“Kitchen remodeling can go ‘sideways’ for many reasons and it usually happens really fast. When it does happen it is a major headache and financial problem for the homeowner,” stated Raymond Campbell of Fort Worth Home Buyers, an investor group of home buyers in Fort Worth. “It usually boils down to a lack of research and preparation on the part of the home owner. Most of the problems I have seen could have been avoided if the homeowner had been better prepared. And when the home owner is trying to sell the home and the kitchen remodeling goes ‘sideways’ then often times the house is sold in ‘as-is’ condition with a half rehabbed kitchen. Rather than increasing the value of the property it does the opposite because a new home buyer will have to start over.”
House buyers in Fort Worth who buy houses with outdated kitchens should plan on a significant investment. This type of home remodeling usually costs $10,000 to $40,000 depending on the size of the kitchen and the type of upgrades desired.
Homeowners can start by asking friends and neighbors who have recently had work done on their homes. They can be a reference as well as an example of the contractors’ work. Find out if the contractor works with a certified kitchen designer who can assist in the design of the kitchen. Inquire if the contractor or a representative will be on-site to overlook the job. Ask the contractor for the three most recent references of their work on residential properties. Don’t forget to utilize well-known online sources for written reviews.
Once a homeowner has narrowed down the list of potential contractors, it is time to ask for written proposals and any licenses the contractor may or should have, such as plumbing and electrical. Check and double check licenses and confirm they are accurate and current. State and county licensing boards have websites that can be used to check the validity of an individual’s license. One item that every home buyer in Fort Worth needs to ask for before signing any contract is a certificate of insurance. This insures that the contractor and any sub-contractors carry the appropriate insurance to do the job. The certificate will come to the homeowner from the contractor’s insurance company. The homeowner should confirm the validity of the insurance with the insurance company for maximum protection.
Homeowners should ask who will be responsible for pulling the necessary permits for the job. A contractor experienced with residential real estate should have no qualms about pulling permits. A contractor who cuts corners may ask the homeowner to pull the permits. That simple act may save the homeowner some time and money but it can be a problem when selling the house because the permits may not have been issued properly or may not cover the entire scope of the project.
After obtaining several quotes for the kitchen remodeling job a contractor may ask for full payment before beginning the job. “I can’t stress this enough. Never pay all the money up front,” emphasized Mr. Campbell, “payments should be made in predetermined stages based on the completion of certain aspects of the job. In Fort Worth real estate, a down payment of 10% to 20% should be enough to get the job started. The contract should state exactly what is being done and the time line for completion. The final payment is made only when the job is completed and all contractor obligations have been performed as per the written contract. Having an attorney review a $10,000 to $40,000 contract would be a good idea and give the homeowner the assurance that it is fair for both parties.”
A reputable contractor, checking for licenses, proper insurance, correct permitting, financing, and a clear-cut contract are the keys that will protect a homeowner’s financial interest and sanity. Following these common sense steps will help the homeowner obtain a beautifully remodeled kitchen with a minimum or no conflict during the process.
Fort Worth Home Buyers
Wells Fargo Tower, 201 Main St #600, Fort Worth, TX 76102