It is important to comparison shop, especially if you are out to buy high-ticket items. The same applies when you are in the market for a kitchen remodel, as it is a considerable investment. The thing is, it can get very confusing when comparing quotes from different remodeling companies. You are most likely to get a wide range of quotes, and finding the right balance of quality and cost can be challenging.
The thing you need to remember for kitchen remodeling is the quotes depend a lot on the details. Whether you are considering a minor upgrade or a major overhaul, you need to take a careful look at the specifics of the quote, rather than just the bottom line. This is the only way to make the right choice. Here are some tips on how to assess kitchen remodeling quotes.
Look for specific inclusions
Vague or general statements are a red flag that probably means many extras piling on as you progress through the project. For example, “Replace all countertops” and a round number is not specific enough. You need to see a detailed description of what is included under this task. Does it include removing the old ones and carting it away? Does it include fabrication and edging of the countertops, especially if it is granite, marble, or quartz? Also does it include the sealer? All these things will contribute to the cost of replacing the countertops. If they are not specifically included in your quote, you may have to pay a lot more than you expect.
When you see something like this in your remodeling quote, ask the contractor to describe the process and include a list of inclusions. If the contractor brushes you off and says not to worry about it, start worrying.
You want quotes in writing, including any modifications to your initial discussions. Do not be content with verbal agreements, no matter how trivial the changes are.
Ask about windows
Most kitchens have windows, and you might think a kitchen remodel is a good time to replace them finally. However, you might be surprised to find out how confusing the cost of window replacement can be. If your kitchen windows are in great condition, you may want to skip this part. Otherwise, pay careful attention.
The first thing you need to realize that the quality of your new window has a direct impact on energy savings. A cheap window may fit nicely in your remodel budget, but it will not do a good job in keeping your heating costs low.
You have a wide range of choices regarding the manufacture of your new window. This includes wood, aluminum clad wood, vinyl, fiberglass, and cellular PVC. The window glass itself may be single pane or double pane of difference strengths. The final cost of your windows will depend on the type your contractor will choose for your choice.
In general, you want a fiberglass frame because it is durable and versatile, and a double pane of toughened glass with kryptonite or argon gas between the panes for better insulation. These are not the cheapest choices, but they are the most energy-efficient ones. You also want glass with a low emissivity coating to keep out harmful UV rays.
If replacing the windows is part of your remodel quote, make sure you check the materials. In many cases, spending a little more now will mean more savings later on.
Assessing a low quote
Most people rate cost as their first consideration when contracting with a remodeling company, so it usually pays for a company to bid low. However, there is usually a trade off. A company that quotes low typically means:
• A big down payment because the company does not have a lot of capital
• The company does not have a showroom or permanent address
• The workers have no insurance
• The company does not have liability insurance
• No license for the business or contractor, or both
Of course, this is not always true. It might simply be a small company, and capable of going good work. After all, some of the biggest companies now started out in a garage. However, it pays to do a little research about the company before you seal the deal. If the company does not have a permanent address, but has a business and contractor license, you might still be safe. That said, if the company qualifies for two or more of the items above, you might be taking a huge risk. You might not have any recourse if the company does a bad job.
A good way to decide one way or the other is to ask the company for a list of previous clients and get insights on the work they did. You can also check online for reviews of the company and the Better Business Bureau for any active complaints. If you get good feedback, you might just be on to a good deal.
Assessing a high quote
Many people have this idea that a company that gives a high quote must be good. That is not true at all. The most reputable remodeling companies usually get substantial discounts from manufacturers and suppliers, so they are able to pass this on to their clients. A company that gets many projects also tend to have the best trade professionals because they can provide steady work.
What this means is that the highest quotes may not be coming from the best companies for your remodeling at all, but from companies that are not getting that much business. Of course, that is when everything else being equal in terms of scope of work and quality of products.
In many cases, similar quotes from two companies might mean much better quality products from the better company. It is comparing apples and oranges, which is why it is important to look over the details of each quote.
The kitchen is extremely important to any home, and you want a good return on your investment. When assessing kitchen remodeling quotes, your goal is to get the best possible deal with the highest quality materials you can afford. Make sure you choose a reputable remodeling company and go through the quote with a fine toothcomb before making a down payment.
Mimosa Kitchen and Bath knows all about kitchen remodeling in the DC metro area, Columbia, Rockville, Bethesda, Jessup, Chevy Chase and surrounding areas. You can ask us for a free, no-obligation in-home consultation, 3D design and the all-important quote. We guarantee you will be very happy with our offers.
You can visit our showroom in Ellicott City, Maryland to see the many products and stone slabs we have available. This includes marble, granite and engineered quartz for your vanity tops. All of our products come backed with brand warranties.
Aside from expert remodeling services, we sell high-quality products manufactured by leading brands in the industry. When you purchase your products from us, we guarantee speedy delivery compared to ordering from big box stores. Our contractors will fabricate the product and install it into your bathroom quickly and with excellent artisanship.
We sell a host of products, from bathroom and kitchen cabinets, flooring, faucets and sinks, to vanities. Some of the brands we carry include Zodiaq, Fabuwood, Forevermark Cabinetry, Caesarstone, MSI, Kitchenmaid, Wolf Cabinets, Cambria and Hardware Resources.
Contact us today to get a free quote and design consultation for your kitchen remodeling project!