If you’ve taken on the responsibility of acting as the general contractor for your kitchen renovation, pat yourself on the back. Overseeing a remodeling project is no simple task, but can be well worth it for homeowners who are good with finances, people, management, and problem-solving. If you’ve never before managed a renovation undertaking, though, be aware of some common mistakes homeowners often make during the process. Educating yourself and finding companies you can trust is vital to achieving a finished product you will be happy with.
Contracting a Poor Cabinet Design & Installation Team
Nothing screams “unprofessional” like inferior cabinetry in a brand new kitchen. Storage, efficiency, and functionality are each vastly reduced, as well as interference with appliances. A substandard installer might misuse materials that will then need to be re-ordered, install uneven cabinets that won’t allow for countertop installation, or make mistakes which void cabinet warranties. Incorrectly installed cabinets will result in costly and time-consuming oversights, which will require mediation by a professional, delaying your project by several weeks. Selecting a qualified company that has hands-on design and installation experience will ensure a higher performance of your kitchen, maximizing storage and allowing the proper clearances for all appliances to operate as intended – the first time!
Purchasing Ready to Assemble (RTA) or Import Cabinets
Most RTA cabinets have a poor 1-step finish that does not last long term. What’s more, they don’t come with a warranty and are not approved by the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, who ensures you are getting a quality product. Without a warranty, you’re left searching for replacement parts that are often out of stock and likely won’t match the finish on your cabinets. Imported cabinets are not made with the same regulations we adhere to, resulting in non-sustainable materials being used. Finally, you are constrained to limited styles, sizes, and options in RTA cabinets; consequently, you will need to design your new space around the product rather than finding a product that fits your design and space.
Hiring Unlicensed or Uninsured Contractors
Perhaps one of the most dangerous mistakes a homeowner can make is to hire a contractor who isn’t licensed and insured. Without a contractor’s license, a contractor is unable to secure liability insurance or workers compensation insurance, thus putting the homeowner in grave financial risk in the event of damage to property or injury of the contractor. As the homeowner and the sole party carrying insurance, you are liable for any damages and responsible monetarily.
Failing to Obtain Necessary Permits and Structural Plans
Permits are almost always required for a remodeling project, but securing them is not as difficult as most might think. Permits ensure that your electrical, plumbing, and other trades are installed per your city’s current code and meet safety requirements. In some cases, structural plans aren’t necessary, but it is important to get a professional assessment by an engineer for this determination. A home’s structure is deliberately planned from an engineering standpoint, so modifying the structure without proper plans can result in severe damage to your home and possible injury to its inhabitants.
Employing the Lowest Bidder
A phrase often used when comparing bids is “apples to apples.” Frequently the cheapest bid is accompanied by the worst craftsmanship and incomplete project scope. As contractors we all approach a project differently; a knowledgeable and skilled contractor will likely not be your cheapest option. However, their experience will result in a more comprehensive bid than you will receive from a “less expensive” competitor. A low price typically means several essential aspects to the project have been omitted, sometimes even intentionally. A middle of the road bid will more accurately reflect the components of a complete project you will be happy with.
Hopefully becoming acquainted with these commonly made mistakes will help you avoid making them in your upcoming kitchen renovation. For more information on how to achieve a successful kitchen remodel, we invite you to get in touch and schedule a consultation with one of the cabinetry specialists at RBC Construction. We design and install beautiful custom cabinets that will perfectly suit your new kitchen space.