Working with Your Kitchen Contractor
By Alicia Rowe
Your kitchen is without doubt one of the most important rooms of the house. What
other room can accommodate cooking a meal for your family, helping your child with a
school project, and calling for a pizza when you get too engrossed in the school project to
notice that your meal is burning? Although your relationship with your kitchen contractor
may only be short-term, it is important. Whether your kitchen renovation is large or small,
you will be working closely with your contractor to make sure you end up with the room of
As with all relationships, communication is key. Speaking with your contractor
regularly can save a lot of potential headaches and issues with the renovation project.
Double-checking on materials orders is always a good idea, especially if you were wavering
between a few different choices before narrowing it down to one. How disappointing
would it be to receive the wrong cabinet or flooring color due to miscommunication?
You’ll also want to discuss scheduling. Does your contractor have standard hours that
they usually work? Find out if these hours work with the ones you have available. If you
have factors that can make part of your schedule inflexible (e.g., taking the kids to school,
set work hours, etc.), make your contractor aware of this. Be sure everyone is on the same
page on scheduling issues. No one likes being suddenly interrupted from their work, so
discuss possible scheduling issues ahead of time to make a schedule that works best for
both of you.
Also inform your contractors of any special needs you have for the project. You may
have a non-smoking household, and do not wish your contractors or his helpers smoking on
your property. You may have small children that the contractor should be aware of to
prevent accidents from happening. Be sure you also keep the contractor's needs in mind.
You'll need to make sure the contractor and their workers have access to a bathroom, whether
the one in your home or a portable bathroom. You can also be a huge help to your
contractor by ensuring your kitchen is ready to be renovated. Clear your counters and
drawers if those are to be replaced, and move furniture that may be in the way.
Last, but certainly not least, get everything in writing! Any agreement that is made
should be written down and signed by both you and your contractor, including last-minute
changes. This is extremely important as it can prevent confusion, which could result in a
kitchen that is different from what you really wanted.