There are many things to take into consideration when hiring a refacing professional. First and foremost is hiring someone that is experienced, licensed, bonded and insured. But also of great importance is that the person or company being considered is a good communicator. Do they take the time to listen to your questions, concerns, needs, wants and desires when it comes to redoing your kitchen? Can they consult on lighting, countertops, appliances. Do they give helpful suggestions?
I’ve outlined the most important items to consider when choosing a refacing professional so that you….
Is your contractor licensed?
In the state of Arizona it is illegal to contract with someone who is not licensed with The Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ROC). The ROC was set up as a protection for consumers. All licensed contractors must pass a series of tests to become licensed and all licensed contractors are required to regularly pay into a reparation fund so that in the event any that any licensed contractor fails to meet his or her obligations the ROC will then refund the money to the consumer. In that way the consumer does not have to get a lawyer and go through the arduous process of having to sue the contractor in question.
It is also a requirement of the ROC that any licensed contractor also carry liability insurance and also carry a performance bond. A performance bond, similar to the ROC recovery fund, insures that the consumer be reimbursed for any money they have coming to them as the result of a contractor failing to meet their obligations.
If you are choosing not to hire a licensed contractor make sure that you get at least 3 references and that you go and inspect the work in person. There are plenty of un-licensed outfits that do good work. Just be sure you are taking a risk that you are comfortable with. Even the most well-intentioned contractor can have situations befall them that render them unable to fulfill their contractual obligations. If they fail to meet those obligations and can not or will not refund any monies you have paid, then you are out your money. You can sue… but if the contractor has no assets, then you are not only out the money you paid the contractor, but you are out the expense and time of hiring a lawyer. Having a licensed contractor is having insurance that if your job isn’t done or isn’t done correctly, that you will be made whole.
Is your contractor reliable?
While this may be difficult to determine from an initial conversation or interaction, there are some qualities you can look for that are a good indications that a refacing contractor is generally reliable:
- They have an up to date website.
- They give you their cell # and if they don’t answer your calls they return them within 24 hours.
- They take time to learn your communication style: they learn under what circumstances to call, text or email you.
- They give a detailed, comprehensive and easy to understand typed proposal that specifies things like door style, wood species, color, finish, hinges etc. They specify a start time for your project and an end date. They clearly state what is included in their price and what is not included. They have a fair payment schedule. Be extremely wary of any contractor that wants all the money up front.
Request bids from multiple contractors
No refacing contractor knows everything, and not all refacing contractors are a good fit for every prospective client. Get at least 3 bids form qualified professionals. It will be your best education. It’s also good to be aware that if the price seems too good to be true it most likely is, and if the price seems astronomically high that probably means that the company doesn’t really want your business and/or may be doing cabinet refacing as a side line. Some companies that provide cabinet refacing are comparatively very expensive because they have a showroom and an office staff. Some people need that. But many qualified reface companies come to your home with samples, and do not have a show room, but have have a shop. Some reface companies that only have a shop will also sub-contract to the larger cabinet companies that have showrooms and specialize in other things.
A final note
Experience has shown me that a refacing company that also has an extensive background in cabinet design and fabrication and finishing will give you the best overall job.