Q: How should I choose a contractor to remodel my kitchen?
Hello! I am a remodeling novice. My husband and I just purchased our first home a year and a half ago. We figure we won't be moving anywhere anytime soon, and we would love to start making some real improvements. Having never hired a contractor before, I would love to have some pros or homeowners give me some pointers. Thank you!
A: "True" Merit Basis
Hiring a contractor can be a scary sort of thing. You are asking somebody that you don't know to make some major changes to your HOME. When you decide that it is that time to hire one, there are a few things you should look for. Make sure that you talk to more than one contractor, that way you can compare prices (but remember to compare apples to apples, they need to be clear as to what ALL they will be providing). Ask if they have done the type of work you are looking to have done, and see if you can see (in person or through pictures) their previous jobs. Ask to talk to the owners from those previous jobs. Make sure that you set out a CLEAR plan that you can follow with them step by step to make sure there aren't any problems along the way. If you don't understand something, don't breeze over it, make sure they explain it to you in a way that makes sense. Google their company name and their personal name to see if you can find any comments about their work. I hope this was helpful.
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A: Always do your research
There are plenty of quality contractors out there, and there are also plenty of "Joe-Blows" out there. You need to do your research. David suggested talking with homeowners from previous jobs-this is very important. Make sure it is a recent job, and ask to take a tour of the project and inspect the project with a fine tooth comb to make sure the work is quality. Check to make sure their contractors license is current, and if they are insured. ALWAYS GET A PERMIT. Lots of no-good contractors skip this important step because this requires them to go by code. A good rule of thumb is 10 years of experience or more. And of course READ THE CONTRACT CAREFULLY-know what is your liability and what is his. If something has been verbally promised, make sure it is in the contract.
Another great point from David is to get more than one quote. Get these quotes from contractors that have been referred to you from other homeowners (don't start flipping thru the phone book). When you get your quotes, don't make your decision based on the lowest number (even if it fits your budget). Choose the contractor who represents quality, let him know you like him, but the quote does not fit your budget, and start a conversation about what items you can exclude or what materials you can change to get the price where you are comfortable.
I hope this helps, and all the best with your search and your project.
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A: Choosing a kitchen remodel Contractor
Remodeling a kitchen can be a difficult, expensive, involved project, So where do you find a competent contractor?
Lets start with eliminating who we don't want.
1.Contractors who do less than 6 kitchens a year
2 Contractors who " specialize " in everything -- you have seen their trucks" we specialize in roofing,brickwork, basements, siding baths and kitchens(kitchens always seem to be last on their lists)
3. Contractors who tell you to go pick out a kitchen and they ll put it in for you
4. Contractors without an extensive portfolio and references
5. Contractors who --although they seem to fit the bill and the price is right -- you have reservations about your reservations are there for a reason
6 Contractors who ask to get paid in beer (just kidding)
7 Contractors who ask for cash deposits
After you weed out all of these the only two things left are Price, and personality-- I think the second is more important. The reason is this-- if you do a kitchen remodel, this man and his crew are going to be living with you and your family for three to five weeks depending on the scope of the project. Personality is very important.
I don,t think that it matters where you get your contractor as long as he fits your criteria --
But as far as the comments on sites that screen contractors-- the ones that I have dealt with only ask for a credit card number-- thats not much of a screening process.
For more tips on choosing a contractor visitwww.LongIslandKitchenAndBath.com look under kitchen tips
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A: Don't use Referral sites!!
I would strongly caution using referral sites, you more than likely get many more referrals than they say and most will be of contractors that can not get work referred from previous customers, I have signed up for many referral sites to check them out and most do not do there due diligence in proper screening, I have also signed up as customers on these sites to test them and have been bombarded by up to 10 different calls and e-mails and many were of contractors I would not allow on my street let alone into my home. You are much better off getting referrals from people you know or going to your local lumber yard
and talking to them, Not your local HD or Lowes.
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A: Use the Internet, Choose a site that Screens Contractors
Both contractors above are correct but you can also utilize the Internet. Some referral sites do some of the due diligence for you. Other sites are designed to help you get the best price and even offer privacy (they will only allow the contractor(s) to contact you when you have chosen them).
The way the most thorough of the sites work is: 1. get the most most detailed description of the scope of work (get drawings/layouts as required) 2. Get a price quote. 3. Take pictures of the project. 4. Post/upload them all. 5. Bids will be sent to you with links, references & contracts of the submitting companies. 6. Choose your contractor and start your project.
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