The Benefits of Multiple Kitchen Remodeling Quotes
Kitchen remodeling can be an exciting project, but it can also get out of hand quickly. Give yourself a leg up on this project with multiple quotes.
It's a popular thought that the kitchen is the heart of the home. At the same time, it's also the most expensive room to remodel (though it can yield a relatively healthy return on investment of around 80 percent). For these reasons, kitchen remodeling is one of the most popular renovations homeowners undertake. But, these projects can swell in scope and costs quickly, and homeowners embarking on this journey should do their homework to ensure they'll love the end result.
Getting multiple quotes is one of the best ways to complete a kitchen project without it careening off-track like a granite-laden runaway train. The following are some of the most significant benefits of shopping for quotes for kitchen remodeling jobs.
The Benefits of Getting Quotes for a Kitchen Remodeling Project
The number of reasons why it's a smart move to get multiple quotes for a kitchen remodeling project are nearly limitless. However, certain benefits make spending a little longer comparing quotes during the project's planning phase worth the effort.
1. A Better Grasp on the Project
Many homeowners are too busy with families and careers to learn the intricacies and the ins and outs of a construction project. This inexperience can play against them when they undertake a kitchen renovation, but getting multiple quotes can help.
Collecting quotes from multiple contractors can help the homeowner better understand the project's scope. They'll be able to compare line items between quotes for a clearer overall picture of what the job includes. For example, if the contractor is relocating the sink, the quote will contain line items for the sink as well as the cost to move the plumbing. Also, if an aspect of the project requires reframing the structures that the homeowner can't see, the quote should include it.
While it might seem that one quote should detail the job, there is usually more than one way for a contractor to handle a task. Multiple quotes will reveal these methods, and the homeowner can make a more informed decision about what's involved and which direction they'd like the project to go.
2. Getting to Know the Contractors
Aside from ground-up additions, a kitchen remodeling project can be the longest-running project a homeowner can undertake. During this time, homeowners will work relatively closely with the contractor they hire. It's worth getting to know several contractors and how they do business before choosing one, and getting a few quotes will help.
The planning process can reveal a lot about what a prospective relationship with a contractor could look like. If the contractor takes a minute during the quote process to get to know the customer's needs and wants for their kitchen, they're setting the table for a positive, synergistic relationship. But, if a contractor throws a quick quote together without regard for the customer's unique needs and input, or simply communicates poorly, the working relationship is likely to be a grim one.
3. Comparing Materials and Suppliers
In a room where the number of fixtures, materials, and finishes can vary widely, homeowners need to get an idea of what each kitchen remodeling quote includes.
Having multiple quotes in hand from several contractors allows the homeowner to compare the materials each company is proposing. They can look at the price of the materials as well as the quality, which helps the homeowner determine which quote offers the best value.
It's also a homeowner's right to know where contractors buy materials for their kitchen renovation. But, contractors don't have to supply that information until the homeowner asks. Homeowners who request this information will have a better look at a contractor's supply chain, and they can ask for quotes from several supply houses. This can lessen the risk of supply chain shortages or price hikes when shortages do occur.
And, every tiny detail doesn't need sorting for the project to move forward. In instances where the homeowner isn't sure what they want, they can include a contractor's allowance in the quote. This is a line item that the homeowner can add and assign a value to, but leave out the specifics until they're ready. For instance, should a homeowner be unsure of which microwave they want, they may leave a contractor's allowance for a microwave up to $500. This leaves room in the budget for a microwave but allows the project to move forward without this relatively minor detail.
4. Comparing Finish Levels
Beyond the basic building materials that any construction or renovation project requires, a lot of time and energy goes into choosing the fixtures and finishes of a kitchen renovation project. And, since these items are available in different tiers based on price, quality, and luxuriousness, it pays to get several quotes.
There are three basic tiers or grades in kitchen remodeling materials: builder-grade, mid-grade, and luxury-grade. Builder-grade finishes and fixtures might include melamine or particleboard cabinets, laminate countertops, vinyl flooring, and basic faucets. For mid-grade, expect wood cabinets, granite counters, tile floors, and a higher-end faucet. For luxury-grade, a kitchen renovation may include marble countertops and backsplashes, pot-fillers over the stove, exotic solid wood cabinets, built-in appliances, and customizable lighting or entertainment.
Diving deeper into the finish levels, we might see entire appliance suites broken down by brand on a kitchen remodeling quote. Brands like Whirlpool, GE, and Frigidaire would be considered entry-level sets. Suites from Thor, LG, Samsung, KitchenAid, and Bosch fall toward the mid-range price points. When it comes to luxury-grade, expect brand names like Viking, Miele, and Wolf—products built with professionals in mind but adapted to a residential setting.
These suites may include stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers, and microwaves, while some higher-end packages might include wine fridges, deep freezers, and other luxury appliances. They can also range between $2,000 for entry-level equipment, $5,000 to $10,000 for mid-grade suites, to $40,000 or more for the top-tier, chef-ready suites.
If a homeowner chooses to, they can mix and match items from each tier to put together a kitchen of their dreams that also fits within their budget. But they can also discuss prices and availability with the prospective contractors, giving them more power than someone who blindly accepts the first quote they receive.
5. Becoming an Educated Consumer
Knowledge is truly power, and the more information that a customer can compile in the forms of quotes and estimates, the better off they'll be. By comparing quotes, the homeowner will be able to see what each contractor believes to be necessary to complete their kitchen project, and that can be a valuable clue.
Consider a contractor whose quote left off some items that all the other contractors included. This might be due to oversight, or simply a lack of experience. Or, consider a contractor who listed items no one else has included. That contractor might know something that no one else does, or they could be taking the customer for a ride, and it may be worth asking about.
The homeowner may only notice these discrepancies if they have quotes in hand to compare. They may be able to avoid an inexperienced contractor or one that's trying to take advantage of them. They might also be able to pick an experienced veteran contractor with years of know-how out of the bunch.
6. Saving Money
Arguably the greatest benefit to shopping for quotes for a kitchen remodeling project is saving money. Marking materials up is a common practice, and many contractors will do so to give themselves a bit of room for negotiation. Homeowners should prepare for this stage of the game.
When a homeowner has several quotes to work from, they can leverage those quotes against each other. They can pinpoint inflated labor costs, materials, and even timelines, and they can use these pumped-up values to whittle down the price with the contractor they actually want to work with. And it's all because they took the time to collect quotes during the planning phase.