Now that you have a good idea of what you need, want, and like, it’s time to start getting estimates. You have many choices to make when you’re planning a home remodeling project. You could try the DIY way, hire a neighbor or the friend of a friend, or as we recommend, work with a trusted firm. Here’s how to hire the right professional for you.
Choosing a Kitchen Remodeling Professional
Review sites are an excellent way to find reputable and reliable professionals. Angie’s Lists, Houzz, even Yelp can help you build a list of remodeling or refacing companies to investigate. Be sure you’re specifying your area when you search.
Once you have a list, then narrow it down to a selection that sound like a good match. You’re looking for local remodelers that have the right skills and experience and have their professional licenses. Look for remodelers that are experts on your wants and needs list. If they only do huge custom kitchens in the finest mahogany, they might not be able to come up with solutions that are both creative AND cost-effective.
The details: Licensing? Look them up with the Better Business Bureau. There may also be state-based groups, like the Maryland Home Improvement Commision (MHIC), that can vouch for contractors in your area.
Ask what they specialize in.Have they remodeled (or refaced) kitchens that look like what you want? Either look at their work online, or ask them to bring photos of their completed work with them. Of course they haven’t done YOUR kitchen before, but an experienced company should have some previous experience with most styles. Sites that let you search local professionals and view their work include Houzz and Porch. You can also find images on Angie’s List profiles or social media profiles.
Part of having a consultant come by for an estimate is so they can asses your individual situation and give you a specific evaluation or quote. The rest is for you to get a feel for the company. How do they communicate? Do they hide limitations, or are they frank with you? Can you be confidant that your goals will be their goals? It’s important to be confidant in your remodeling professional, so ask all your questions.
Why so much effort?
From time to time, we receive a call from someone who made the wrong decision on their remodeling contractor. While it’s usually caused by things like shopping on price alone or hiring an unlicensed contractor or any number of other errors, the result is a project poorly done. Worse, it can result in an incomplete project and a contractor who won’t show up or return calls.
It’s almost impossible to find a reputable company willing to correct or complete someone else’s work, so making the right decision up front is critical. (Click here to read of a kitchen remodel gone horribly wrong, and how it was saved!)
A licensed professional with a history of success and accountability is worth every penny. A little homework on this step can prevent heartache down the road.
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