It's so important to learn what to do when selecting contractors.
We received this article from Jatin Dhillon whose website is outdoor-kitchens.org. He also sent in the article 5 Great Tips When Looking For Contractors At Bargain Prices. Jatin has a great website and we highly recommend it.
So are you ready for some great ideas? Here's the article:
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.
In the construction industry there are two types of contractors: General contractors and subcontractors. General contractors will look after each and every aspect of your kitchen remodeling project. Sub contractors on the other hand, perform a specific task in the remodeling project. Subcontractors for a kitchen remodeling project are tile contractors, electricians, cabinet installers, insulation installers, wallpaper hangers, painters and plumbers, heating mechanics, drywall hangers and rough carpenters (who do the framing work).
If you want to save yourself the hassle of hiring sub contractors you can easily hire a general contractor for your kitchen remodeling project though their fees are generally higher. General contractors actually hire sub contractors under them who do the work. If you are tight on the budget or want to manage the project yourself you might have to deal with sub contractors yourself.
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.
Possibly the safest way to hire a quality contractor is to simply ask your friends or someone from your neighborhood for past testimonials. Good work never goes unnoticed and you can easily leverage on past experiences of others. Moreover you can also see live examples of projects completed which will give you an idea of what to expect.
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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