Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

A Contractor in Your Kitchen

by Sue Booth
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

Updating your kitchen will likely increase your property value. If a kitchen renovation is in your future, you should hire a certified professional contractor to do the job for you. Read on to find the best ways to go about finding a reputable kitchen-remodeling contractor.

Why a Contractor?

Many people think that taking on home renovation projects will save them money. Unless you're a seasoned pro, hiring a contractor will likely save you time and money in the long run--not to mention aggravation and sore muscles.

Tips for Finding the Best Contractor

Here are some things to think about before hiring a kitchen contractor:
  • Choose a certified company with a good reputation and one that has been doing business in the same area for years.
  • You should confirm that the contractor's license and bond are current. Check with the Department of Labor & Industries or the Construction Contractors Board.
  • Check to make sure the kitchen renovation contractor is a member of a local trade association such as Master Builder Association, Associated Builders & Contractors, or the Better Business Bureau.
  • It is reasonable to make a down payment to cover material costs, but be leery of anyone asking for full payment for renovations in advance.
  • You should obtain written estimates from at least three kitchen renovation contractors. Compare the following:
    • The cost of the work to be done
    • The quality of the materials to be used
    • The cost of financing the work
  • Don't always choose the lowest bid, you may get what you pay for.
  • Make sure each estimate includes: the cost of materials and labor, an outline of exactly what the contractor will do, and how long it will take for the contractor to make renovations.

Educate yourself before you make a commitment. Talk to the contractor's former clients and ask for references. The kitchen is a focal point in your home; choose a reliable contractor, and make sure your kitchen renovation is done right.

About the Author
Sue Booth is a freelance writer and a former product analyst for Good Housekeeping magazine. She holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering.

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