Learn more about choosing the right home remodeler for your needs.
According to the Consumer Federation of America, only the automobile industry rivals home improvement in complaints and less-than-positive customer experiences.
What’s going on?
Well, there’s over 120 million households in the U.S. and 20,000 BBB-registered home remodeling contractors. In that sea of business, home lifestyles, aesthetic expression, and humanity, a lot of unpleasantness can and does happen.
Thankfully here in the Kansas City area our numbers are much smaller.
In 2018, for example, the most common complaints revolved around shoddy to absolutely horrible (to nonexistent) work, the failure to start and finish on time, and unethical behaviors surrounding money – outrageous quoting, taking money upfront, asking for more than at first agreed half way through, etc.
To avoid this nonsense, let’s first look at three quick tips to finding the right contractor, then dig a bit deeper into what that means. Hopefully by the end you know exactly what to look for in a home remodeling contractor Kansas City.
3 Quick Tips – Find the Right Home Remodeling Contractor Kansas City
Tip #1: If people in your sphere of influence can’t hook you up (and this isn’t always a dependable option), then turn to reputable sources to research companies. AngiesList is an easy example where Jericho Home Improvement, one of the most well-known Kansas City remodeling contractors, already has close to 200 reviews.
Tip #2: Don’t be shy! Interview at least three high-quality contractors who you’ve validated through reputable sources, and ask for references.
Tip #3: Check licenses, and be sure to look into their company backgrounds using the BBB, local city records and watchdog reports. There’s also licensing, permitting, and carrying the proper insurance to consider as well.
See, there’s nothing fancy about those tips. Easy basics. But if these steps were all that was needed, the nation wouldn’t see so many thousands of horrible home remodeling experiences every year.
Let’s transition into five ways to dig deeper and really find that ‘miracle maker’ match.
1) The People Who Make the Company What It Really Is
Even if the company checks all the marks in terms of licensing, legitimate history within the industry and all the other technicalities, it doesn’t mean they’re a good match for you.
It also isn’t a guarantee the installation team you get will be stellar either – often a core team is the very best, then the company hires tons of other less experienced people (who cost the company far less as well).
Here’s how Jericho Home Improvement approaches this aspect of the trade.
- We only hire 1 of roughly 20 applicants, minimum. This is because we expect a lot and set high standards of professional aptitude. Like our customers we also want to work with great people with respect, integrity, an honest personality, and trade skill.
- Rather than having the typical small army of subcontractors come trouncing through your home, even during full and comprehensive remodel projects we send small crews of Jericho Master Installers – average of 15 years experience, cross-trained experts.
- Supporting our master installers, is a great team of people running management, customer service, and clerical matters behind them to ensure the entire process our customers experience is squeaky-clean and as smooth as possible.
Once you know the type of people you’re going to be dealing with, it’s a matter of having an understanding of the ethos that pushes them onward.
2) The Underlying Drivers of Their Industry Approach
When you work with the wrong contractors, your remodeling project is just a paycheck in a line of paychecks. It’s not even a special paycheck. Regardless, their goal is to make that paycheck as big as possible. They aren’t interested in being a part of something special, rejuvenating your family’s living environment, or dramatically increasing the value of your home.
In contrast, Jericho Home Improvement has a host of big drivers that keep our teams on their toes every day.
Here’s a quick trio:
- “Our stress-free remodeling process starts with quality communication, real expectations, and true accountability.”
- “With Jericho Home Improvement you get data-backed, tried and tested, and innovative solutions, not the same ol’ runaround.”
- “Jericho isn’t taking your project with the intention of making you a ‘customer’ of ours, we actually want you to become a raving fan!”
Just one quick note, before going too deeply into the process, it’s critical that the company you’re talking to ascertains if you’re in their wheelhouse. Are they too small, or too large of a contractor? Do they specialize in the types of home remodeling you need?
For example, Jericho Home Improvement does kitchen and bathroom remodeling for the good people of Kansas City, so if you need new siding or roof work done, we can’t help.
Speaking of which…
3) Materials, Processes, and Workmanship
Of the tens of thousands of home remodeling contractors in the nation, easily 90% of them say something along the lines of,
“We only use the best materials in the known universe.”
Yet, it only takes you a few minutes to realize a good percentage of the industry complaints every year are centered on poor-quality materials.
Here’s our approach and we stick to it like our business depends on it (because it partly does). All materials we use and recommend for Kansas City home remodeling are:
- Crafted by proven manufacturers and/or are the materials we have a long history with and trust them. Too many contractors avoid good materials, not because of cost, but because of a lack of experience using them!
- Attractive and complimentary to the overall aesthetic you and your Jericho Team of master installers are out to achieve. If we’re overhauling your kitchen cabinetry, we’re not going to use anything that takes away from them.
- Strong, durable, and tested to maintain flawless functioning over the long haul, even over long-term heavy usage. Our materials aren’t going to start breaking down in a few months.
When all these parts come together harmoniously, you have the makings for a relationship between the company and community it serves. This is why there’s such a high turnover for remodeling contractors – they burn their bridges and create bad reputations.
4) Local Reputation: Genuine Customer Reviews & Testimonials
The first thing to know is this – the world of reviews in the remodeling industry are quite odd. Although they really paint a picture of how different folks are when it comes to their expectations.
It’s extremely possible to read 10 reviews of a contractor and see half are incredibly positive while the other five are the complete opposite.
How is this possible?
Simple: what you’re dealing with is likely a company with a core team or a core group of people who are friendly, respectful, professional and talented at what they do. Then, around them are usually subcontractors or members hired as the company expands which do not share the core’s beliefs, attitudes, skills and approaches to the work.
5) Their Professional Project Portfolio or Galleries
This leads us to the cream of the crop, where you can really see if a company can walk the walk. Your only challenge is ensuring that the portfolio you’re looking at is populated with genuine projects that THEY worked on.
How easy would it be for any contractor to put gorgeous photographs of kitchens from the net in their portfolio? Really easy. There are millions of kitchen photographs, so how would you know it was from Kansas City?
- Don’t just look, talk to them about the projects in their portfolio. You’ll know right away whether they’re real or not. Or, at least you should have a much better idea.
- This is where references come into play. Any references a remodeling contractor proposes to put you in contact with should have a spot in the portfolio as well.
- There should be more than one angle of the same kitchen work, as well as close up images taken of flooring sections, cabinetry, bathroom tile, nice detail work, the shower transformation, etc.
What do you think? What other ways could you ensure you don’t get taken for a loop?
After successfully completing thousands of kitchen and bathroom remodels in the Kansas City area, we feel that if you follow the spirit of this list you’ll do your remodeling goals and ambitions true justice.
Wrapping Up: Attention Kansas City Homeowners
If you’re in the Kansas City area looking to interview the most well-known remodeling contractors, be sure to consider Jericho. Our staff is standing by to take your call or get your message through our website form. We look forward to hearing from you today.Tags: homeowner tips, remodel, remodeling