How to Find a Good Contractor for Your Kitchen Remodeling Project
Finding a good kitchen remodeling contractor may feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you know the steps are necessary, you will end up with your best option.
Ask for recommendations.
Without a doubt, word-of-mouth is the best way to look for a qualified kitchen remodeling contractor. Your relatives, friends and neighbors could refer you to some of those they may have happily worked with. Most people are eager to share their positive experiences with others. An option you have is reading reviews on third-party consumer websites.
Examine 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 hesitate to ask what their certifications are and the process for obtaining them.
Talk to the candidates.
Trim down your list of prospects and set up a meeting with each of them. How many contractors would be good to interview? Perhaps one but it won’t hurt to stay open for three at most.
More quotes only mean more confusion. On the NARI’s website, you will find a list of questions you should ask your potential contractor. How they answer these questions is very important, but communication should not be one-sided. What’s most important at this stage is finding a contractor who will listen to your inputs instead of imposing all of his ideas. As this will be a longstanding relationship, having personal chemistry with your contractor is a must. It’s crucial to trust the person.
This part is more crucial than you might think. References give you a sneak peek into your future project through the experiences of those who have worked with the contractor before. If the contractor won’t give you references, you already know what that means – they’re hiding something.
Have a contract in writing.
Once you have zeroed in on a particular contractor, scrutinize their contract. Does it have a professional presentation? 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.