Deciding to renovate your kitchen isn’t just a financial investment. It can also be a time-consuming and emotional investment too.
The kitchen is the heart of the home and even people who say can’t wait to see the back of their kitchen have been known to well-up when D-day comes and all the memories that special room holds come flooding back. Lots of people aren’t ready for this and matters are made worse if they have a contractor who isn’t quite living up to expectation.
More so than any other project; you need to trust the people who are renovating your kitchen because they are performing open heart surgery on the most important room in your home.
The builder you choose can make or break your renovation. Make the right choice and you’ll enjoy a stunning new kitchen delivered on time and in budget. Whereas daytime TV has shown enough horror stories about delay, disputes, shock bills and poorly done or unfinished jobs for us not to have to warn you what the wrong choice could look like.
With that in mind we’ve compiled 8 questions you should always ask your builder before starting your kitchen renovation so you can be sure you can trust your choice before making a commitment.
1. Can You Show Me Some Real Testimonials?
We’ve all seen testimonials on websites claiming how great the company was – we have a testimonials page ourselves – but how independent is it? Do they feature videos of previously satisfied customers? Like us, do they only show verified Google reviews so you can be sure of the independence of the recommendation?
Ask if they can put you in touch with previous customers – any reputable company who is as proud of their work as we are will be more than happy to do this. Happy customers are generally fine with speaking to potential customers of the company who gave them their dream kitchen so if your contract can’t do this, or show you independent reviews, you might want to think on them a little longer.
2. How Many Years Have You Been in Business?
Whilst a young business is capable of competing on price and quality, a builder who is well-established almost always is inherently trustworthy. There’s a reason they’ve stayed in business and probably seen off a recession or two and that’s because people continue to hire and recommend them to others. Longevity isn’t the be all and end all but quality and experience are two of the oldest friends.
3. How Long Will my Renovation Take?
How long is this going to take? It’s a simple question with a relatively straightforward answer but a savvy customer like you needs to know more. You want a real schedule.
A real schedule details sequencing of tasks and their deadlines. The schedule is everything when it comes to kitchen renovation and understanding when various materials and trades will be arriving on site and when xyz job will be completed helps you know if things are falling behind.
If something is late being delivered or you’re a tradesman down for whatever reason how will you know without a schedule? Knowing is important because if there is a hold up you want to know as soon as possible if that’s going to delay things or how your contractor is going to make up time.
Delays can eat into profit margins so you want to be certain corners are being cut to shorten those losses. Using a reputable company will eradicate that concern but it’s still a good idea to know what is going on.
4. Is the Price the Price?
Surprises aren’t fun when they’re costing you money. It’s always worth budgeting a little more just in case because no matter how perfectly planned there are always things that could crop up unexpectedly. You might change your mind, a third party might charge extra for a rush delivery if something breaks or an unforeseen problem with the site might be encountered.
Most changes and amendments to cost will be covered in your contract but is yours covered by countersigning? Can your contractor just add charges on at the end because you “agreed” upfront?
Ensure your original quote includes total cost but also discuss upfront with your builder how surprises will be managed financially.
5. What if There is a Problem?
Communication is key to any good renovation, from start to finish and beyond. Ask your builder how they will contact you if something goes wrong or they need your authorisation for something. Will they call or email you with updates if requested? Will they do it by phone, email or other? How can you contact them if there is an emergency after they’ve finished work for the day?
We actually recommend going on holiday whilst the renovation is being done as it’s easier for all concerned so if you do you need to be sure your builder can get hold of you if they need to.
You’ll also want to know about problems that might arise after the install. Are their kitchens manufactured to Australian standards? How long do they guarantee the work? What is the maintenance period for quote inclusive fixes, and the price structure for any issues beyond that?
6. Who Will be On-Site During Mhttp://www.kitchendesignvictoria.com.au/how-to-deal-with-the-stress-of-remodelling-your-kitchen.htmly Renovation?
This feeds into communication and schedule. You’ll want to know who is going to be on-site on any given day during the project and who the supervisor will be – you’ll want a point of contact you feel comfortable speaking with if you need to and it’s hard to build a rapport if the foreman is changing every day.
If you take our advice and go on a break you’ll want to know who is responsible for the security of your home. Who has access to the keys and what is the process for recording the chain of custody if they need to change hands? You want to relax whilst you are away and knowing your builder takes your home security as seriously as they would their own is reassuring.
It’s also worth checking if they all the relevant insurances so if, on the rare chance, anything did happen you would be covered. This also extends to accidental damage as workers move through your property.
7. Do You Have Any Concerns About My Kitchen Renovation?
This is always an excellent question to ask and a reputable builder will always be happy to discuss it. If there is something concerning your contractor before your project starts it’s good to know as it avoids any surprises or friction later down the line.
Most experienced builders will be upfront about their thoughts anyway – we’re never shy with our suggestions whilst always keeping as true to your vision as possible – but if they don’t say, it’s worth asking anyway as some only convey the big worries when it’s the little ones that can repeat on you later.
8. What Are Your Payment Terms?
It’s crucial that you set expectations for scheduling payment in advance of signing any contracts. Any builder worth their salt will always try to be flexible and find a solution that works for all parties but be wary of companies who demand excessively substantial payments upfront.
Don’t be afraid of asking these questions, they will save you a lot of potential heartache and stress in the long-term and a top notch kitchen installation company will be delighted to have been asked them as they know they’re dealing with a serious and clued-up customer.
Or, you could get in touch with Kitchen Design Victoria on Free Call 1800 454 824 and we’ll come armed with the answers to these questions and hopefully anymore you can think to throw at us.