Are you considering hiring a contractor to remodel your kitchen? Do you find yourself realizing there are important questions to ask and critical things to find out only to still feel unsure about what you need to ask and what you need to know? Then look no further. As an average kitchen remodeling job costs around $20,000 and an upscale job costs closer to $80,000, it is important to do your homework and treat your first meeting with a potential contractor like a job interview. Here are six important questions to ask your contractor before starting your kitchen remodel.
Are you licensed and insured?
This is important! Your state’s consumer affairs office or the local government office should have the contractor’s current license on file. Inquire if their office has ever received any complaints about the contractor’s services and ask for a copy of the insurance certificate.
Can you develop a detailed proposal and provide me with an American Institute of Architects contract?
After you ensure that you have an architectural blueprint of your desired kitchen design, get everything in writing. Create an itemized list of items including, but not limited to:
- Labor and material costs
- The responsible party for obtaining permits and scheduling inspections
- An agreed upon penalty if the job is not completed by its deadline
- An agreement to have change orders in writing as well
- An agreement to withhold 10% of the contractor’s fee until they address any issues and make final corrections
What subcontractors will you be working with?
Your contractor should provide you with a complete list of everyone who will be working in your home (i.e., carpenters, cabinet specialists, countertop experts, and floor installers). All workers, like your contractor, should have disability insurance and coverage under the laws for worker’s compensation.
What is your feedback on the kitchen design?
Getting your contractor’s opinion on things is a clever idea as it shows their interest in the project and their willingness to communicate with you. If the contractor does not say much or if it seems like they are in a hurry, move on to the next one. You can ask simple things like what they think of the kitchen island idea, or the color of the backsplash. See what they say and observe how they communicate.
Do you have any shopping discounts for appliances?
Most contractors receive 10% trade discounts on appliances. As a courtesy, most good contractors will offer this to you up front. However, if you bought your own kitchen appliances, feel free to ask your contractor if they will pick up your newly purchased items and deliver them to your home at no extra cost.
How often should we meet to discuss the renovation’s progress?
At a minimum, plan to be at your home with the contractor at least once a week. The more the contractor and workers see you, the more likely they will not bounce back and forth between you and their other jobs.
Now, with all that said, you must feel confident about what you need to ask and what you need to know about a potential contractor. Knowing the answers to the six critical questions listed above can be the difference between an enjoyable kitchen remodeling experience or a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Contact us today and we will happily answer your questions, address your concerns, and tell you anything you need to know.