Are you planning a kitchen remodeling project for your Atlanta home? Before you start shopping for new appliances and fixtures, it’s important to make sure you’re clear on essential details, such as your budget, the changes you want to see, and the contractor to hire.
Finding the right contractor can spell the difference between a seamless job and a costly disaster. You can find quite a few qualified professionals on the internet or get referrals from friends, but it’s best to meet a shortlist of candidates and ask them the right questions before signing a contract with one. This will help you avoid unpleasant surprises down the road and guide you in choosing the best professional for you.
Here are some of the questions to ask:
1. How long have you been in the business?
Working with a newbie is perfectly fine. There is no substitute for experience, however, particularly for a job that requires intricate planning and comes with high stakes. An experienced contractor has the skills, knowhow, and network to make sure the project is completed on time and within your budget. They know which problems to anticipate and how best to avoid them or find a quick solution.
2. What kind of contract do you use?
No doubt, there should be a written and signed contract that can protect both you and the contractor. Ask the contractor if they use a cost plus or a fixed price contract. A cost plus contract is more common. This covers the total cost of the materials, labor, and overhead, plus an added amount for the contractor’s fee, which may be a percentage of the cost or a fixed fee.
A fixed cost contract means exactly that — you pay only the amount the contractor defines at the onset. This puts the burden on the contractor to be accurate with their estimates and do a thorough assessment of the project before they provide a quotation.
3. How long will the project take?
Contractors often have a ballpark answer to this question instead of a definite one, but it will give you an idea of what to expect. Ask the contractor to provide you with a schedule for important milestones so it’s easier to see if they’re on track to meeting their declared timetable. It’s also important to ask how they handle any delays in the schedule, and if they will conduct an inspection for structural damages before committing to a timeline.
4. Are you licensed and insured?
Contractors are legally required to have a license, so before hiring one, ask to first see a copy of the document. You can also check on the contractor’s standing with the issuer of the license. It’s important as well to make sure the firm carries a general liability insurance to protect you from any lawsuit should someone get injured in the course of the construction.
5. Who will be coming to my home to supervise the work?
In many instances, the person you initially meet and sign a contract with will not be supervising the job on site. Often, a project manager or supervisor is assigned to do that. While that’s common practice, it’s best to know from the onset who you should talk to about the project, especially when issues come up or you have certain concerns. Ask as well how you can get in contact with that person.
An experienced and professional contractor will welcome your questions and provide you with thorough and honest replies. Call us for your kitchen remodeling project. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
5 Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Remodeling Contractor, Forbes.com
Working Well with Contractors: 15 Questions that Prevent Fraud and Ensure Satisfaction, HomeAdvisor.com