||As anyone who’s
ever worked with the wrong contractor can attest,
finding the right contractor for your kitchen
remodeling project may be the most important
aspect of the entire process. A good contractor
will see your project through from start to finish,
will help you determine and stick with your budget,
and will bring unparalleled expertise to the table.
When you begin the process of looking for a contractor,
it’s a great idea to ask family and friends
for referrals. You should look for someone that
a friend or family member has had a good work experience
with, as you can trust the opinion of people close
to you and the chances that the contractor will
also do a good job for you are very high. If you
don’t know anyone who has recently worked
with someone on a home renovation project, you can
also search online for reputable contractors in
With a list of candidates in hand, you should settle
in to do some initial homework regarding your prospective
contractors. For each contractor, check which certification
she or she holds, which licenses and in which states,
and which professional associations the contractor
belongs to. If you aren’t familiar with the
ins and outs of how contractors are classified,
it’s a good idea to learn a little bit about
the NKBA (National Kitchen & Bath Association)
and the NAHB (National Association of Homebuilders).
These two associations certify contractors based
on their levels of experience and certifications.
Different certifications are granted based on different
qualifications, so learning about certifications
and how one obtains them can be a great asset to
you as you search for the right contractor.
Chances are that after asking for referrals and
doing your research, you’re going to have
it narrowed down to a few candidates. At this point,
it’s time to meet each candidate and get a
sense of his or her professional attitude, past
work, and report with you and your family. Most
experts say that you should interview more than
one candidate, but not more than three. If you interview
too many, you might lose sight of the individual
qualities of each. Interviewing two or three candidates
gives you enough experience that you have some comparisons,
but not so much that you’re swimming in candidates.
If you hit it off with one particular contractor
and you think that he or she would be perfect for
the job at hand, you should ask him or her for professional
references, and you should check them. If a contractor
is unwilling to give you references, walk away.
You’re trusting the contractor with a big
job in your home. You need someone professional
who has other people who are willing to speak to
his or her professionalism.
Once the references are checked, you’re ready
to move forward with everything. Get an agreement
in writing with the contractor you decide to work
with. Understand exactly what your expectations
of the contractor are and what his or her expectations
are of the job. Transparency and clarity are the
keys to a successful working relationship.