Today, you can find DIY information for almost any job. However, getting down to “doing it yourself” is not as easy as it sounds. Some jobs can be done by almost anyone, but most home improvement jobs require trained hands of professionals who know the ins and outs of their work.
Take for example, your kitchen. There is no better way to increase the value of your house than to remodel your kitchen. Your kitchen must have aesthetic as well as functional value, and therefore it could be the focal point of your house. However, remodeling the kitchen is not everyone’s cup of tea. It requires skilled hands that are tough and accurate. In fact, you may hardly find an area that you do not require the help of kitchen remodeling contractors.
The truth is that each room in your home is a complex combination of many functions, and each function requires its own specialized contractor. You may need to work with separate home improvement contractors for designing, architecture, remodeling, plumbing, painting, roofing and electrical wiring and fixtures. You may want to hire a general contractor who would be in charge of hiring subcontractors to do these jobs along with arranging for building permits and supervising the whole project.
There are certain things to keep in mind while choosing home improvement contractors. In this article, we will give you some guidelines on choosing kitchen remodeling contractors. These guidelines usually apply to all home improvement contractors.
How kitchen remodeling contractors can help
Kitchen remodeling contractors help you prevent expensive mistakes. You may make many mistakes since you may not be able to anticipate problems before hand. Little mistakes on your part can bother you for a long time to come. Contractors know in advance what will work and what will not work in order to make your kitchen cabinets, countertops and flooring sturdy and presentable.
Kitchen remodeling contractors understand material quality, pricing, design and the latest trends. They can therefore work closely with you in order to customize your kitchen according to your needs, without losing out on the latest trends.
Most DIY projects start crumbling in a few years’ time. Work done by a professional will last for a long time.
Kitchen remodeling contractors can convert your uninformed ideas into satisfying professional designs by removing the flaws that you would otherwise have made.
If your remodeling plan involves refurbishing old cabinets and kitchen furniture in order to save money, a kitchen remodeling contractor would be the best person to get the re-painting, re-staining and replacements done.
A kitchen contractor has enough experience to tell off-hand which color would best suit your kitchen and how to improve the lighting conditions and ventilation of your kitchen.
Being adept in kitchen remodeling, contractors can get the job done much quicker, as they are equipped with the right tools and they are trained to use them efficiently.
How to hire a kitchen remodeling contractor
Hiring a proficient contractor takes more than looking for ads in your local newspapers, or yellow pages. These ads tell you nothing about the contractors work experience and history. Here are some hiring tips:
1. Get estimates from as many contractors as possible. A professional kitchen contractor would first discuss the kind of work to be done, inspect your house and then give you a free written quote.
2. Think twice before opting for the lowest quote, lest you end up with sub-standard materials and a requirement for redoing your kitchen in a couple of year’s time. A professional job lasts for years to come.
3. Choose a contractor who has a strong track record of at least five years in the field. Check at your local consumer protection department and the Better Business Bureau for any complaints against the contractor. Also check if the contractor is registered in your state and licensed to work in your locality. Find out about these requirements from your consumer protection department.
4. Find out if any permit is required for your type of project, as many states require you to get permits for small projects as well. Ask your contractor to obtain the necessary permits. Contractors who back off and tell you to obtain your own permit may not be licensed to work in your state or locality.
5. A contractor who listens would be ideal because a good listener would get your kitchen remodeled to your satisfaction and affordability.
6. Ask for sample pictures of similar projects done by the contractors. Check for a website. Also ask for customer references so that you can cross-check with them regarding the contractor’s reliability.
7. There are many associations for home improvement contractors. Find out if the contractor is a part of any such prestigious association. Being affiliated to such an association can be a sign of reliability.
8. Your contractor must show you a copy of the minimum liability insurance covering bodily damage and property damage as required by the state law. If this coverage is not obtained, any liability would be your responsibility.
Always read the full contract to see if it meets the requirements of your local building department. Also check that the following clauses are clearly stated therein:
- An estimate of the starting and completion dates.
- The responsibility of the contractor to obtain all required permits.
- The exact cost of the project and the payment schedule that states if any advance payment is required, and at what stages the balance payments are to be made.
- The responsibilities of the contractor which include debris hauling and guarantees.
- Warranty on workmanship and materials offered including the full contact details of every entity (manufacturer, distributor, contractor) involved and the warranty period each entity provides.
- Your rights of rescission to cancel the contract within three business days as allowed by the Federal Trade Commission.
- Rules for handling change orders, allowing changes to the original contract at a later stage, and about how it will affect the project schedule and cost.
- A comprehensive list of all raw materials and products that will be used and their specifications including size, color and brand name (if applicable).
See to it that you do not make huge advance payments. A professional kitchen contractor will charge a small percentage as advance and accept the balance on completion of the project.
Some contracts mention a payment schedule whereby you make payments on completion of each stage. This ensures that the contractor works to your satisfaction.
Check for the following before making the final payment:
- All work (including polishing, sealing, varnishing) is as per your satisfaction.
- All materials are as per the standards of the contract.
- Proof that all entities involved (suppliers, distributors, subcontractors) have been paid by the contractor in order to avoid any lien on your property placed by the supplier or contractor.
- All debris has been cleared.
If you face any problem after the full and final payment, ask your contractor to visit your house, inspect it and get it resolved. On non-compliance or unsatisfactory action on the part of your contractor you may contact the consumer protection cell, the Builders Association or the Remodelers Council of your locality or state. You can also approach the Better Business Bureau or a dispute resolution body of your locality. If your local newspaper has a consumer protection service they would publish your story and initiate necessary compensatory action.
Where to find kitchen remodeling contractors
It is our pleasure to partner with HomeAdvisor – the largest marketplace connecting homeowners to prescreened service professionals. Please click on the link below to describe your project and find top-rated kitchen remodeling contractors in your area. It’s quick, easy and most importantly FREE.