If you listen to magazine kitchen designers, you might end up with a kitchen where you can do everything EXCEPT cook. Magazine covers feature light fixtures that bump your head constantly, and cabinets designed to fit the space rather than suiting how you use them. Worse yet, many designers tout cabinets and shelves that you have to access with a stepladder. Consequently, discuss your dream kitchen’s features with the entire family before approaching potential contractors.
Replacement Versus Remodeling
The average cost to replace kitchen features might include knocking out existing walls, creating pass-throughs between kitchen and dining area, replacing unsound floor boards and tearing out existing cabinetry. It might also require removing back splashes and countertops, installing GFCI outlets and increasing circuit breakers to handle additional kitchen appliances.
The average cost to completely remodel a kitchen, on the other hand, might only require refacing existing cabinets, repainting walls, adding decorative back splashes and replacing floor coverings. The savings lie in the average cost of cabinets and countertops that you do not need to replace. With the enormous variance in the average price for cabinets, you could save enough to build the kitchen island with wrap-around seating that you’ve always wanted.
It goes without saying that your kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your house. You use your kitchen to cook up delicious, nutritious meals for your family, and you use it to brew your morning coffee before you head off for another hard day at the office. In other words, your kitchen plays a central role in the most important parts of your life.
Unfortunately, more so than other parts of your home, the kitchen tends to age, building up dust as it does grease and grime from your countless hours cooking up grub. Eventually, you need to think about renovating your kitchen to put some magic back into the epicenter of family life. With these simple tips for finding a reliable kitchen remodel contractor, you can be well on your way to doing exactly that.
Four Tips for Narrowing Down Your Search for a Kitchen Remodel Contractor
- Take the Time to Talk with Each Kitchen Renovation Contractor
For This Old House, calling or meeting with each kitchen remodel contractor you’re considering is an essential part of the process. Why? It’s the best way to get a feel for who you’ll be working with, and it’s the only way to get all of your questions answered. In short, it’s the only way to make an educated decision.
- Should You Go with a General Contractor or a Specialized Kitchen Remodeling Contractor?
It can be tempting to go with a general contractor versus someone specializing in kitchens, mostly because the former will generally come with a smaller price-tag. However, as ConsumerReports.org suggests, if you need some highly specialized work done in your kitchen — work that only those in the kitchen remodeling industry know how to do — it’ll be well worth a few extra dollars to hire the specialized service.
- Ask for References, Check Their Work
If you really want to weed out subpar kitchen remodeling services, ask for references and pictures of their recent work. The benefits here should be pretty obvious. If references give you scathing reviews of the services you’re considering and the photos of their work are terrible, you know you should go with someone else.
- Talk to Friends and Family About Who They’ve Used
One of the easiest ways to find a kitchen remodel contractor is also one that is often overlooked. As HGTV asks, why not just ask friends and family about the contractors they’ve worked with in the past? They won’t want you to waste your time and money on a poor service, so you can rely on them giving you only honest recommendations.