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How To Choose The Right Kitchen Remodeling Contractor in Michigan

November 7th, 2018 | 4 min read

By Michael Flory

Remodeled kitchen with updated appliances and a large window

Selecting a contractor for a kitchen remodeling project can be a stressful experience, especially if you are unfamiliar with home remodeling. 

As a Mid-Michigan home design & remodeling company that has designed and built kitchens for the last 15 years, Custom Built understands what makes a great contractor.

In this article, you are going to learn how to find the right contractor for your kitchen remodeling project.

Remodeled kitchen with large quartz countertop

1. Do a Better Business Bureau Search of Contractors Near You

Finding the right home remodeling contractor can be difficult if you have never done so before. Figuring out who is reputable, qualified, and provides the services you are looking for in your area will be a great first step.

A Better Business Bureau kitchen remodel (BBB) search will get you started on the right track. 

The BBB provides a clear list of kitchen remodelers in your area, their reviews, complaints, and service information.

The BBB provides a grade of A+ through F for each business on the platform. 

To determine an accurate grade for each business, the BBB uses publicly available information such as reviews and complaints, as well as information requested from the business like licenses, years in business, and transparency of business practices.

The grades represent the BBB’s opinion of how the business is likely to interact with its customers.

2. Check the Michigan Licensing Database for Their Information

In the state of Michigan, home improvement specialists need a license from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA)

During your search for a kitchen remodeling contractor, conduct a search on the LARA website for their MI building license information. Enter the business’ information into the search fields and their results will appear at the bottom of the page.

A valid and lapsed license will show up when you click on the prospective contractor’s name.

If a contractor does not have a valid license with the state of Michigan, they are operating illegally.

A contractor licensed by the state of Michigan is operating legally and ethically.

3. Ask the Kitchen Contractor Good Questions

Asking good questions to a potential contractor will give you insight into the quality of experience you will have with them.

Questions to ask the contractor:

Do You Belong to any Nationally Recognized Building Organizations? 

These organizations provide members with access to:

What Warranties do You Offer on Materials and Workmanship?

  • Each contractor has a different warranty policy. Before hiring a kitchen contractor, make sure you understand their warranty guidelines.
  • Custom Built, for example, offers a lifetime workmanship warranty. Not every company offers such a warranty so ask before you hire.

Do You Have a Design Team on Staff?

  • When a company has an internal team, design issues that occur during production can be addressed in real-time. The transfer of communication is cohesive from start to finish.
  • Full-service design and remodeling companies, like Custom Built, have an internal design team that handles every aspect of the kitchen remodel.

Do You Install Custom or Manufactured Kitchen Cabinets?

  • Custom cabinets give you limitless options for your kitchen design.
  • Manufactured cabinets are limited in size options and give you less flexibility for the design of your kitchen.

What Experience do You Have in Remodeling a Similar Kitchen?

  • This will give you a good idea that the contractor is capable of tackling your building project.

Do You Have Pictures of Kitchen Projects You Have Built?

  • Pictures will show the quality of the contractor’s work and which kitchen elements they have experience installing.

Are You Exclusively a Kitchen Cabinet Supplier?

  • You may come across kitchen cabinet suppliers who, on the surface, seem like they are kitchen remodelers who handle all aspects of a kitchen project.
  • Big box stores such as Home Depot or Lowe’s are examples of these. There are smaller companies as well but the big box stores are the most recognizable.
  • These companies only handle the cabinet aspect of a kitchen remodel but will not handle the other parts of a remodel such as flooring, demolition, electrical, plumbing, framing, appliance installation, and permitting.
  • Ask which aspects of kitchen remodeling the contractor handles before getting too far in your project details.

4. Know How the Contractor Should Price Your Quote Upfront

Consider how the quote is broken down.

Was I given a fixed price quote before specific details about the project are finalized?

  • It is unrealistic for a contractor to give you a fixed price quote before you make product selections for the following reasons:
    • Specific details about your project are not finalized which will influence the final cost.
    • If the company used allowances, to get your fixed price, know that allowances typically will only cover lower-quality materials. (Allowances limit the amount of money that you can delegate towards product selections, such as cabinets, flooring, and countertops to stay within the initial budget)

Are you provided a price range rather than a fixed price?

  • An experienced kitchen remodeler will quote your project with a budget range highlighting details like the size of your project and the type of finishes you desire.
  • Then after engaging in a thoughtful design process a final fixed price can be determined.

Learn more in this article about how to compare home remodeling contractor quotes.

Next Steps to Begin Your Kitchen Remodel

Now that you are equipped to find the right kitchen remodel contractor, you are on track to make an informed decision about your remodeling project and get your dream kitchen.

Through serving the Mid-Michigan area for over 15 years, Custom Built understands what you’re looking for. If you want to see if Custom Built is the right fit for you, book an appointment with our sales team. They would love the opportunity to speak and help you with your project, even if Custom Built isn’t your solution.

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Michael Flory

Michael brings over 2 decades of building and remodeling experience to his position as the Owner and Visionary of Custom Built. Michael’s passion to make an impact on the home building industry has led him to serve for over ten years at the local and state Home Builders Association, culminating as President of the HBA of Michigan in 2020.