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How to find a reliable contractor / designer | Video 3 of 5

5-Part Video Series on how to plan a kitchen Remodel

Video 3: How to Find a Contractor / Designer for your Kitchen Remodel

It is time to talk about part 3 of our 5 part video series on how to plan a kitchen remodel. Today’s topic is on how to find a reliable contractor / designer or design build firm (which is what we are) for your kitchen remodel.

I will tell you what to look for, which questions to ask, and which pitfalls to avoid!

And make sure to stay to the end to find out where you can get your free kitchen planner blueprint to download and start planning your own kitchen remodel.

Hi, my name is Kerstin Cobb, Kitchen Designer with King’s Kitchen, your local go to team for Kitchen Design and Remodeling in Tacoma WA.

Finding the right company to remodel your kitchen can be the key action for a successful remodel vs a bad remodel with lots of headaches.

4 Strategies on How to remodel your kitchen

First, you need to know who you are looking for. There are a few different ways you could handle your kitchen remodel:

  1. Hire a General Contractor

  2. Most likely the contractor will send you to the different suppliers to start making your selection process, but won’t be of great help in the design phase of your project

  3. Most contractors don’t tend to specialize in certain remodels but take on an array of different projects

  4. Hire a Designer

  5. Working with a designer will keep the selection process easy as they will work with you throughout the project

  6. Designers usually don’t carry a GC license and will then help you find a contractor to handle the labor

  7. Be your own General Contractor as the Homeowner and hire your subcontractors yourself

  8. The biggest pit fall in this scenario is that you will most likely end up with bad subcontractors that you’ve never worked with before (The good ones are usually booked for weeks in advance)

  9. Your scope of work for the subcontractor are not clear enough, so things will be forgotten, causing trip charges and back charges between your subcontractors back to you

  10. When problems will arise (which they will my friend!), everything will fall back on you to find ways and solutions to fix the issue. Are you experienced enough in kitchen remodeling to handle issues?

  11. Hire a Design Build firm like King’s Kitchen

  12. A Design Build firm will hold a GC license to hire the subcontractors and manage your project

  13. A Design Build firm has experienced designers to handle the concept phase of your project and will usually supply you with the materials for your project. This will help in quicker estimating of your project.

  14. Even better is when you can find an experienced Design Build firm like King’s Kitchen who only specializes in the project style you are looking to remodel – in our case kitchens.

Here are some ideas to find firms to work on your project:

  1. The top way to find someone would be a referral from friends and family. In this case you know the company has done great work within your circle and you will most likely be able to trust the company.

  2. Especially for Design Build Firms, I consider Houzz a great place to find reliable remodeling companies.

  3. Social Media channels like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. I believe great companies will be active on social media and will try to educate about their field of expertise with a lot of good and free content.

  4. Overall, I would prefer working with companies that have great reviews

Places I do not recommend to you to look for contractors:

  1. Craigslist

  2. Angie’s List

  3. HomeAdvisor

I really don’t think Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor are great places to find good contractors. There is always a chance you will find a great connection but in most cases the same leads get send to so many contractors’ that you will receive lowball estimates to catch you as a customer, only to hit you with additional charges and change orders throughout your project.

No matter which route you end up going for your kitchen remodel, you always want to check if your contractor is licensed, bonded, and insured before they start any work on your project. You can check the status of contractors and if they have any open L&I claims right on the website of labor and industries of your state. For WA state here is the link:

Here is the hard and cold truth when working with contracting firms. There are 3 aspects to any project, Quality – Speed – and Cost. You will NEVER find someone to give you all three, and if you think you will or someone is telling you that, they are delusional, and you should keep walking and searching for someone else.

You have to be realistic, and reasonable in what you are asking for and make compromises as needed.

Overall, I do believe you should go out and get at least 2 bids just to verify the range of pricing, but you have to work really detailed to ensure you are comparing apples to apples. Don’t blindly go with the lowest bid, as this could be a tactic to win you over, only to hit you with change orders throughout the project. I also don’t recommend to just call in for a general estimate, but this is just nonsense. Your kitchen remodel can cost anywhere from $15,000 – $60,000 on average, how should anybody be able to give you an estimate? Also, I think it’s important to meet with the company, the team and start building a relationship with them. In the end you will most likely go with the company that builds the most trust with you.

And always remember, problems happen on most kitchen remodels. It’s not about trying to find a company that can assure you there will be no problems; it’s about finding the trusted partner with enough experience to handle whatever problem may occur.

I hope you all enjoyed our tips on how to find a reliable contractor, and stay tuned for our next video, I will cover one of the most fun parts of your remodeling project: “How to make your selections”.

Want to find out more and chat about your project? Contact us now!

Thanks for watching and I’ll see you next time.

Cheers! Kerstin

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