11 Tips for Hiring A Kitchen Renovation Contractor!
Shekhar Parikh is the Co-Founder of gharpedia.com and Director of SDCPL. He leads affordable housing projects at SDCPL, a leading design consultancy firm having strong national presence. He is a Civil Engineer with vast experience of 35 years. He is the core member of Editorial team at Gharpedia. He is also co-founder of 1mnt.in the first in Industry software for contractors’ billing.
The kitchen is the heart of any home where people meet for meals and conversations. In some places, it’s where kids do their homework and watch their devices. Every homeowner dream of having a well-designed kitchen. With the advent of new materials and latest design styles, it is natural that the homemaker wants the freshness and newness in her kingdom and starts thinking of renovating the kitchen. A remodeled kitchen adds value to your home. After completing renovation designs from interior point of view and choice of materials, execution is the biggest challenge, as you are living in the house. It is always advised to hire a good interior designer or an architect to prepare your renovation design. Ask them to give 3D images of how it will look on completion. If contractor is going to design, complete it first. Hiring a good kitchen renovation contractor helps you to turn your remodeling your ideas into reality. Well, this may not the case in India, but it does matter in the countries abroad where there are specialized kitchen renovation contractors. If you feel like you need to remodel your kitchen, you need to choose the best kitchen renovation contractor in Wellington or Wisconsin, New York, or Meshville, wherever you live. Here we are discussing tips applicable to many Western/ developed world. This may not be as well applicable in developing countries like India, Bangladesh, even Pakistan or even African countries.
How to Find the Best Kitchen Renovation Contractor?
Here are some useful tips to help you find the best kitchen renovation company.
01. Ask for Proof of Insurance
Request for the contractor’s insurance card. The best renovation contractors should have insurance policies that protect them against any liability in the event that something goes wrong. The same insurance should cover any subcontractors or employees who are handling the renovation project. Check with the insurance company to confirm that the insurance policy is valid.
02. Ask for Their Credentials
If you have a few recommendations to the best kitchen renovation experts, you need to do some preliminary research. Here, you should contact the contractor directly and check their website. Make sure the contractors have the required licenses by the state or local municipalities. Check whether they have any designations from professional associations in the renovations niche. Check their approval ratings or customer feedback on their sites or on sites like Gharpedia.
03. Conduct Interviews in Person
With a few candidates in mind, you need to narrow them down by doing interviews in person. You will get a better understanding of the contractors you are planning to hire. Create a list of questions to ask the contractors so you can gain a better insight on who you will be dealing with. Also, you need to observe how the contractor answers your questions. According to ‘Kitchen Central’ (Published in Hiring Guide For Finding And Retaining A Good Kitchen Remodeling Contractor), “When you’re choosing a licensed kitchen renovation contractor, ask each interviewee several questions about the current regulations to see how much they know about the local building codes. It’s easy to finish job quickly if kitchen remodeling contractors know what they are doing and know the rules and regulations.” That way, you can develop a good relationship right from the start. Make sure you choose a renovation contractor who is a good listener. Also, they should be trustworthy and honest.
04. Assess Their Manners and Appearance
Did the contractor drive the company vehicle to your home? You need to check how they keep the vehicle and equipment? For instance, do they bring all the tools required for the job or do they keep going back to fetch some missing tools? Is the vehicle well-labelled? Is the vehicle clean? The way the remodeling contractor handles the tools is a huge indication of how they will treat your kitchen or their work culture and methodology.
05. Team Strength for the Ongoing Project
Evaluate the team strength of the contractor for the ongoing project. Make sure, be it small or big project, the team should excel in the work. The team should work closely with the project supervision team to make sure that all the details in the planning stage are executed properly during renovation. Make sure that they have and they will employ right team in right no. to complete the job in given or promised time. Ensure in details about the ongoing works and his current capacity to handle your job in view of his resource’s strength and limitations.
06. Get Quotes / Terms of Payment / Rates/
Once you are done with conducting their interviews, evaluate their team strength and access their appearance. Ask the contractor to provide you a quote for the project. A quote must include the cost of materials required for remodeling as well as price for estimated number of labour hours. A contractor’s payment terms usually depend on the scope of work that is done. Generally, a contractor asks for the initial deposit of around 30-50% of the total budget. You should not give a significant portion of the money until the project is completed and all the details are as per your satisfaction. However, make sure to decide the terms of payment, before starting the work to avoid any disputes or delay later on.
07. Working Hours
Make sure and decide the working hours, as you might prefer to stay at home during renovation. So, it is mutually important for both.
08. Ask for References and Check Them Thoroughly
Once you have established a good rapport with a specific contractor, you need to ask for references and photos of their previous work. Basically, you need to know what the contractor has been doing at previous projects. Request for 2 or 3 references. Make sure they are kitchen renovations so you can have a rough idea of what to expect for your own project too. You can ask whether it’s possible to meet the previous customers in person.
09. Make sure Whether they will do all the Work in Series or Hire sub-contractor on Board?
Kitchen remodeling involves a number of things involving counter-top designs, wiring, flooring, plumbing, wall painting, changing light fixtures, and so on. Therefore, there are some contractors who work on all the aspects in series, while others do a sub-contract. Sub-contracting involves getting someone else who does a part of remodeling process, and if not coordinate properly, may delay the work.
10. Make a Contract
Once you have finalized the contractor and accessed the terms of payment, make sure to put it in writing. Make a legal contract which should necessarily include payment schedule, the process that he will carry on for remodeling. It must also include the start and stop dates of the project, the consequences of a delayed work, and hours of working time. Some homeowners will include daily penalties to the contractors’ payment if the project goes over deadline. According to ‘Kitchen Central’ (Published in Hiring Guide For Finding And Retaining A Good Kitchen Remodeling Contractor), “You need to have a written contract in place and make the kitchen remodeling contractor sign it before work begins.”
Also Read: Home Renovation: Important Things to Know!
11. Make sure that they remodel your kitchen on time
On an average, it takes 6-8 weeks for a kitchen renovation contractor to renovate a moderate-sized kitchen. It also depends on the scope of work they do. It is highly recommended to ask for time estimation needed from beginning till the end.
12. Stop Gap Arrangement
A temporary measure or a short-term fix is used till something better is obtained. The stop gap arrangement for the kitchen must be well thought and arranged until the new remodeled kitchen gets ready for use.
13. Renovation Contractor – Not too big, not too small
While selecting a kitchen renovation contractor, see that you have a right sized contractor. He should neither be too big nor too small to handle your job.
Summing up, always remember that your kitchen is a sensitive area of your home and should be handled by a clean, sensitive and cautious renovation expert. You need to do your research to find someone who presents themselves professionally. Make sure you follow your gut instincts right from the start to avoid any disappointments.