Wondering how to choose a kitchen remodeling contractor?
Are you so over your old kitchen and dreaming of a new kitchen but nervous about hiring the right contractor?
Even if you have a professional contractor, how can you be sure they are a good fit to create the kitchen of your dreams? How do you know your potential contractor will deliver high-quality work and your dream kitchen?
Take it from the daughter of a contractor, it’s in my blood to love home renovations, and I consider myself very lucky because I don’t have to look for a contractor.
But I know this is not the case for most, and sleazy contractors are out there, so here is the best advice to make sure you don’t hire one!
Disclaimer: Please remember that I am a DIY enthusiast, not a professional. This article is for general information use and is not a substitute for professional advice. Before taking any actions, consult a professional! Additionally, this may contain affiliate links where I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using my link. All opinions and recommendations are my own. I truly appreciate you taking my suggestions and using my links. Thank you for being so supportive!
Planning Kitchen Renovations
Kitchen renovations are a lot. A lot of time, a lot of decisions, a lot of work, and a lot of money. The extent of your kitchen remodeling work may vary, but if you’re looking to hire a contractor, it may involve new appliances, electrical work, and custom cabinets, which are just the major decisions.
The last thing you want is to invest so much into this renovation project and end up with something less than perfect. Planning as much as you can ahead of time is the key to ending up with the best kitchen. The more you can plan, the better prepared you are to answer your contractor’s questions, and it also gives you time to shop for deals.
>> If you’re considering floating shelves as part of your kitchen remodel, the FAQs’ answers are in this post!
Your contractor will be an excellent resource for how to get the actual work done, but the overall look and design of your kitchen are ultimately up to you. The first step before hiring a contractor is to write down everything you want to accomplish from the remodel, including functional components and aesthetics. Some practical ideas are if you need more outlets, more counter space, more food storage, etc. Aesthetic changes include paint color, open shelving, lighting, cabinet types, hardware, and so on.
The next step is to start your search for an experienced contractor and using the following tips will help you find and secure the best contractor.
The type of contractor you choose for your kitchen remodel depends on personal preference, budget, and availability. There is a remodeling company, general contractor, or family members, and each route has its pros and cons.
When selecting a remodeling company, be sure to know and have met the specific person who will be handling your project. You may like the company but not the person you’ll be dealing with, and this would not be ideal when working on a high-stress, expensive remodeling project.
When selecting an independent general contractor, be sure to know that this is something they have completed before and can provide references and before and after pictures.
Using a family member as your kitchen remodeler can be ok if they have experience with such a project. But if they are not, just make sure you trust this person; you know they are handy enough and can handle the scope of work you want them to do.
How to Find a Good Contractor
They are many ways to find a kitchen remodeling contractor:
- Online reviews– using customer reviews are super important, especially if it is from someone you know and trust, so with that in mind, you can check online reviews but also understand that you should take this type of review with a grain of salt.
- Angie’s List– is a paid resource, a valuable online resource, and an excellent place to check if you don’t have any other leads for a kitchen remodeling contractor.
- Work of mouth– is the best way to find a contractor. Do you have a neighbor or friend who recently used a local contractor to work on similar projects? This type of referral is the absolute best because you can go and see their work.
What to Expect from a Contractor
There are some standards regarding what you can expect from a contractor during the remodeling process. A good contractor will be knowledgeable in local codes and required licenses. But just know that it varies whether or not the contractor or the homeowner is responsible for obtaining these permits.
A free consultation is standard; most contractors do not charge for coming out to review the scope of the work and give you price estimates, including labor costs and how long the project should take.
A payment schedule is also something a good contractor will provide. Red flags include the contractor asking for the entire amount upfront.
Communication style is another critical element of a good contractor. Open and continuous communication is key to you being happy for the duration of the project and also to get the kitchen of your dreams. A good contractor will have frequent check-ins with you to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Hiring a Kitchen Contractor Tips
Here are the best tips and important things to consider when hiring a contractor for your remodeling project:
- Quality contractors are hard to come by, and you will have to wait a fair amount of time before they can fit your project into their schedule. Especially a more extensive project such as an entire kitchen remodel.
- You can ask the contractor about liability insurance, and I suggest you do. The contract should have a policy that protects both you as the homeowner and them as the business owner.
- Years of experience are important to consider, but so is their direct experience in the project you are hiring them to complete. For example, the general contractor has been in business for over 20 years, but they have never done a kitchen compared to someone who has been in business for five years and only does kitchen remodels. Who would you choose? This is not hard; use your common sense; the answer is the contractor with the most direct experience.
- Work ethic is critical, and red flags are if the contractor arrives late to your initial appointment or if they suddenly stop communication after you have made a payment.
Things to Avoid When Hiring a Kitchen Remodeling Contractor
The last thing you should ever do is take the contractor with the lowest bid. Sure, it’s attractive to pay less, especially when you’re spending so much on a project such as an entire kitchen makeover, but I genuinely believe that you pay for what you get. There is more that goes into deciding on the best kitchen remodeling contractor, and there is the project estimate, experience, communication style, and overall fit with you as the homeowner.
The best candidate may end up being the one with the lowest bid, but just don’t let this be the deciding factor. Make sure you do your diligence and ensure the other boxes about their experience, communication style, and personality fit are also checked.
I’d love to see how you used these ideas in your home; tag me in a photo on Instagram @tantrumsandtools, and I’ll share your results in my stories!
PS. Want more ideas and inspiration?
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Jake WilliamsJanuary 6, 2023 at 4:37 am
I’ve been looking for a contractor to remodel the house, but until I arrived here, I was unable to select a qualified service provider. It’s fantastic that you mentioned verifying the potential remodeling contractor’s liability insurance to ensure that the company could cover costs if any damage occurred. This idea is excellent. This is going to taken into account while I search for a remodeling service provider. Thanks.
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