It happened again this afternoon. A homeowner came into the design studio, looking at cabinets. As we chatted, I found out that the reason she’s looking is because the outfit to whom she’d already given a deposit is not returning her phone calls. They are past their installation date, and she’s come to the realization that her deposit is probably lost. She said, ‘He was a friend,’ was being the operative word here. I asked the name of the company. She told me, but I didn’t recognize it. Unusual for me – I’ve at least heard of most of the kitchen design professionals in the area. Then she went on to tell me that he usually does closets, but he was doing the kitchen for her as a favor. Some favor…
Economic downturns have many negative facets. As a homeowner, you have to do your homework and be aware of who you’re dealing with. If one person’s price is much lower than everyone else’s – that’s probably a bad sign. If they just ‘branched out’ into the type of project you’re considering – probably another bad sign. And, believe it or not, it takes a whole different mindset to remodel a home than it does to build one. If you have a remodeler who has only done new construction in the past, don’t expect them to automatically have the sensibilities to conduct a project while the homeowner is living in the house.
Do your homework – ask for references. Make sure the references aren’t all for 5 year old projects either. Ask to see some finished projects – or projects under way now. Make sure you satisfy any nagging questions you might have about a potential kitchen remodeler. Trust your gut – if the price sounds too good to be true, be wary of it.
A tight economy means that there are more people vying for your remodeling dollar than ever before. You’ve got to protect yourself and make sure that you are dealing with a reputable kitchen & bath specialist. Don’t get taken to the cleaners.