How to Find the Perfect Kitchen Remodeler: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Find the Perfect Kitchen Remodeler: A Step-by-Step Guide

12 jun 2023

12 jun 2023

words by Alex Molkentin

words by Alex Molkentin

Finding a kitchen remodeling contractor can be a serious challenge. Let's face it, remodeling a kitchen will almost certainly be the most expensive room remodeled in your home. Accordingly, taking the time and putting in the effort to find the best-fit designer and contractor near you will be the best thing you do to protect your investment and sanity.

We have remodeled countless kitchens here in Boulder, Colorado. So what we have done below is take our years of experience and flip the script. If we went out tomorrow to hire a kitchen designer or contractor, this is the process we would follow.

  1. Assess your remodeling goals.

At Fernhill Build Studio, the first step in any project is to learn about our customers and help them articulate their values. There is always a time and place for exploring every kitchen design idea the internet offers or the latest trend on Instagram. The reality is that most of us have budgets we need to maintain, we have limitations on the impact a project can have on our life, or maybe even we have certain "must haves" and are not willing to compromise on. Understanding what these wants and needs mean in construction will help immensely when picking a contractor.

Understand the famed "golden triangle" of priorities. Speed, Quality, and Cost. Pick 2 to prioritize, knowing that you cannot have all 3. Suppose you want your designer kitchen to be done with high quality and quickly. In that case, the reality is that a contractor who does it at low cost should probably be a red flag. If you know that low costs and high quality are a priority, have the expectation that it will likely not be done quickly.

The better you understand and can communicate your values, the easier it will be to build a team of designers and contractors with the same expectation.

2. Ask for recommendations.

Word-of-mouth recommendations are precious, especially in the remodeling industry. Reach out to friends, family, and colleagues who have recently completed kitchen remodels. Seek their opinions on the remodelers they worked with and whether they were satisfied with the results. Personal experiences can provide valuable insights.

3. Meet with kitchen designers and contractors.

The best kitchen designs not only satisfy the latest trends, upgrade your kitchen and leave your jaw dropped, but they also hit your budgets and are constructed with high quality. The cost of a kitchen remodel changes in the blink of an eye, depending on what custom cabinetry, flooring, or countertops you select. This is why in our opinion having the design and construction process/budgets developed simultaneously is non-negotiable. At Fernhill Build Studio, we consciously chose to bring the design in-house to ensure there was never a gap in communication between teams. At the same time, though, we absolutely love working with outside designers who value a team-oriented process. If you want an aesthetically pleasing kitchen that exhibits quality and hits budget, we suggest you do the same.

4. Consider communication and compatibility.

When you hire an interior designer and kitchen contractor, understand that you will spend the next 4-12 months with them. Knowing this, pick people you get along with. While there have been many successful projects that finish with both parties not wanting or needing to be socially intertwined, the truth is, working together when you don't hate someone is a whole lot easier.

At Fernhill, our business model uses processes and systems to make our team the best version of themselves when delivering to our clients. Whether or not your project is a success, in the end, is a result of both. When meeting with your potential team, invest in learning if their company processes also align with your values.

For example:

  • If you value communication, do they have an established customer portal that provides and updates construction schedules in real time and gives daily logs?

  • If you value quality - do they have established quality checks and sign-offs? What is their warranty process? What is their punch list process for the end of the project? Are these established in written form?

  • Suppose you are concerned about escalating costs and want to save money. Does the company have a transparent method of updating costs and communicating them? What guarantees are given on budgets, are contract terms fixed or variable (cost-plus contract).

5. Verify Credentials.

When considering a remodeler or interior designer, verifying their credentials and processes is essential. Look for professionals who are licensed, insured, and integrated into the local industry. If you know someone who has worked with them before, verify the processes they communicated were utilized during their project.

Value experience, but take it with a grain of salt. While age and a long Rolodex of past projects can be a way of judging experience, it can also disguise outdated processes and inflated labor costs. We suggest you value accreditation and the ability of companies to demonstrate how their established procedures align with your values.


6. Pay for an estimate.

Yes, that is right. Pay for an estimate. People are often shocked when they hear we will not give an estimate for free.

At Fernhill, we always communicate in early meetings with potential clients a high level of expectation of costs based on years of data we have accumulated from similar-scope projects at no charge. This is often done from various software that generates linear take-offs. These numbers are only intended to be a high level outline of what to expect in understanding kitchen remodel costs.

The reality is that budgeting for a kitchen is incredibly complex. A small kitchen remodel can still have 150 line items that must be evaluated. Within those line items, there are probably 75 that the kitchen interior designer and the client need to work through together with realistic expectations of costs attached to each decision.

Assuming that this kitchen remodel is one of the most significant investments you make in your life, how much trust would you be willing to put into numbers that a company was willing not to charge for. If it is free, how accurate can they be? If they are inaccurate, are you willing to invest with that level of risk? Would that be setting yourself up for failure?

We firmly believe so. When we deliver the design with a detailed estimate attached, there are countless hours of due diligence worthy of your investment attached to it. We stand behind numbers and schematics and implore our clients to hold us accountable.

Finding the perfect kitchen remodeler for all levels of projects is achievable with careful research, consideration, and communication. As you embark on this exciting journey to transform your kitchen, remember that a skilled and experienced remodeler will bring your vision to life and ensure a smooth and satisfying remodeling experience. Take your time, ask the right questions, and choose a remodeler who shares your passion for creating a stunning and functional kitchen space that perfectly suits your needs and lifestyle.

As always, if you are interested in beginning the journey of a remodel in the Boulder or Denver areas of Colorado, reach out. We will bring both the coffee and expertise required to make your dream kitchen a reality.

Happy remodeling!

Finding the perfect kitchen remodeler for all levels of projects is achievable with careful research, consideration, and communication. As you embark on this exciting journey to transform your kitchen, remember that a skilled and experienced remodeler will bring your vision to life and ensure a smooth and satisfying remodeling experience. Take your time, ask the right questions, and choose a remodeler who shares your passion for creating a stunning and functional kitchen space that perfectly suits your needs and lifestyle.

As always, if you are interested in beginning the journey of a remodel in the Boulder or Denver areas of Colorado, reach out. We will bring both the coffee and expertise required to make your dream kitchen a reality.

Happy remodeling!

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© 2023 FErnhill build studio llc. All rights reserved.

© 2023 FErnhill build studio llc. All rights reserved.

© 2023 FErnhill build studio llc. All rights reserved.