HOW TO HIRE A RELIABLE COUNTERTOP INSTALLER
If you are thinking about renovating your kitchen or bath, or creating a new one from scratch, keep in mind that the quality of the installation work is a critical factor. Whether you are going to have someone install countertops in your kitchen or install bathroom countertops, they will be the focal point of the entire room. Should the installation be substandard, even the best materials won’t disguise a poor installation—leaving the entire room looking far from perfect. Though you might think that finding the right contractor amounts to a daunting task, it doesn’t necessarily have to be if you simply do a little legwork and keep these three simple steps in mind when searching out quality countertops installers in Cumming.
Ask for Referrals
If you did nothing else in your effort to find a quality contractor, this is without a doubt the one thing you must do. Word of mouth is, hands down, the very best way to find a qualified installer to take on your project. One way, of course, is to ask relatives, neighbors, and friends who they used to do their work. Another source is to get references from an installer or from salespeople in a store as well as to look online at reviews offered on various sites. Then go look at the work that they did, since simply reviewing a photo album can hide problems that you wouldn’t see unless you look at their work in person. Also, keep in mind that the opinion of others may not be as demanding as yours, so it really is important to actually see the work done for yourself. Also, be sure to ask how the contractor handled problems, if any, and most importantly whether they would use that contractor again.
Ask for Credentials
Remember, anyone can put up a sign and get listed in the phone book. Aside from recommendations, be sure to ask for a contractor’s credentials. Your neighbor may have been fine with hiring their brother-in-law or college buddy, but you want to make sure that whoever you hire comes with licenses, certifications, and, most importantly, insurance! Licenses should be from both the local municipality as well as the state. Certifications can be from professional associations such as the National Kitchen and Bath Association, the National Association of Homebuilders, and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry—to name a few. However, do your homework ahead of time and research which certifications are important, since not all certifications are created equal, then ask to see a copy of their insurance. The last thing you need is a contractor or their subcontractors to be injured on the job or damage your property and not be covered.
Ask for It in Writing
Always get written estimates—in fact, get two estimates. If the contractor is willing to work with a countertop that you will purchase, as well as other materials such as backsplashes, then ask that they provide an estimate for both. You may find that some contractors actually make a hefty margin on the material. Also, always have an in-house estimate done so that the contractor gets a firsthand look at the work. It also gives you an opportunity to meet the contractor and assess them in person. Finally, be sure that the contract includes a bid price, a payment schedule, the scope of work to be done, a visual site plan, milestones of dates for key tasks to be completed, a list for close-out, a change-order paragraph, a clause detailing dispute resolution, an express limited warranty, and most importantly a waiver of lien—this prevents subcontractors and suppliers from putting liens on your home should the contractor not pay their invoices.