You know it’s time to update your kitchen, but you’re not sure where to start. The good news is that the right kitchen contractor will answer all your questions, handle the details, and leave you with a kitchen that looks great and functions perfectly. Now all you need to do is find a pro you know you can trust — here’s how to hire a kitchen contractor.
The first step in the hiring process is to find a few companies in your area that could take on your project. In the past, your options would have been limited to the few referrals you could get from family and friends. Today, HomeStars makes it easy to find various companies for any project. Simply enter your project information on HomeStars.com to get connected with up to three pros in your area.
Most people spend a significant amount of time in their kitchens, so if you’ve decided to renovate, you need to make sure your kitchen contractor is going to deliver. Reading reviews and doing your research are the easiest ways to feel confident in your hiring decision. Once you’ve compiled your list of companies you’re interested in, it’s essential that you read reviews. Check out their HomeStars profile to see customer reviews and browse photos of their past projects. Make sure reviews are recent and note the company’s response to positive and negative reviews. This is a good indicator of the kind of relationship you can expect with the company in question and make sure they are in good standing.
Once you’ve narrowed your list down to the top-rated companies, you should make sure that the company is up to date on all of its licenses and credentials. Your kitchen contractor should be licenced, bonded, insured and carry Workers Compensation Insurance. A quick online search of their license numbers will confirm that their documents are valid. Never hire a company that is uninsured or undocumented.
If the companies are well-reviewed and up to date on their licenses, it’s time to arrange to meet in person, ideally at the job site. This is an opportunity to get comfortable with one another, gauge their customer service, and get into the details of your project. Ask how often they will be on-site and whether they will be your point of contact for the project. Make sure they are engaged during your meeting. Do they ask questions? Are they friendly? Can you imagine working with this person for months?
At long last, it’s time to get quotes. Note that this step comes after you read reviews, check out credentials and interview candidates. No matter your budget, it’s always tempting to hire the company that gives the cheapest quote. Getting quotes exclusively from contractors you can trust limits the odds of hiring a bad contractor because they gave you a “great” quote. Remember that quotes should be itemized, detailed and clearly broken down. Don’t hesitate to ask for clarification if you have any questions.
The last step is to make it official. You should never start any home project without a contract — especially a kitchen renovation. Your contract should include the quote, a payment schedule, a construction schedule, details on how they will leave your property when the project is finished, what’s covered under warranty, and a plan to resolve disputes. This plan should also include a signed waiver explicitly stating that the company will not put a lien on your home if you miss a payment. If your contract has all of this information and you’re happy with the terms, it’s time to sign and get started.
Vetting pros may seem like a long process, but it’s also incredibly rewarding – especially when you’re finally standing in a brand new kitchen. With a project this size, you don’t want to cut corners. Get started on step one using the banner below.