You are excited about getting your new kitchen; new cabinets, new appliances, a modern look. It has been fun researching and planning a more efficient and modern looking kitchen. Now comes the stressful part; choosing a contractor to make your vision into a reality.
“How do I know that I am getting a quality and responsible contractor?” “What should I ask a contractor before I start my kitchen remodel?” No doubt, these are a couple of the questions roaming around in your mind.
What Is Their Reputation?
A contractor’s reputation should be a good monitor of their quality of work and trustworthiness. Ask for references. Many find that three references are sufficient. Make the calls! What were the positives that the reference’s appreciated, and what were the concerns or disappointments that they had? A reputable contractor that has been in the business for awhile should be able to provide you with names and numbers of previous clients.
Do You Have a License and Are You Insured?
Depending on the monetary size of your renovation, the state that you live in may require your contractor to be licensed. Check the requirement for your state and make sure that the prospective contractor meets that requirement. Insurance is important in case something goes wrong. Your contractor should have both worker’s compensation and liability insurance. Ask to see their certificate of insurance to verify that the amount of coverage they have is sufficient.
Do You Use a Contract?
Does the prospective contractor use a contract? If not, move on to the next candidate. A detailed contract is important so that misunderstandings about what you are requesting and what the contractor will do is kept to a minimum. Working on the details of the contract together is a great way to lay out a plan of action that you both are able to agree on. What will the payment schedule be? It should be included in the contract. Most contractors have their own payment schedule that works good for them. Very often they will ask for a percentage of the total cost up front to cover materials and initial expenses. The last payment should be when both of you agree that the terms of the contract have been met. The total agreed upon price should be clearly stated in the contract. An experienced contractor should be able to figure that out pretty close. Just remember, if you ask for additional work during the renovation process, the contractor has the right to charge for the additional work. Have the extra cost added to your contract as it arises.
How long should the renovation take and when can you start?
Depending on the size of the renovation, how much it interrupts your home life, and the time of year it is, will determine what plans you will need to make to accommodate the renovation. See if the contractor can give you a timeline and decide if that timeline will work for your circumstances. Renovating your kitchen can be exciting, but also be a daunting adventure. Having a knowledgeable and dependable contractor is a tremendous asset. With a few vetting questions, you will be more confident that you have the right partner to give you your dream kitchen.