How To Find Your Next Partner To Renovate Your Kitchen
Your kitchen needs an extreme makeover. You’ve known this for a while and you are finally in the position to make that happen. But the plans you have are far from a simple do-it-yourself project and something that is a far distance away from the limited handyman skills you currently possess. That means you will be hiring a professional home renovation contractor to do the job. But how do you do that? You can’t just hire the first name you come across. You have to carefully select someone who will do the job right the first time and get it done within a budget and in a reasonable amount of time so that your kitchen and home are not disrupted for longer than necessary. In this article, we will cover the things you need to consider when hiring a home renovation contractor to update your kitchen.
Step #1 – Build a List of Potential Contractors
You can’t hire a contractor to work in your kitchen if you don’t know who is available and who in and around your community does renovation projects. This requires some homework on your part. You can search online directories, ask friends and neighbors who have had renovations done for names of contractors, visit hardware stores requesting recommendations, scan phone books, contact industry associations, and look at online reviews. You should be trying to put together a list of a dozen or more names to start with. You will be shortlisting at one point but require several potential contractors’ contact information to begin with.
Step #2 – Comparing the Contractors On Your List
The first cut you will make to your list of contractors will be to drop the ones that do not specialize in home renovations. This may require some phone calls to confirm, but it will be worth the effort as you will end up with a solid list of contractors who provide the type of work you are looking for. Besides, if you find the right contractor to update your kitchen, what’s to say that you don’t call them again when you are working on changing the bathroom or building a deck? A good contractor you will want to use more often and also recommend to others. Your list will now feature those who can do the kind of work you need.
Step #3 – Examine the Qualifications
This is where you will be asking each contractor to provide some paperwork to you to verify their qualifications. The best piece of paper for that is copies of any certifications currently held by each contractor. Where you live will determine what certifications are required, so be sure to have this information before you start looking at this paperwork. The next piece of documentation you will need to get from the contractors on your list is their licensing paperwork. Between these two documents, you will be able to tell which contractors are legally able to take on your renovation project. Eliminate those that do not have this documentation.
Step #4 – Request Bids For Your Job
It is now time to lay out the details of your kitchen renovation and request each of the contractors to bid on the job. As part of each bid, you should request a general breakdown of costs ranging from materials to labor as those two components are important to see separated from the final cost. Another factor that should be included in the contractor’s bids is an approximate timeline. It won’t be precise, but something basic will give you an idea of how long the job could take. Additionally, it would be helpful to know on what date the work can begin at the earliest and how long the price quote is going to be honored.
Step #5 – Examine Examples of Finished Projects
As you mull over the list of quotes and the conditions attached to each, this is the perfect time to take a look at some of the renovation projects each of the contractors on your shortlist has completed. You should have between five and eight contractors still in the running so you will be making quite a few stops to get a close-up view of some of the work these professionals can do. Don’t be afraid to ask questions related to how long the work took to complete and if the project was done on time and if it was within budget or went over slightly. These details may be useful when you decide on which contractor to hire.
Step #6 – Check the Reference List
By now you will have whittled your list of potential home renovation contractors down to just a few. This is where you will want to do some extra cross-referencing with the assistance of the references provided by each contractor. Your phone calls do not need to be long or involved. Essentially, you are checking to see if the contractor met all time and budget commitments if the job site was kept tidy if problems were addressed quickly, and if the contractor arrived on the job at the right time and put in the number of hours as were projected. Extra things to check on include asking how the finished job has stood the test of time.
Step #7 – Hire the Contractor
This is your final step. By going through everything to this point, you should have a clear winner from the long list of home renovation contractors you started with. Give the winner the job and get out of their way! Remember, there should be a contract or some type of promissory documentation that both you and the contractor will have to fill out. Discuss a payment schedule in advance as there will probably be a need for the contractor to pick up supplies unless you are willing to do some of those things. Spell out exactly who does what and the project should progress smoothly and you’ll have your new kitchen in no time.
There are a lot of great professional contractors out there who can do great work in small spaces such as a kitchen or bathroom. Sadly, there are a lot of bad contractors out there as well. The seven-step method described above should help you to find a good contractor by effectively weeding out the ones you don’t want anywhere near your project. When you are spending your own money on improvements to your investment, it makes sense to get the best you can with the budget you can afford.
Marina Turea works as content manager at Digital Authority Partners, a Las Vegas-based digital marketing agency.