Looking for a Contractor
There are many things you can do on your own to upgrade your home, but it is next to impossible to pull off a successful kitchen or bathroom remodel without help from a contractor. If you want things done right the first time, work with a professional. How do you find a good contractor? Try the following:
- Referrals. Some of the most successful contractors will tell you that they don’t rely much on advertising to draw business in—they leave that up to their clients. Word of mouth is, after all, still the best form of marketing. You know that a product (or in this case, service) is good when it sells itself. Ask friends, family, and local professionals for recommendations and you’re sure to find a contractor who is able to deliver the goods.
- The BBB. The Better Business Bureau is an independent organization that offers objective assessments of contractors and other service providers. Use the BBB’s rating system to guide you: the highest possible score is an A+; the lowest, an F. Hire a contractor with an A+ rating; you can’t go wrong. A similar alternative: Angie’s List.
- Local directories and advertisements. Advertisements and the yellow and white pages are an excellent way for you to quickly pool your options together. You will still have to do some research afterwards to see if a shortlisted contractor seems like a good fit, but checking for a BBB rating or accreditation is a simple enough step. You’ll essentially be working backwards, but the advantage of this option is that provided you’re thorough enough, you will be able to cover all the bases. You should have around 3 to 4 good contractors on your shortlist.
What to Avoid
Steer clear of contractors who:
• Make unsolicited visits to your home, claiming that “they were just in the area.”
• Don’t have verifiable business addresses or phone numbers.
• Pressure you into making immediate decisions.
• Ask you to pay for everything upfront.
• Label your remodeling project as a “demonstration” for their company.
Even if the kitchen or the bath is smaller than most of other rooms in your house, a remodel will still need plenty of advance preparations.
Figuring out the right budget for your project and getting the most out of your money are also factors you should consider in remodeling a kitchen and a bath.