Finally, it’s time to start the kitchen remodel you’ve been dreaming about. After several conversations with contractors in Oklahoma, you might be a bit overwhelmed with all the information. How do you know what is useful to know, and what questions should you be asking anyway?
Don’t worry. We got you covered. Here are the most important questions you need to ask when you are making the big decision to hire a countertop contractor.
1. Are you bonded and insured?
If a contractor is bonded, it means you are financially protected if the job isn’t completed or isn’t completed well. Insurance protects you if a worker is injured.
If something goes wrong or if someone is hurt during the job, you don’t want to be the one liable for the damages. You also want to protect your investment from scammers who claim they can do the work and leave before the job is complete with your money.
2. What is the timeline for completion?
You are most likely not their only client. It would be wrong to assume they will only focus on your project from start to finish, so before they begin make sure you have the right expectations for the completion timeline. If you don’t ask for this information, then be ready for frustration when they are not working as fast as you expected.
3. Do you have a guaranteed start date to begin working?
Similar to the timeline, you need to know when they plan to start working. Will it be immediately or in two weeks? Do they have a long list of other projects to finish before they start working on yours? If they do, then you need to know the day they will begin their work. If the start date is too far out, then you should contact other contractors and see if there is a reputable company with a lighter workload.
4. What is the payment schedule?
With contract work, you don’t know the product you are purchasing until after the work is complete. It wouldn’t be wise to pay them for the entire project upfront. Some states even have laws on how much can be spent on the deposit before contract work begins, but Oklahoma is not one of those states. It’s best to be reasonable and cautious. Contractors who demand all of the project costs upfront might be a scam. Instead, negotiate a down payment before the work begins based on a percentage of the expected project costs. Then, determine the best time to provide progress payments before the final bill.
5. What will the average day look like?
You might have some misconceptions on what the work will look like on an average day. Are they going to arrive and begin working before 8 a.m.? Will they stay late in the evening? Do they work for three or four hours at a time or longer like ten or 12 hours? How much time is spent on setup and take down each day? This answer to this question may alleviate some fears about having to wake up early or stay up late for the contractors. It might also eliminate or reduce any unwanted surprises.
6. Will there be a team working on my project?
You might spend your time talking to the business owner or boss, but they might have a team assigned to your project. If they say yes, you might consider asking them how they hire their employees and if the workers undergo a background check. If you are opening your home to strangers, you will want to feel comfortable it is trustworthy individuals.
7. How will you protect my property?
Installing countertops and other kitchen renovations can cause quite a bit of mess. If your home is an open format, it might be helpful to know how they plan to protect your furniture in the living room or how they will keep your floors from sustaining any damage. It is a major red flag if they do not have a plan to protect your property.
8. Where will you store your tools if it takes more than a day to complete the project?
Some projects will take weeks to finish, which means at least one room in your home will have minimal accessibility. If you have young children or guests over regularly, it is important to know how they plan to store their power tools and construction materials. Will they take it with them every day or do they need a secure place to store the equipment?
9. How many projects like mine have you completed?
You wouldn’t go to an orthodontist to fix a broken leg. The same is true for contractors. Everyone has a specialty. If they haven’t installed countertops more than twice in 20 years of service, then it might better to find another contractor who regularly installs countertops. Worse, if they have never done a project like yours, then it might be time to call other options near you.
10. Do you have any reviews I can read?
What are other people saying about work completed by the contractor? Of course, they will probably give you positive reviews to read, but take time to check them out on social media or on other review sites such as the Better Business Bureau.
11. Are you affiliated with industry organizations?
Industry organizations provide contractors with the quality requirements and educational opportunities. Companies involved with other entities are more likely to attend conferences and participate in other skill-strengthening activities. Membership in professional trade organizations can be a sign of quality work, and it gives you another avenue of placing a complaint if something goes terribly awry with the work.
12. What kind of documentations will I receive when the project is complete?
Will you receive a warranty on the work done in your home? You might also ask for an inventory of materials used and a breakdown of the labor costs. If you plan on selling your home someday in the future, it is always helpful to have ample information on completed projects.
13. What is the appropriate way to communicate?
There may be additional questions or concerns after starting the project. Do you know how to communicate with the contractor to discuss any issues or receive answers? It might be by email, texting, calling or talking in person when they are on site. Knowing how to quickly and appropriately speak with them is essential when emergencies happen, or anything unplanned occurs.
At River’s Edge Countertops we can answer all of these questions and more! Give us a call today at 405-387-2930 to start discussing your next home renovation.