One of the most popular areas of the home to remodel is the kitchen. Whether you are looking for a more modern look with high end appliances, an open concept for easy entertaining or it’s just time for your kitchen to get a fresh feel, there are many reasons homeowners choose to update their kitchens. Unless you are extremely handy, you will most likely choose to hire a contractor and you will need to think through that decision to carefully to select the best person for you. Below are 5 things to consider before hiring a contractor to remodel your kitchen.
- Choose a General Contractor
A general contractor manages the entire project, such as design, acquiring building permits, hiring subcontractors, ensuring everything is completed in a timely manner, and other aspects of the project. By hiring a general contractor, it will be easier on you as you won’t be responsible for overseeing the different professionals working in your home.
Talk to your friends, neighbors and coworkers that have recently completed a remodel and get their advice. Start by asking them for some recommendations and ask how their experience went. Another person to call for advice is your trusted real estate agent. They know lots of experts in home improvement and can recommend the best people for you to talk to. Spend a little time researching contractors online as well. Here are things to consider when searching online:
- Look at the company’s reviews on various sites to see what other parties are saying about the contractor, their work and if they complete work on time.
- How long have they been in business. Hiring the newest contractor may save you some money but may cause problems down the road.
- Are they licensed?
- Look for portfolios of kitchen remodels to see if the work they do is appealing to you.
- Get Estimates
After you have done your research, pick a few contractors to talk with. Explain what you are looking for and ask for an estimate. Make sure you ask about their timeline for completing the work too. It’s not unusual for the best contractors to have a long waiting period until they can start on your project so make sure you know that up front if you are trying to get the work done at a certain time.
- Follow Up with Questions
Once you have gotten your estimates, ask the contractors some follow up questions to help you understand and evaluate the renovation process.
- How many kitchen renovations have they done?
- Will they need a permit? Are they familiar with how to obtain a permit and what process is involved?
- Do they have insurance? Full insurance which covers liability and worker’s compensation is a must.
- Do they have a team to perform the renovation or will they be hiring subcontractors?
- Who will be responsible for inspections and approvals?
- What is the estimated time the remodel will take?
- Do they accept check or credit card?
- What warranties and/or maintenance are offered once the job is complete?
- Ask for a Written Contract
The last and final thing you will want is a written contract. Ensure that the contract has all the details of the renovation such as the contractor’s name and license(s), start and completion dates, list of materials, warranty/maintenance information, etc. Read the contract carefully before signing.
A kitchen remodel can add value to your home and create a wonderful space for you to enjoy for years to come. Make sure you start out on the right foot by taking your time to make the right decisions for your project.