Best Practices When Hiring to Remodel the “Heart of The Home”
The kitchen is often referred to as the “heart of the home.” In many homes it becomes the gathering place for family and friends. It’s often the central hub of activity in the home. It’s a room that gets a lot of attention, particularly when remodelling projects are on the table. Whether you’re remodelling for resale, or simply to enhance or upgrade your living space, a kitchen remodel can have a huge impact. But it can also be a heavy investment.
Choosing a contractor for such an important space in your home shouldn’t be taken lightly. In most cases, “remodelling-projects-gone-wrong” can be avoided by carefully making decisions before handing over the job to just anyone.
Follow these tips to find and hire the right contractor for your next remodelling project:
Find the forest for the trees
Where does one even start when looking for a reputable, quality contractor? The internet has opened the floodgates to information, contacts, and networks – but sometimes too much access to information can be overwhelming, and ultimately, just as frustrating.
Start by asking friends, family, or neighbours for referrals. They’ll be honest with you. If they had a good experience, they’ll be happy to pass along a name. If they had a poor experience, they can tell you what to watch out for. They’ll have gone through the grunt work of vetting contractors or remodelling companies, and will be the most reliable resource. Word of mouth is always the best way to find quality service providers, at least when pulling together a shortlist.
The next best resource is online, but be careful not to believe every online review or listing website. Online ratings services of professionals can be convenient but aren’t always entirely impartial. Sometimes online reviews can be falsified, and companies can pay listing sites extra to be placed in a premium position on the page. Instead, look up the referrals you’ve received by reviewing their company’s website. They should have case studies, a project gallery, or testimonials that’ll give you a better idea of their work, and how well it was received by clients.
Be careful not to believe everything you see on television home reno programs. These shows are meant to be entertaining first and foremost. While they often provide decent educational content, they don’t provide a completely accurate breakdown of costs. Most programs exclude the value of the products that are donated, which can include labour costs. With that in mind, take the budget breakdowns on television with a grain of salt.
Be your own HR manager
You’re in the position of power when hiring a contractor for your remodelling project. Treat the process as if you were hiring someone as an employee. Speak with your candidates on the phone, have them come to your home, or interview them in person somewhere in your neighbourhood. You will learn a lot from this process. The way they act in person will be indicative of the level of professionalism they’ll bring to the project. Did this person come prepared? Is this person able to answer your questions thoroughly and knowledgeably? Does this person share your vision?
Ask to see accreditations and check client references; don’t be afraid to be rigorous in your hiring process. Would you let just anyone into the “heart of your home”? Be vigilant, and remember that the more you know about a contractor or company before the project begins, the better.
Need help with a remodelling project? Talk to us.
Here’s a testimonial from a recent kitchen remodelling success story:
“We would like to extend our sincere thanks for our wonderful new kitchen! Thank you for all your planning, special attention and patience. It is always a pleasure doing business with you. A special thank you to Ernie for your hard work, attention to detail, and dedication to client care. Your team made this project possible and we are thrilled! Until next time!”