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Are you getting value for money with your kitchen

Are you getting value for money with your kitchen

Hiring contractors

Once you�ve identified what kind of help you need, the next step is to find qualified professionals, interview them, check their backgrounds and references and formalize your partnership with a legal contract. Begin by focusing on the trades that constitute the most important and complex aspects of your remodeling project. A skilled custom cabinetmaker, for example, is much harder to find than a journeyman plumber. ln these specialty trades, the very best subcontractors are in high demand, especially if they have unique abilities; you�ll want to hire them and lock them into your schedule as soon as possible. Once your primary subcontractors are in place, it�s generally not as difficult to find plumbers, electricians and laborers to fit your schedule.

Finding Good Contractors

Word-of-mouth is usually the best way to find good subcontractors. Ask neighbors, friends, coworkers and relatives who have finished a remodeling project to recommend good professionals and warn you about those to avoid. Many of the finest tradespeople don�t advertise at all; they rely exclusively on word-of-mouth. Another option is to contact a full-service kitchen design center or a design/build firm; both can provide nearly any contractor you might need, from a general contractor to painting and wallpapering workers. However, this service is generally reserved for paying clients.

Many building supply centers are also entering the remodeling business as a way to sell materials; for a price, they will supply you with a list of local contractors. Also, builders� associations and local trade guilds often publish lists of qualified contractors. Finally, you can consult the Yellow Pages. Look under each trade-such as Contractors (General), Building Contractors, Electrical Contractors or Kitchen Remodeling. This can be risky, however, so be sure to scrutinize any kitchen contractor you find in the Yellow Pages-especially those not endorsed by word-of-mouth or a reputable organization. In general, look for a contractor who�s based relatively close to your home. A local contrac- tor with an established business relies heavily on his or her reputation in the community and is therefore likely to take your job seriously Also look for a contractor who has a lot of experience with projects similar to yours in size and complexity. Before you make any calls, you can weed out contractors who aren�t insured, as well as those who aren�t licensed-if that�s required in your area. You can ask to see proof that the contractor meets these requirements at your first interview. Once you find a contractor you trust to do one part of the project, you should ask him to recommend other professionals. For example, a good carpenter will probably know skilled electricians, cabinetmakers, plumbers and flooring contractors.