The kitchen is usually the focal point of your home, so if you’re going to renovate, you want to make sure the finished product looks great. The easiest way to make sure you’re happy with your new kitchen? Hiring the right contractor. Here’s what to look for in a kitchen contractor.
Without consistent communication between you and your pro, your dream kitchen reno will quickly turn into a nightmare. The good news is that you should be able to spot pros lacking communication skills early in your hiring process. During your vetting process, keep track of how long a pro takes to respond to calls, texts and emails. During your first meeting, ask how often they will be on-site and whether or not they will be your point of contact for the project. You can also ask how they prefer to be contacted in order to ensure you’ll get a response as fast as possible.
Hiring a pro who’s available at all times is great, but you should also make sure they’re paying close attention to what you say. During your reno, you’ll need to make dozens of decisions every week. It’s your contractor’s job to keep track of those decisions and any changes. During your interview, notice whether they write down what you say. This kind of attention to detail is hard to come by but so important to the success of your project.
Another factor to consider is how many times this contractor has managed projects of your size. A contractor and their team could be extremely skilled in their trade but lack the organization to manage a big project from start to finish. Companies with years of experience in big kitchen renovations are going to know the best trades, get the best deals, and know how to keep your project hiccup-free, so you’ll want to make sure you aren’t their first.
References, Reviews & Testimonials
Once they’ve told you all about their experience with projects like yours, you’ll want to get some references. Past clients will fill you in on the quality of their work and the level of customer service you should expect. Reach out to them directly and ask about scheduling, customer service, costs and timing. You can also ask about whether they had any issues and how they were resolved.
You may also want to take it a step further and visit past and current work sites. Past sites will be a good indication of how well you can expect their work to hold up. Check out the quality of the materials used, design, and lighting. Check out their current sites to make sure things look tidy and organized – you don’t want a messy project disrupting other parts of your home.
Remember that you don’t have to only rely on who they put you in touch with. Check out the company’s Star Score on HomeStars, browse their customer reviews and see more photos of their past projects. Look for any long gaps between projects and ask the pro about them. You want to make sure their reputation is solid, consistent and 100% legitimate.
Licences & Insurance
Your kitchen contractor should be licenced, bonded, insured and carry Workers Compensation Insurance. If you live in Ontario or Alberta and are considering hiring a general contractor, they also need a valid provincial license. Don’t just take their word on this – ask to see copies of the right licences and insurance numbers. If the company refuses to show proof or does not have the necessary licensing, find another company.
Knowing what to look for is just the first step in what should be a fairly long vetting process. You should meet candidates over the phone and in person, have them walk through the site and get bids from multiple companies before you hire. This may sound like a lot of work, but trust us when we say that it will all pay off when you’re left with a beautiful new kitchen. The first step is easy – use the banner below to get connected with kitchen pros near you.