It can be easy to get excited about a new kitchen, but before you rush out and hire the first person you meet, make sure you are asking the right questions.
A kitchen remodel can cost tens of thousands of dollars, so take your time and find the right team. When you work with the right contractor, you’ll have amazing results. These questions can help make it happen.
9 Questions to Ask Your Contractor Before Starting a Kitchen Remodel
1. How long have you been in business?
If a contractor has been in business for less than a year, it doesn’t mean they are unreliable. However, a contractor who has had a steady stream of business for a decade shows a well-earned reputation for reliability and consistency. The more years of business (not just years of industry experience) the more likely they are to maintain high standards and deliver quality results.
2. Is your bid a fixed price or an estimate?
When it comes to bids, you want to hear “fixed price.” This means the price of the project is set in stone and won’t be adjusted. If the contractor can’t provide a fixed price because there are too many unknowns, work with them to eliminate these variables so you have a better idea of the total cost.
3. Are You Licensed, Bonded, and Insured?
These are the big three that you want to see from a contractor: they should be licensed, bonded, and insured.
Licensing can be tricky because different states have different requirements for different contractors. In Arizona, you can use the state’s Registrar of Contractors to verify licensing information.
Bonding in similar to licensing. It means that the contractor has purchased a surety bond that helps protect homeowners if the contractor fails to meet certain obligations, like paying for permits, supplies, or subcontracting services.
Insured contractors provide further protection by giving you a safety net if any major damage occurs to the home. Say you are having landscaping done and a contractor breaks a large water pipe, flooding your basement. In this case, a contractor’s insurance will help cover the damage.
4. Who are your suppliers?
If you are having a kitchen or bathroom remodeled, it helps to know that your contractor is using high-quality supplies from the best manufacturers and distributors. Ask about tile shops, lumber yards, hardware stores, and other suppliers that they use.
5. Who will be supervising my project?
In the best case scenario, the answer to this question will be “me, the business owner.” Having the person who owns the business onsite everyday is a strong indicator that the project will be given the treatment it deserves. If the answer is “a foreman,” or a “team leader,” ask to meet this person before signing an agreement.
6. What are your general work hours?
You have a life to live even when your house is being renovated. Talk to your contractor about their daily routine, including what hours they work, whether they work during the weekends, and how late they stay on a project. If they can’t give you a specific, detailed work schedule, they could be disorganized. That’s a strong indication that your project may take longer than estimated. From start to finish, you should have a contractor who maintains a consistent, organized schedule.
7. Do you have workman’s comp for employees?
If one of your contractor’s employees drops a cinderblock on their foot or shoots themselves with a nail gun, workman’s comp insurance will pay for medical bills and lost wages. However, if that same employee is uninsured, you, the homeowner, could be liable for the cost. No matter how light and simple the project might seem, don’t work with any contractor who doesn’t provide workman’s comp insurance. (By the way, this is also a good indication of professionalism, as well-organized, high-quality contractors will provide this benefit.)
8. What professional organizations do you belong to?
While being a part of a professional organization is not a necessity, nor is it a guarantee for quality, it does show that a contractor is committed to staying at the top of their industry. Professional organizations can be national, state-wide, or local, and they often give a contractor more training, best-practices techniques, and networking connections.
9. What is the billing process for this job?
You might be uncomfortable talking about money and payments, but it needs to be addressed upfront. Make sure you have a clear understanding of the contractor’s billing process so you know when they expect to be paid, whether they require a down payment (which should be around 25%, no more), and how timely they expect invoices to be paid. Also, if the contractor requires full payment upfront, it’s time to find a better option.
Work with a Dedicated Remodeling Team
Contact JK Cabinets and let us help you have the kitchen you’ve always wanted.
When you work with our dedicated team, you’ll get excellent service and gorgeous results!