Choosing a contractor is the most critical step in remodeling your kitchen.
The wrong choice can lead to headaches, budget issues, and at worst an unfished kitchen. Use this guide to help you know what to look for and how to hire a skilled and reputable Pittsburgh kitchen contractor.
Conduct Phone ScreensWhen interviewing candidates for corporate jobs, companies will often conduct an initial phone screen before inviting people in for in-person interviews. Follow this lead to save you time and energy over the course of the selection process. Call each Pittsburgh kitchen contractor on your list and ask them:
- How often do they handle projects of your room size and budget size? Avoid contractors that only work on projects larger or smaller than yours.
- Can they provide you with a list of client references? How quickly can they send you the list? Reputable contractors should have this information on hand.
- Can they provide references from vendors, suppliers or banks? These types of references speak to a well-managed business.
- How to they vet and choose their subcontractors? If the firm uses other Pittsburgh sub-contractors, you want to understand the process by which they choose their partners.
Use BBB ResourcesAfter your phone screen, look at your top candidates. Next, head over to the website of the Better Business Bureau of Western Pennsylvania. What is their rating? How many open or unresolved complaints do they have? You can look to consumer review sites, as well, but always take those with a grain of salt. There is no formal review process on those sites and there is no way to verify that reviews are true. The BBB offers a formal review process that consumers can trust.
Check Them Out OnlineIn today’s environment, there is little excuse for a business not to be online. Even sole proprietors should have some sort of online presence. Don’t use their website as the be-all-end-all factor for selecting a Pittsburgh kitchen contractor, but a website can tell you a lot about a company’s expertise and experience.
Meet Face-To-FaceDon’t ever hire a Pittsburgh kitchen contractor without a face-to-face meeting. Come armed with a list of questions and make sure you talk about your budget, as well. The contractor should be able to answer your questions clearly and directly. During the meeting:
- Ask to see proof of insurance. Always look for personal liability, workers; compensation, and property damage.
- Ask to see copies of current licenses, and don’t feel bad about verifying them. Remember that all contractors who work within the city limits must be certified to do so by Pittsburgh.
- Get a list of at least three customer references from the last 12 months, and follow up with each. Ask the references how the contractor handled changes, unforeseen issues, payments, etc. Try to get a sense of how the contractor works, from the customer’s perspective. Be wary of anyone who cannot provide recent references.
- Ask for a written proposal. The document should be clean, easy to understand and professional-looking. It should also should include a payment schedule, work timeline, subcontractor procedures, liability, and change procedures.