Vetting Your New Kitchen Remodeler

Hiring A Competent Kitchen Remodeling Contractor Is Not Easy

It may appear difficult to find the perfect contractor for a kitchen redesign, but it does not have to be. A few simple procedures can make the difference between having complete faith in a contractor and having doubts that keep you awake at night.

Always Request Referrals

The greatest way to find a qualified specialist to do the project is by word of mouth. Inquire of relatives, friends, and neighbors about people with whom they have had positive experiences. Also inquire about what made the experience positive, how the contractor addressed issues, and whether he or she would hire the same contractor again.

Start By Looking At Those Credentials

Conduct some preliminary research, whether it's a telephone conversation or a visit to the remodeler's site, with the recommendations in mind. Check to see if the contractor has all of the requisite licenses from the state and local governments, as well as any professional designations from organizations such as the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), or the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB). To achieve a specific certification, any remodeling specialist worth his or her salt will have completed training and passed rigorous assessments. However, please remember that not all credentials are created equally.

Candidates Must Be Screened

Set up meetings with the candidates you've whittled it down to. Is there an ideal number of contractors to interview?

On NARI's website, you can find a list of questions to ask prospective contractors. The way a contractor responds to queries is crucial, but communication is two-way.

The choice of a contractor is also influenced by fit and the ability to relate well.

Review The List Of References

Request to see some of the contractor's completed jobs once a rapport has been built. Request references and then contact to check them if they pass muster.

Get It Down On Paper

After you've found a contractor who appears to be a good fit for the work, check over the paperwork he or she has produced for you. Do they appear to be professionals? Examine the contract carefully. Is it reasonable and balanced? Make sure the written contract includes a bid price and payment schedule, the statement of work, floor plans, a sequenced schedule of main construction activities, a change-order clause, a written procedural list for close-out, an express limited warranty, a dispute resolution clause, and a waiver of lien, which prevents subcontractors and suppliers from putting a lien on a house if the contractor fails to pay their invoices. If everything appears to be in order, feel free to sign on the dotted line.


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