Investigating Your Kitchen Contractor

 By: Jason Swanson
Checking out kitchen contractors doesn't have to be a dreaded job when considering the investment you are making in your home through renovation. Investing a little time in the investigating of contractors will give you peace of mind, confidence in your contractor and the expected end. There are a few helpful steps to get you started and erase uncertainty and doubt from your mind. Sleeping well at night is an added bonus!

Always ask the contractor for referrals. This is the number one mistake homeowners make by simply taking the contractor word and not checking him out. Being victimized is an unwanted reality in today's world. Word of mouth is the best way to find a qualified and reliable contractor who's work you can check out. Ask relatives, friends and neighbors who they have used and had good relationships with. Ask questions like what made it a positive experience, how the contractor communicated with you and how he handled problems that arose. The big question is, would you use him again?

Be sure to check out their credentials through research of the recommended contractors. Make sure the contractors hold all the required licenses he needs to get the job done such as licenses from the state and local municipalities as well as designations from any professional associations...

Any remodeling professional worth his or her name, will have invested in the coursework and passed rigorous tests in order to earn a particular certification. Be aware, however, that all certifications are not created equal. Check out what it took to be certified in the area they say they are certified in.

There is nothing wrong with interviewing candidates so set up times to go over the plans you have and see if you and the contractor are on the same page and he will be willing to work with your ideas and at the same time, offer some helpful ones of his own. Do not go overboard with the quotes because it can get way too confusing when trying to make a decision. Write down questions ahead of time. Being prepared helps you to not forget things that are important to your project. The contractor should be willing to listen to you and offers the pros and cons of your design for your specific house. It's important to have good communication between you and your contractor eliminating hopefully any friction if the unexpected is to arise which in renovation, the surprises are likely.

Having good chemistry with your contractor is necessary because this is probably going to be someone you will be working with for quite sometime. You have to trust the people you are working with! Always require in the bid price the scope of the work, payment schedule, a site plan, schedule of primary construction tasks, change order clause, list for close out and express limited warranty. In addition, a clause about dispute resolution and a waiver of lien which would protect you from subcontractors putting a lien on the house in case the contractor did not pay. Hopefully everything will check out and you can move forward with confidence!
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