Because Jennifer and I come from consulting companies where we were trained to embrace process and research business situations from every angle, I often consider what it is that makes a company good at what they do. We reflect upon our own processes at Kitchen Design Concepts and we make certain that we are improving at every pinch point along the way. When you are in the market for a kitchen remodel, there are five questions to ask that stand out as super important to make sure you are going into your project with eyes wide open and expectations in check.
Is the firm accessible and willing to answer all my questions?
You are making a commitment of both time and money and, with so many steps in the process of a kitchen design and remodel, it is critical that the company you choose is responsive to you.
Is the company able to clearly articulate their process?
They should be able to explain the estimated amount of time the project will take and put you at ease with a general timeline of events. We also set our clients up with a temporary kitchen so they can still have the comforts of their home kitchen during the remodel process. We find that the more our clients are able to prepare and understand the process, the happier they are.
Do they listen to you and then make it clear that they understand your vision?
We are remodelers and hobby chefs. We love both the work we do and where we do it. As a result, we believe we add a lot of value to our clients’ projects. But, we always begin the process not only listening to what you say, but hearing what you are not saying too. The proposal you receive should reflect your vision and best recommendations for bringing that vision to life.
How do they handle change orders?
Change orders are typically issued when materials or scope change at some point in the job. At Kitchen Design Concepts, we have very few change orders mostly due to the specificity of our contracts and the questions we ask in the early stages of the process. Rather than providing “allowances” for materials, we work with you upfront to specify the exact materials you will be using. This is also where constant communication between you and the firm will really pay off to prevent surprises.
Are they reputable? What do others say about them?
In addition to being certified and having membership in the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB), we provide prospective clients with references of past clients. We encourage people to make contact, ask questions and visit past jobs. If the company you are considering does not give you these assurances, we recommend finding someone who will.
If you have other key questions a prospective client should ask their kitchen firm candidates, please write. We’d love to hear what you have to say!