As you search for a kitchen-remodeling contractor, it’s important to keep two goals in mind: You need an outstanding finished product, and you also want top-notch service. Your contractor will be an important part of your life during your remodel, so look for someone you enjoy working with and who deserves your confidence.
The best way to begin is to ask friends, family members and co-workers for recommendations. If they praise a contractor, put that person on your list. If their report is lukewarm or they experienced problems with their contractor, keep looking.
Choose two or three contractors, and make appointments to interview them in person. Here are six top points to consider when selecting a kitchen-remodeling contractor:
1) Licensing and Insurance. Find out whether the company is licensed and insured, and ask to see documentation. Contractors without proper licensing and insurance may not be able to cover the cost of damage that can occur on the job.
2) Experience. Make sure the contractor has worked on projects similar in scope to your job. Especially look for experience in remodeling kitchens, which can require a different skill set than adding an office or redoing a garage.
3) References. Reputable contractors will be happy to put you in touch with their past clients. Find out whether those homeowners were happy with the service and the quality of work. Also ask whether the contractor communicated well, met deadlines and stayed within budget.
4) Length of Project. A kitchen remodel disrupts your life, so ask how long the project will take. Responsible contractors provide you an accurate time estimate, which is particularly important if you’re trying to remodel before a special event.
5) Written Bid. Get detailed cost estimates so you can compare apples to apples when selecting a contractor. Ask as many questions as necessary to understand everything the price includes and doesn’t include, such as appliances and materials.
6)Contract. After you make your decision, carefully look over the contractor’s written contract for essentials including the scope of the work, estimated completion date, payment schedule and warrantees.
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