3D little human character the Builder holding a clipboard.We know that not all remodels are purely cabinet replacement, and that the whole process seems a little cloak and dagger when it comes to contractors, designers, architects. First and foremost, you need to understand the scope of the job that you want to take on. You won’t need every type of contractor to take part in your kitchen remodel but you definitely should know what types of roles they can play.

General Contractor: You don’t always need the services of a professional designer and an experienced general contractor may be able to help you out. There should still be much careful planning done before the job so that it will be successful.

Design/Build Contractors: A great attribute that a design/build contractor has is that you will work with the same people from start to finish. You can count on a design/build contractor to be with you step by step through the entire remodeling project.

Architects: If you are planning on a big addition in your remodeling project that requires construction drawings, you should bring in an architect to procure the right permits. It is best to work with someone who has done remodels before because they will understand the challenges you may face.

So, how do you know if they’re legit?

Anyone can put on a tool belt and call themselves a contractor. You need to know what to look for before you go hiring any ol’ guy.

  • Only choose a contractor with an established business and check their references. You should get phone numbers of past clients; check the Better Business Bureau  and the Consumer Affair Office for any negative reports.
  • Know if they are licensed and/or bonded. Not all states require a contractor to be but you should check your local licensing agency to make sure that the contractor you choose meets all the requirements.
  • Ask for a copy of their insurance and find out who their provider is. By having and verifying this information, you are protecting yourself from lawsuits should anything happen.
  • Make sure there is a clear understanding of what the quality and scope of work is. You need to fully understand what the contractor will and will not do during your remodel. Discuss any variations between your request and the contract with your contractor immediately.
  • The contract should have a detailed list of materials. This list of materials should include the size, color, brand and quantity of all products. Never sign an incomplete contract.
  • Know the design plans and identify any concerns before you begin work.
  • Financial plans need to be discussed and understood by both parties. At the last payment, make sure to sign an Affidavit of Final Release to ensure you aren’t held responsible for any third-party payment issues.
  • Always have a warranty of a minimum of one year covering materials and workmanship. In this warranty it should state if it is a full or limited warranty and provide the contact information for the contractor, distributor and manufacturers included.