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How to select contractors for your kitchen remodeling project
Possibly one of the most critical decisions you would take while going in for a major kitchen remodeling project would be the choice of your contractor. Choosing the wrong guy can lead to inflated costs, frustrations and an unsatisfied end result. Choose the right guy and he will make a difficult job look easy, choose the wrong guy and he would make the best job into a horror show.
Where to look for contractors or subcontractors?
While hiring any contractor, always compare quotes from at least three prospects. This will give you a good idea of the industry rates and what to expect. If a contractor is reputed, expect to pay more.
The advertising pages of your local phone book are a good place to start. Local newspapers and magazines also feature ads. Some contractors find the fees to be listed in the phone book too high. Being on a limited budget they instead advertise in papers and local magazines.
Many contractors display signs with their company names and phone numbers when doing a job, as it gives them free publicity. If you spot a sign you can also probably gain permission to inspect the work they are involved with.
You could also use online contractor matching services which have recently become very popular. Just type in your pin code and project requirements and the local contractors contact you with quotes. Some websites also let you read reviews of contractors given by past customers.
What to look for while hiring a contractor.
Some common attributes which you should look for in a contractor are:
Licensing: The contractor you hire should have a license to the conduct business. Many trades, such as plumbing, heating, and electrical contracting require special licensing. Don’t associate yourself with contractors who are not properly licensed. If in doubt always check with your local code and licensing authorities to determine which licenses are needed for a particular trade.
Insurance: Many contractors don’t have insurance as it is expensive due to the nature of their job. Hiring a contractor who is not uninsured can turn into a risky situation. (Depending in which country you live in).
Experience: always brings expertise. Ask the contractors for their past work and any special remodeling projects undertaken. Contractors who usually take new construction projects need not be skilled kitchen remodeling contractors. The difference in the two projects is significant.
Business Stability: The contractor business is susceptible to varying changes with swings and trends in the economy. Before entrusting your money to a contractor get a feel if they are a healthy company.
Lastly beware of sales hype: Many businesses are skilled at making excellent promises but always fail to deliver real value. Ask for past projects completed –some of them do keep photographs. It is never a good idea to depend solely on one contractor for your project. Before starting out make sure to have 3-4 contractors on your contact list if in case the original guy fails to turn up due to some reason.
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