractor perform kitchen remodeling? Do they have a portfolio of kitchen remodeling projects? What are their kitchen remodeling customers saying about the work? Overall you want to be confident not only that you’re choosing a good contractor, but also that they are the right fit for your kitchen remodeling project.
3. Get Estimates
If you’ve done your research well, you now have a pool of contractors that appear to be good candidates and it’s time to talk money. Always get multiple estimates, but don’t automatically choose the lowest bidder. Bargain rates might mean low quality materials and workmanship and the saying “you get what you pay for” often applies. Use your research plus your estimate to make a decision, not the estimate alone.
4. Ask Questions
Additional questions will help you evaluate the contractor and understand the process of working with them. Some questions you may ask are:
• How many kitchen remodels have you performed in the past year?
• Does my project require a permit, and if so, are you familiar with the permitting process?
• What types of insurance do you carry? (The contractor should have full insurance including liability and worker’s compensation).
• Do you have a team of skilled workers for specialized jobs (electrical, plumbing, tile work, installing cabinets, etc.) or will you be hiring subcontractors?
• Do you take responsibility for building inspections and approvals?
• How long will the remodel take?
• What forms of payment do you accept?
• Do you offer a warranty and/or maintenance service once the job is complete?
5. Get a Written Contract
A final thing to mention when hiring contractors is to always get a written contract. This detailed document should include aspects as contractor name and license, estimated start and completion dates, a payment schedule, list of materials, warranty information, etc. Carefully evaluate the contract before you sign anything.
A kitchen remodel is an exciting event, but you should resist the urge to dive into the project quickly and hire the first contractor you find. By using these tips on how to hire a contractor, you’ll be able to choose the right contractor for your project and improve the chance that you’ll be completely satisfied with the final results. The time and effort you put into selecting the right contractor will pay off in the end.
Gerety Building & Restoration has been serving the Westchester County NY and Fairfield County, CT area for over 35 years. Learn more about our kitchen remodeling services here, or give us a call at 914-248-1300 so we can discuss your project.