Standards_for_Selecting_a_Kitchen_Remodeler_in_PittsburghRemodeling a kitchen is one of the biggest investments Pittsburgh homeowners will make in their lives second only to the purchase of the home itself.

Whether or not the project goes smoothly or creates nothing but stress for the family often boils down to one thing: who you select as your remodeler. Take the time to properly vet a remodeler so that you are confident in your final choice.

Ask People You Trust for Referrals

The first step many homeowners take when searching for a kitchen remodeler in Pittsburgh is to hop onto the internet. It is important to remember, however, that not all information on review sites are accurate and objective. If you want to search online, be sure to verify each potential remodeler against their Better Business Bureau score, which can give you an idea as to whether or not the other reviews are true.

A more effective place to begin your search is within your own network. Ask friends, family members, colleagues and coworkers which Pittsburgh kitchen remodelers they’ve worked with in the past and find out what their experiences were like. If you hear several positive stories about one or two remodelers, those companies are worth checking out.

Meet Your Top Candidates

Remodeling a kitchen is a big job, therefore, you should treat the selection process like a job interview. Schedule meetings with each of your top three choices so that you can learn more about them and they can learn more about you.   If the meeting is at the remodeler’s showroom, bring along measurements of the walls, windows, appliances, cabinets, etc. so the designer can develop a working floor plan.

Also come to the meeting with a wish list of ideas for your kitchen, as well as the features you and your family have determined as “must-have” items.  If possible, clip photos of features you like to show the designer what you have in mind. Be clear from the beginning about your budget. There is no use in beating around the bush. If you don’t know how much you can spend or are willing to spend, you won’t be able to go too far into the conversation.

Be sure to ask to see a portfolio of the team’s work and avoid any remodeler who cannot produce first-hand samples of his or her own projects.  Ask how long they’ve been in business, how well they know the Pittsburgh market, and how long a remodel of your size, scope and budget typically takes.

Always ask for verification of licenses, certifications and proof of insurance. If you live in the city limits find out whether or not they are licensed to work in Pittsburgh. Before you leave, be certain to ask for testimonials and references you can follow up with on your own time. Even a new remodeler should have one or two happy customers that are willing to provide a reference.

Give the remodeler plenty of time to ask you questions, as well. They might want to know how large your family is, how much you cook, what types of meals you make, what other functions your kitchen serves, and what your goals are for the new space.

Find The Right Fit

You want to choose a kitchen remodeler who has the technical ability to handle your project, access to licensed, skilled contractors and subcontractors, and who can work with your budget. But you also want to choose a remodeler who you trust, who you are able to communicate with openly and easily, and who you respect.

If you’ve got a nagging feeling that something isn’t “right” with one remodeler, there’s usually a reason for that feeling. If everyone’s credentials, references and portfolios appear equal, trust your instincts and go with your gut feeling.  If you’re still having trouble choosing, think of it this way: Your kitchen is the heart of your home. Which remodeler would you trust to conduct “surgery” on your house’s heart?

Get Everything In Writing

Contracts are essential for protecting yourself and the remodeler, as well. Be sure to get everything in writing as far as the payment schedule, the timeline for the work, the handling of subcontractors, liability, an outline of the manner in which changes are handled, a dispute resolution clause and a lien waiver preventing subcontractors or others from putting a lien on your home if invoices are unpaid.

Consider it a red flag if a remodeler will not put these things in writing or if the contract they send you is too complicated for the average person to comprehend.

Your feelings about your new kitchen will forever be impacted by the remodeler who handles the project. In order to end up with the kitchen of your dreams, and achieve that kitchen with as few headaches as possible it is best to work with professionals who can help you plan the work and work the plan. If you are ready to work with a top kitchen remodeler in Pittsburgh, contact the professionals at Legacy Remodeling today.