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5 Kitchen Renovation Tips for the Remodel Rookie

From a distance, a significant kitchen remodel can be an intimidating prospect. On one hand, you have the high expectations for what your brand new kitchen could look like. On the other hand, you have all the stories of renovations that didn’t live up to expectations – or went entirely wrong.

Luckily, you needn’t carry those worries with you through the entire process. If you know what questions to ask right at the outset, you can eliminate a whole lot of stress. Here are some of the questions you should ask your remodeler in pursuit of that sweet, sweet peace of mind.

Do You Have All the Relevant Credentials and Insurance?

OK, we know the paperwork isn’t the most exciting part of the remodel. But making sure you have the right contractor for the job is critically important, and you can get a lot of vital information right upfront. You’ll want to know that your contractor is licensed in the state, and you’ll want to know their credentials. Membership in professional organizations is good to know about; many of these organizations, such as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, have stringent requirements for members. 

What Evidence Can You Provide of Your Quality of Work?

Any good remodeling contractor worth its salt will be able to provide you with references from satisfied customers. Yes, these are going to be people who are predisposed to providing positive views – but you can still get great insight from them. And just knowing they’re out there is reassuring; if a prospective contractor can’t point you to anyone who can say nice things about them, that’s a big red flag! You’ll also, no doubt, want to see some examples. Many remodelers have online portfolios, but if they don’t, it’s worth your time to ask for some pictures of past projects. Heck, even if they do have online portfolios, they’ll almost certainly be happy to send you more should you ask!

How Do You Communicate Best? How Can I Reach You With Questions and Ideas?

Strong communication with your remodeler is, of course, extremely important. Without good communication, and good listening on both ends, how will your remodeler know exactly what you want? So find out the best way to reach your contractor on short notice with quick questions, and the best way to pass on renovation ideas for feedback. Phone call? Text message? Email? Voicemail? It’s also great to know the best times to call; most contractors will be able to give you a reliable range. And don’t forget to ask how much time you can expect to wait to receive a reply – a realistic figure you can refer back to if you feel like a question has gone unanswered for too long.

What Are the Timelines for Completion and Payment?

You’ve had a DIY home improvement project take way, way longer than expected, right? Well, now you’re working with a professional. That means you can work with your remodeler to establish a timeline up front, and expect them to stick to it. Nobody’s perfect, but taking time to make a tentative blueprint for your remodel will help tremendously should there be hiccups. And it’ll help to ask how 

It probably goes without saying that you’ll want to set a budget up front, but don’t forget to make sure you understand the timeline for payment. How much will you be paying up front? When will additional payments be due? Are those payments connected to specific dates, or to completion of set phases of the project? Do you need to worry about new charges being added in the middle of the process, and if so, what’s the protocol for handling those? (Protip: Never pay the entire cost up front! Reputable contractors know not to even ask)


What Does Your Day-to-Day Process Look Like?

The more guidance your remodeler can give on their process from start to finish, the better for you. What are their typical start and end times? How much noise can you expect during work? What preparations do you need to make before they arrive? Is it better for you to be there, or should you aim to stay out of the way? What does the clean-up schedule look like (aka, “Will my house and/or yard be filled with unsightly junk for an extended stretch?”)? And how often can you expect progress reports?

You’ll also want to know who your day-to-day contacts might be. Find out who’s going to be managing the project on-site, and determine when and how that person is best reached. 

Make Remodeling Simple!

As many considerations as there are for any renovation project, you can keep it simple and low-stress. Contact us at Simple Kitchen today to find out what we can do for your kitchen!

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