Hiring a Kitchen Remodeling Contractor
The process of hiring a kitchen remodeling contractor to renovate your kitchen doesn’t have to be stressful or terrifying. By this time you have already thought about exactly what you want and need, and done your homework, going through several different companies to determine the few that might be best for you.
The Interview Process
The next step in choosing your contractor is, quite simply, the job interview. Bring in those companies who sit at the top of your list and conduct an interview.
You want to make sure that the contractor you hire is qualified, personable, has a good reputation, and will deliver high-quality work. The best way to do this is to sit down with them and ascertain exactly how they can meet your kitchen remodeling needs.
Beyond the Brochure
Remember, every one of the contractors you bring in to interview is going to produce a professional brochure that shows off their services, usually with photos presenting the kitchen of your dreams. These brochures look lovely but may not be 100% accurate.
The sales brochure will have photos that were taken from ideal angles with professional lighting, and may even be stock photos of the kind of work the contractor claims to be able to do. These brochures are the first step in the interview, not the end.
Don’t be afraid to ask the representative for photos of actual, completed remodeling projects and material samples for things like cabinet and drawer materials, refacing samples, and the like. When you look at these samples, compare them to the brochure and see how they look in person.
Prepare a list of questions you want to ask the contractors before they even come in for the interview process. Aside from the usual, find out about the project supervisor and employees, what kind of insurance they have, if they have references, and how many similar projects they’ve done in the past year.
Ask for credentials. Does your prospective contractor belong to the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) or the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB)? These are professional associations that provide courses and credentials which speak volumes as to the quality of work you will receive. Ask to see any certifications they might have. Are they members of the local builders or remodelers association, chamber of commerce, or other related business organizations?
Appearance and Listening
Equally important is that you take stock of how the salesperson appears and acts. Are they in soiled jeans and a threadbare T-shirt? If so, this might be an indication of the quality of work you’ll get. It’s acceptable for a contractor to dress like this while working, but not during an interview. If they are dressed professionally, that’s a sign that they care about their presentation.
Finally, gauge whether they really listen to your questions and concerns, and take the time to answer them in detail. Remember, this is a long-term relationship that you are building and you want to make sure that the person who you eventually hire is someone with whom you’re comfortable and you can trust.
If you would like more information about finding the right kitchen remodeling contractor, see Kitchen Remodelers – Final Thoughts on Choosing the Right One and Six Questions to Ask Contractors For Your Kitchen or Bathroom Remodeling Project.
And be sure to research kitchen remodeling costs and their return on investment as you consider your kitchen remodeling project.