Hire a professional to manage your kitchen remodeling or you’re likely to get burned
Many homeowners think they’ll save money by being their own general contractor, but in most cases, you’ll end up losing money versus saving money. Plus, what’s the cost of your sanity? I don’t know about you, but with kids and the job I don’t need anymore stress in my life, so having someone handle the whole job is well worth it. Dan Walker of Heritage Construction Specialists says the most important reason to hire a company or general contractor is to make sure everything is done to code. “You can get into real trouble if you pick the wrong team to remodel your home,” says Walker, “if everything is not done to code, it’s not only dangerous, but you’ll have trouble selling your home down the road after an inspection.” Walker also suggests you ask for a copy of their contractors license and insurance certificate before you sign on the dotted line.
Remodeling your kitchen requires a well-coordinated schedule and a team of professionals that are use to working with each other. You really need a “kitchen remodeling quarterback,” says Ron Jones, president of Stone Creek Furniture.” Jones also knows the importance of hiring a reputable company to do the work. “Many of our kitchen customers have bought furniture from us before, and when they find out we do kitchen remodeling, they’re excited because they finally found a company they can trust to get the job done right.” Jones adds ” having a good reputation and being in the valley for over 19 years really makes a huge difference for consumers, because either they’ve been burned in the past or they know neighbors who have been burned by “fly by night” contractors.”
So how do you know you are hiring a true professional? “Ask for a referral” says Dan Walker. “We always provide a couple of referrals of remodeling jobs we did in the neighborhood so they feel comfortable with our ability.” I remember my wife asking our contractor for referrals when we remodeled our kitchen five years ago. I can still see the softball size Adam’s Apple he tried to swallow when he realized he was handing over referrals to my wife, a lawyer who was a former TV reporter (she even makes me nervous today). But he had nothing to worry about; everyone she talked to had nothing but praise for his company so we were ready to sign.
Good contractors also have great relationships with appliance dealers and are very familiar with the specs and sizes of those products. The synergy between all the sub contractors is vital to a successful kitchen-remodeling job. I had a friend who insisted on hiring her own tile guy to do the kitchen counter top. Well, he decided to put on another sub top on the base cabinets and screwed up the height of the finished product. So, the range top wasn’t even with the counter top, the electric switch covers didn’t fit because the backsplash was higher, the unfinished top of the base cabinet was exposed…it was a nightmare, all because they brought in a switch hitter who had never played with the team before.