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Kitchen Remodeling Contractors: Six Reasons Why You Need One; Ten Steps for Hiring One

by Susanne Clemenz

When to Call In the Troops

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If your kitchen remodel involves replacing existing floors or countertops, or refacing cabinets without changing the layout, you can handle it yourself. But some areas are beyond everyday expertise. Hiring kitchen remodeling contractors is advisable if:

  1. You're moving and/or replacing walls or windows.
  2. You're enlarging the kitchen into another space.
  3. Your partial remodel involves many elements. A kitchen remodeling contractor knows good subcontractors, understands work flow scheduling, and gets you better prices.
  4. You have structural problems like dry rot, mold, or termites.
  5. You have storm, fire, or flood damage.
  6. Your kitchen functions poorly but fixing it seems overwhelming.

Who's the Right Kitchen Remodeling Contractor?

Your project costs both time and money, so be sure to:

  1. Ask friends, neighbors, home improvement employees, architects, and kitchen designers for referrals.
  2. Visit contractors' completed work. Talk privately with the owners.
  3. Check for a current license and appropriate insurance.
  4. Contact the Better Business Bureau about complaints.
  5. Narrow your choices down to three contractors.
  6. Show them your kitchen and your drawings for the project.
  7. Crucial--note the quality of communications during this period. Eliminate those who don't return calls or miss appointments.
  8. Get a full range of rough estimates of kitchen remodeling costs from each contractor.
  9. Make any adjustments, then draw up a contract covering all work and every choice.
  10. Include estimated completion date, and financial penalties for avoidable delays.

Following these steps helps create a smooth-flowing project--and the satisfaction of having your ideal kitchen.



About the Author

Suzanne Clemenz designed her passive solar home and interacted with the contractors every day of the 6-month project. She started drawing floor plans and making models in the early '70s after purchasing several building lots. Recently she expanded and

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