When choosing a contractor to head up your kitchen remodel, there are some simple steps that you can take to ensure that it is a successful and enjoyable experience from start to finish.
Ask around for referrals
There is little doubt that word-of-mouth is the very best way to find a qualified and trustworthy professional to undertake your upcoming project. After all, your family and friends won’t refer someone to you unless they had a positive experience with them.
Make sure to ask what made working with that contractor a positive experience and whether or not they would use it again.
Look at credentials
Once you have your recommendations, start doing some simple research through Google or phone calls. Major questions you should know the answer to include whether the contractor holds all the necessary licenses from state and local governments on top of any designations from professional associations such as the National Kitchen & Bath Association, the National Association of Homebuilders, and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.
You should also take some time to research the actual certifications they have, as not all are created equal.
Once you have narrowed down your list to two or three candidates, set up a time to conduct in-person interviews. How a candidate answers the questions that you have come up with is very important, but keep in mind that this relationship should be a two-way street. The best candidate will also have plenty of questions for you about your project as well.
Reach out to references
As part of your interviews with potential kitchen remodeling contractors, make sure to get the contact information of some of their previous clients. After that, it’s time to reach out to those clients with some questions of your own. Ask how the contractor executed the project. Ask if they were on time and kept on budget. Make sure that the clients were all pleased with the final project. Ask if there was anything they wished they had known.
An important thing to keep in mind is that you are hiring a service, not a product. The quality of the service you are offered ultimately will decide the quality of the finished job.
Finally things to look out for
There are a number of important things that you should make sure you can cross off your list before you make your final call. That includes making sure your contractor:
- Keeps a permanent address, email address, personal phone number and cell phone.
- Carries insurance that protects you from liability. Ask for a copy of the insurance certificate for your records.
- Has a strong reputation within their professional community, has repeat customers, and has solid relationships with suppliers within your area.
- Boasts a reputation of being trustworthy and professional among past customers and current peers.
- Has a track record of meeting goals, staying on budget, and having successful projects.
Has professional designations such as a Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR).