Questions to ask your Kitchen Remodeling Contractor
Questions to Ask your Kitchen Contractor.
Don’t let yourself get ripped-off!
The questions you ask your kitchen contractor are very important. One of the largest factors in the success or failure of your kitchen remodeling rests with the remodeling contractor you choose. Hiring a kitchen contractor is also what produces the most anxiety for homeowners during a kitchen remodel. It’s understandable since most homeowners have little or no experience in hiring workers.
Communication is the key to a successful remodel. Surprisingly, most home improvement contractors admit they are not asked enough questions by homeowners. Most questions asked only pertain to when the job will start or end, and how much the new cabinets or total project will cost.
Those questions to ask your kitchen contractor are good,but naturally much more is needed to hiring someone to do work in your home. Contractors know you need to ask questions and they expect you to. So speak up!
You will want a experienced contractor who is honest, fair, trustworthy and qualified. You will want contractor who is doing this for a living and has relationships with trustworthy professionals. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the most important things to consider and the right questions to ask your kitchen contractor.
- Start conversation with your contractor by asking questions about the company’s kitchen remodeling experience and business practices like: “How long have you been in business? How many kitchen remodeling jobs like this one have they done in the past year? May I have a list of references from these past remodeling jobs? What percentage of your business is repeat or referral business?” You need to know if this contractor is experienced in remodeling projects like yours. Does he have a lot of general kitchen remodeling experience, that other homeowners have trusted him with? Are those prior customers happy with the work he or she did for them? Would they recommend him to others for remodeling work? Always check the company out with the BBB (Better Business Bureau). This is very easy to do online.
- Are you licensed? Do you carry workers compensation and liability insurance? Always verify this information by calling the agency. A copy of an insurance certificate does not show if the policy is current. An expiration date doesn’t tell you if the policy has been cancel. Who will be the project supervisor for this job? Who will be working on my project? Are they subcontractors or employees? What are their qualifications? How long have they been working for you?
- Are you a member of a national SEN Design Group or NKBA Trade Association? Have you earned any type of certification? Find out what kind of coursework and testing it took to become certified.
- Ask if the remodeler offers a “cooling off” period, usually three days, to give the customer a chance to think things over and change his or her mind. Often unscrupulous remodelers ask customers to sign a waiver of that right.
- Do you pull building permits? Be on guard if a contractor does not pull the necessary permits or wants to take them out in your name. Not pulling a permit means the work will not be inspected to assure that the work meets all building codes. If the permit is in your name you will be responsible for passing inspection.
When Checking References Ask Past Clients:
- Did the contractor finish the job within budget? If not, what caused the overage?
- Were you informed of the costs as they came up?
- Was he or she easy to work with? Did plans change while work was in progress? How did the contractor handle them? Was he or she flexible? How did the contractor handle setbacks? Was his behavior mature and professional?
- Was he respectful and polite? Was his behavior professional overall? What was the crew like; were they respectful? Did they clean up after themselves each day? Did they work regularly until the job was complete?
- Would you hire this contractor again?
Asking the right questions is necessary but also pay attention to your instincts and what information might be missing.
Beware if the remodeler exhibits any of these red flags:
- Remodeler is unwilling to provide you with phone numbers where he can be reached during and after work hours or on weekends. In case of an emergency you will need to know how to reach him.
- He or she puts “undue” pressure on you for an immediate decision without giving you time to think it over. If the price goes up after you, or he, walks out the door – keep walking. This is not good business practice.
- The client references the remodeler gives you are difficult or impossible to contact.
- The remodeler wants the full payment up front. The remodeler should allow you to reserve a portion of the payment until the work is done to your satisfaction.
- He or she seems to be on shaky ground financially. He may go out of business before the project is complete.
- The remodeler gives you a price much lower than other qualified remodelers. This could mean the remodeler is “low-balling” and will try to get the job by giving a low estimate and will then find reasons to increase the price later. Or it could just be that the remodeler doesn’t know how to properly estimate the project. Either way it is never a good idea to go with the lowest bidder or the lowest estimate.
We hope these questions to ask your kitchen contractor were helpful. Please feel free to contact us for a free consultation. Also consider stopping by our showroom to see our beautiful Craftsmanship in person. We are located in Bonita Springs off Old 41 at 25241 Bernwood drive Unit 7, Bonita Springs, FL 34135. We look forward to meting you.