Know Who to Talk to When Comparing Kitchen Remodeling Contractors
So you’ve gone through the interview process, talked with several contracting services, visited the showroom and picked out just the right combination of fixtures, flooring, countertops and wall treatments for your perfect kitchen. You’ve called the home office and gathered information about credentials and insurance. You’re ready to go, yes?
Not quite! Now you’ll want to gather information on the reputation of the firm you’re ready to hire for your kitchen remodeling project. It’s very easy for a company, especially one that’s been in business for a while, to put together a very impressive sales package. The question is, how do you verify all of their claims?
Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is the single best way to verify any kitchen remodeling company’s claims regarding the quality of their products and services. Do what you can to talk to past customers and get references. Most good kitchen remodeling or cabinet refacing companies will be able to provide you a list of references from past customers, and this is a great start.
References and Testimonials
Ask the salesperson, contractor, or company representative if they can provide a list of prior customers with whom you can speak to gather references and testimonials regarding their work. If the salesperson refuses to provide a list of references and testimonials, this may be a red flag. Sometimes the representative will cite privacy concerns or make other official-sounding excuses to pass off this refusal, but you should still beware.
Even if they do provide such a list, however, it’s clear that the references and testimonials provided by the company will be good ones. It’s now time to do a bit of additional research to find references from customers that were not provided directly by the company salesperson. This can be accomplished by researching referral sites like Angie’s List or ripoffreport.com. You can also check their reputation through the Better Business Bureau. Kitchen remodeling projects are substantial investments for homeowners, so most aren’t bashful about letting others know the good or bad experiences they may have had.
Friends and Family
Do you have any neighbors, friends, or family members that have used the kitchen remodeling firm to do work in their home? If so, these can be a great first-person source for information on how the work holds up under scrutiny, and how amicable the company is to deal with.
If you don’t have sources close to you, conduct an Internet search on the kitchen remodeling contractor. As mentioned, the Better Business Bureau can be a great source of references and testimonials. There are also review sites on the internet that specialize in these sorts of things. Read these reviews carefully and weigh negative reviews against positive ones.
Is the negative review a true reflection of poor service or is it just a disgruntled consumer with an axe to grind? Likewise, are positive reviews sounding just a bit too scripted and redundant in what they say? This can be a red flag as well.
Consider Your Information
In the end, it comes down to you. Once you’ve carefully weighed your options, go with your gut. Prior customers can provide important information on the materials and work, the personality of employees and contractors, and the overall quality of the services provided. However, if you are going off of reviews you find online, you’ll need to be careful to consider the accuracy of the reviews you read before making a decision.
If you would like more information about finding the right kitchen remodeling contractor, see Finding Kitchen Remodeling Contractors for Your Kitchen and Bath Remodeling Project 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.