Kitchen and bath remodeling is among the most valuable home improvements you can make. They offer the highest return on investment. According to an estimate, bath remodeling offers an RoI of 64%; for kitchen renovations, the number is as high as 70%. So, when you finally sell the house, you can recoup 70% of the renovation value from the resale price. However, that is possible only with good planning, sourcing of materials at reasonable prices, and hiring the right bathroom and kitchen remodel contractors.
In fact, if you get the right contractor, other kitchen and bath remodeling components will automatically fall into their places. But what parameters do you consider when choosing the “right” contractor? Should you rely on the project quote, customer reviews, qualifications, years of experience in the business, service offerings, or something else?
Here is how you should select the right bathroom and kitchen remodel contractors for your home.
Make a Master List of Contractors
You can find the best person for the job with deep research. Tap into your network of friends & family; search local business directories; check their BBB ratings; read Google reviews. Once you have your master list of kitchen remodel contractors, you can get to shortlisting.
You can also refer to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) website. Contractors must pass a screening test to earn NARI affiliation. Once affiliated, contractors must follow a code of ethics that translates to quality work for the end customer.
Handpick a maximum of 5 contractors to call and discuss your project.
Questions to Ask Contractors
These questions will help you access information about the kitchen remodel contractors on your shortlist and determine whether they are qualified to execute the remodel you have in mind.
- Are you fully insured and licensed?
- Do you or your technicians carry certification for specialization in kitchen or bathroom remodeling?
- Can you share some references for the projects you have completed?
- Who will be working on my kitchen and bathroom? Your employees or your subcontractors?
- What is your typical payment schedule for a project?
- Can you provide a quote or estimate for the job?
Do Your Part Well
After you have spoken to the shortlisted contractors, seen proof of certification, and talked to their references, it’s time to meet the contractor you like best. Your first meeting with the contractor will set the tone for the project. Use this opportunity to tell them about your custom requirements, likes, & dislikes. If possible, carry photographs of the designs you like and the ambiance you have in mind.
Give the contractor detailed instructions about your project, including budget, cabinet types, kitchen design, bathroom design, tile brand, etc.
Ensure that the contractor takes complete responsibility for the project. They should handle all the permits, inspections, building code requirements, employees, and subcontractors. So, the scope of the work for the contractor should include the following:
- Demolishing the old kitchen and bath
- Preparing the structure for the renovation
- Remodeling the kitchen and bath
Many contractors offer architecture and design services as add-ons. You can commission their services to get a design layout and use it as a starting point. However, invest money only if you have a large kitchen to work with or if you want an innovative small kitchen remodel project.
Seek Detailed Bids for the Project
At this point, contractors have all the information they could possibly need to create a detailed quote for your project. Share your budget constraints with them so they can send you realistic bids.
Ask the contractors to send you a complete and well-defined proposal. A professional bid should include the following:
- Scope of project
- Site plan
- Primary tasks & deadlines
- Average kitchen remodel cost
- Average bathroom renovation cost
The contractor should provide details about the costs of material, labor, and other expenses. The detailed quote will help you zero in on the best contractor for your budget. It also gives you a leg up in negotiations. Since you know how much each project element costs, you can negotiate on the specifics.
You pick the best contractor to suit your remodeling needs and budget.
Get a Contract in Writing
Once you have selected the contractor you want to work with, you can begin your kitchen and bath remodeling project, but only after getting a written contract. The kitchen and bath improvement project should include the following:
Get a detailed timeline for the project. It should explain what each project phase entails and how long it lasts.
Details of the Contractor
The name of the company, name of the people involved, contact details, license number, and other such basic details about the contractor should be present in the contract. The contract should also state where any legal disputes regarding the project will be resolved.
The quote should include an itemized list detailing any specialty material or items being used in the project.
The total bathroom and kitchen remodel cost should include labor, materials, and product costs. It should also include any potential factors that may lead to a price change and explicitly state the party that will bear the additional costs if the project overshoots its budget.
There should be details of when the payments will be made and at what time. At least 5%-10% of the total bathroom and kitchen remodel cost should be paid after the project is complete. The contract should also state how any additional costs will be handled.
Due Diligence Will Take You to the Right Choice
Finding the right contractor may seem tedious, but it is highly rewarding. The right contractor will completely take over your kitchen renovation, and bathroom remodel project. You will not have to worry about municipal issues, design challenges, or the aesthetic appeal of the final product. They will leverage their expertise to deliver an excellent product to you.