Remodeling your kitchen is an ideal method to enhance your home’s interior and boost property values. There are many reasons why you should not attempt a DIY kitchen remodel, including not getting the results you want. Hiring a professional is your best bet.
Of course, the quality of your kitchen is directly proportional to the quality of the contractor you hire. Austin has many options, so it’s crucial you know how to identify the cream of the crop. To that end, the team at Catalyst Construction is here with this quick guide on how to choose a kitchen remodeling contractor.
Contact us today to speak to Austin’s kitchen remodeling contractor!
Ask for Recommendations
You should start by asking your personal network for recommendations. It’s likely that a friend or family member has gotten work from a local contractor and can give you the details.
Most professional contractors make their living on word-of-mouth recommendations. Additionally, you can look at your friend’s or family member’s kitchen to get a preview of the kind of work they perform.
A reputable contractor should have an extensive list of professional references from previous clients and business partners. Don’t just take these references at face value either — you need to call and verify them.
Make sure you ask specific questions about their work process and how professional their employees were. The more information you can get from references, the better able you are to make an informed decision.
You should also search for online customer reviews for the contractor from BBB and other third-party review sites. Keep in mind that a handful of negative reviews are not unusual — after all, it’s impossible to please every client. As long as the majority of the reviews are positive, you should be good to go.
Ask About Remodeling Portfolios
Still wondering how to choose a kitchen remodeling contractor? Ask for a portfolio of past projects they have completed. This is where you can figure out what kind of styles the contactor is familiar with. It’s important to choose a contractor that has experience creating the kind of design you want.
For example, if you want to design a kitchen with open shelving, you want a contractor that has definitive experience with those kinds of designs. You don’t want to pick a kitchen remodel contractor that can’t produce the style you want.
Request Proof of License and Insurance
Texas does not require general contractors to have a license to perform remodeling services. However, licensure indicates that a contractor adheres to a specific standard of knowledge and workmanship quality. The state of Texas provides licenses for various specialties, such as electrical, plumbing, and general contracting.
A contractor should also have liability insurance and workers’ compensation. Otherwise, the homeowner may be legally and financially responsible for any damages or injuries that occur on the job site. If a contractor cannot provide proof of licensure and insurance, we highly recommend looking elsewhere for services.
Get a Written Estimate
Regardless of the contractor you work with, always ask for a written estimate for the cost of service before you sign anything. Many reputable contractors offer free estimates and will give you a written quote that accounts for the cost of materials and labor.
Some contractors provide binding estimates, but you can expect the final cost to be within 10% of the original quote. If a contractor is hesitant to give you accurate quotes for the costs of a job, you might want to find another contractor to work with.
Red Flags to Watch For
In addition to the above positive features, make sure you watch out for the following red flags when vetting a potential contractor:
- The contractor asks you to make a large down payment. Most contractors will ask for partial payment in advance — about 10% to 25%. Any higher than that should be cause for worry.
- The contract is vague. Any contract for kitchen remodeling work should clearly outline the project scope, costs, suppliers, and construction timeline. If you do not have a completely comprehensive outline, there may be miscommunication about project responsibilities.
- Their initial bid is substantially below average. Homeowners might want to save money, but an initial bid that is much lower than market averages is suspicious. It could mean the contractor is cutting corners or performing low-quality work.
- They ask for cash payment. If a contractor asks for payment for a large project in cash, it could mean they are trying to avoid taxes and are a scam company. Additionally, non-cash payment leaves a verifiable record in case there is a dispute over services.
- They don’t communicate well. Contractors should respond promptly to emails or calls, and you should always have a go-to point of contact for any renovation project. A hesitance to communicate could indicate they want to keep as few formal records of the job as possible.
- You can’t find reviews. Another red flag is the absence of any online customer reviews. It could mean the company is new and doesn’t have any experience, or they have recently changed names to avoid a bad reputation. A lack of online reviews does not necessarily mean the contractor is untrustworthy, but it is worth investigating further.
Kitchen Remodeling Services in Austin, TX
Now that you know how to choose a kitchen remodeling contractor, it’s time to make the right choice to avoid remodeling mistakes. Catalyst Construction has more than 15 years of experience serving homeowners in Austin, TX, with our impeccable design and construction services. We are qualified professionals and can ensure excellent customer service.
Contact Austin’s kitchen remodeling contractor at 512-535-0544 today to receive a free quote!