A kitchen is the nucleus of any home. It makes sense that an up-to-date kitchen adds value to your home and to your lifestyle.

At Porch, we’re here to empower homeowners by providing the tools and confidence to hire great home improvement professionals. Make sure you’re prepared for every stage of your kitchen remodel with our informative step-by-step guide.

If you’ve submitted a project request on Porch, expect to hear from up to four contractors over the next 24-48 hours.

If you haven’t yet:

Request a Remodeling Contractor

When the professionals call, these are the questions you should be asking:

  1. What is your company name, location and phone number?
    This information allows you to vet the professional once you’re off the phone. This can be done by viewing their profile page on Porch (this will be listed on your project page) and by searching for reviews on other sites like BBB.
  2. Are you and your subcontractors licensed, bonded and insured?
    Bottom line is, if the contractor answers no to this question, you should not hire them.
  3. When would you be able to start a project like mine?
    This question will determine the availability of the professional. If you have a specific schedule you need to stick to but the professional won’t be available for a few months, it may be worth considering other options before requesting an estimate. On the other hand, if you need to arrange financial aid before the project starts but the professional has a large job planned for the time that you’d like to start, you will need to know this.
  4. Would you be able to provide references for previous clients?
    Like licensing and bonding, references are an extremely good vetting tool. If a professional cannot provide any references for clients, it’s not a good sign.

These are questions that are relevant to all kitchen remodeling projects but you may have additional questions that are important to you. Asking questions gives the contractor a better perspective of your priorities and will enable you to determine who is right for your project.
 

Choosing your contractors

When deciding which contractors to request estimates from, make sure you thoroughly vet them first. You don’t want to waste your time meeting with a contractor only to find out that they don’t have a license or bond! Take a look at these vetting tips to ensure you Hire the Best Remodeling Contractor.

You can check whether a license is valid in your state HERE.
 

Design

Of course, everybody has different tastes when it comes to designing their home. That’s why we’ve put together these 5 Ways to Personalize Your Kitchen.

If your priorities center more around organization than aesthetic, take a look at these 7 Kitchen Organization Ideas.

If you’re the type of person who wants to incorporate the most futuristic technologies into your home design. Take a look at elements we predict the Kitchen Of The Future will have.

 

Financing

Unless you’re fortunate enough to pay for your remodel out of your own pocket, you will probably start by researching home loan options. Find out Which Home Loan is Right for You.

 

Budgeting

Now you know how much you can spend, it’s time to prepare your budget. There are a couple of factors that determine the price of a kitchen remodel, the size and shape of the room and the quality of materials used. The most impactful on the price is the quality of the materials. According to HomeWyse a basic 80sqft kitchen remodel should cost around $11,000-$15,000. Whereas, a luxury 80sqft kitchen remodel could range between $50,000-$65,000 (these figures may differ from state to state). Having an idea of the quality of materials you can afford will allow the contractor’s estimate to be better suited to you. Here are some tips on How to Keep Your Remodeling Budget From Running Wild.

National Kitchen and Bath Association advises that this is where your money should be spent:

kitchen-remodel-pie-chart

If a full kitchen remodel is out of your budget, there are ways to spruce up your kitchen without spending a lot of money. Take a look at these 3 Easy Ways To Update Your Kitchen On a Budget.

 

Estimates

We advise requesting estimates from at least 3 contractors. Not only will this give you an idea of the cost, it allows you to get to know the contractor and their ideas for your project. This is crucial to selecting the right contractor for you.

Here are a few questions you should make sure you ask your remodeling contractor during the first meeting:

  • What is the payment schedule and process?
  • Do you use materials from a specific supplier or can I choose items from retail stores?
  • What is the best way to contact you? (email, phone or text)
  • How long have you worked with your subcontractors?
  • How long do you predict my project will take to complete?
  • What kind of project do you specialize in?

 

Contract

After accepting a contractor’s bid for your project, make sure you get a written contract before any money is exchanged. The most important things to look for in your bathroom remodel contract are:

  • A payment schedule
  • Details of materials used and their cost and warranty
  • Permit information
  • Warranty of workmanship

For more details, see: What to Include in a Contract and Why It’s Important.

Within or as well as the contract, a subcontractor lien waiver should be signed. This will prevent you being liable for the contractor’s failure to pay his subcontractors or vendors. Not until the contractor has proven that all materials and workers have been paid in full should you sign a lien release.

 

Preparing for your project to start

Your kitchen is probably going to be out of order throughout the remodel. Make sure you’re prepared by organizing an area of the house to keep a microwave and kitchen utensils. Check out these articles to find out What To Expect Before You Start Your Kitchen Remodel and more Things to Expect Throughout your Remodel.

 

If you’ve followed these steps to find a great contractor then you’re well on your way to a stress-free remodel. At Porch, we understand that accidents happen. If any damage is caused to your property as a result of the professional we can help you make this right. Read about the terms of our Guarantee.

If you have any questions throughout your remodel, the Porch Home Assistant Team will be happy to help. They can be reached via email at homeowner@porch.com.