For the best kitchen remodel experience, do some research before interviewing remodeling contractors and asking for bids. You will minimize misunderstandings, expensive change orders and be better able to compare bids with the same specifications. Be well-informed on the following topics before talking to any kitchen contractors.
Decide how much you want to spend on the project, then develop a realistic budget and stick to it. You may need to do an overall expense review and research payment options. To fill in the total budget amount for each item below start with a design and quote from a professional designer.
Are you are simply replacing cabinets, countertops, flooring and appliances? Moving a sink or range? Or moving walls? The more extensive your kitchen remodel is, the more important it is to develop a detailed plan and stick to it. When you renovate a property there are certain things that need to be updated to meet code. There may also be delayed maintenance that has to be done before the remodeling. Be sure you are interviewing remodeling contractors with experience and skills that match your needs.
Must-Haves Versus Wants
List everything you hope for in a kitchen (specialty storage, glass door cabinets, type of appliances, etc.). Prioritize, classifying each item as: Must Have, Can Compromise, or Can Wait.
CliqStudios designers do a virtual walkthrough using Zoom or MS Teams with each customer. To prepare for your virtual walkthrough, be ready with your phone or tablet to show the designer around your current kitchen. Our designers recommend that you also prepare an idea file with pictures, notes, and links to web pages. Our photo gallery, Pinterest and Houzz are good sources of inspiration.
Consult with your designer before buying appliances, asking for suggestions on the best fit for your space. Visit an appliance showroom and look at models, check out Consumer Reports for quality reviews, then check multiple stores and websites to find the best prices. If you are on a tight timeline, be cautious about the lead time on special order items. When you are interviewing contractors also check with them about discounts they might extend to you.
Cabinets represent a major share of your remodel budget and must stand up to years of use, so quality is as important as style. How to compare cabinets will help you evaluate quality across brands, and your designer can provide advice on style. Cabinets need to be on site early in the remodel process, so be sure the company you buy from can deliver accordingly.
Countertops, Flooring and Backsplash
The type of countertop and flooring you choose (quartz or laminate countertop, hardwood or tile flooring, etc.) will affect your contractor’s timeline and budget. While you can wait to discuss specific styles and colors, it’s important to share your preferences with each of the contractors you interview. When interviewing contractors check with them on whether they work with particular materials that they are familiar with and if they can get a better price.
Once you have all this information, you are ready to start interviewing remodeling contractors. Look for a licensed, experienced, reputable and insured company. Personal recommendations from friends and family combined with research on professional websites will give you the best overall view of contractors to interview and accept bids.