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There are only four kinds of remodeling contractors for your IKEA kitchen project. If you have or know one, you will recognize that he fits into one of these categories. If you are looking for a contractor, find and hire ONLY the last kind.
1) The Bad Contractor
A bad contractor is one who takes a deposit from you and disappears. Or one who schedules a start date, so you arrange your family and life and depend on him to show up, and he doesn't. Or he stops in the middle and causes you huge problems, financial, legal and personal.
2) The Disappointing Contractor
This guy takes a deposit, does the project, demands final payment. The job has taken 3 times longer than he said it would. His crew left garbage all over your home and yard. There are uneven wall cabinets and gaps between base cabinets. There is damage to your new appliances he said he didn't do. He does not clean up and he is covertly rude to you and your family during the entire project. The job gets done but it is disappointing. You can sue him, and you should, but that takes time, aggravation and money, too.
3) The OK Contractor
This is the contractor who makes an effort. He shows up, works fairly efficiently, runs just a day or two over schedule, and gets the specs you have contracted with him to do, done. It looks nice. You pay him and he leaves. Nothing is really wrong. You are glad the crew is finally gone.
4) The Great Contractor
This is the guy who provided you with real help when he came out to do a bid. He made knowledgeable suggestions, answered all your questions, didin't rush you, and as he was leaving, gave you a Remodeling Guidebook with his company info in it, as well as a nice pen with his logo on it. You genuinely like him as a person.
His bid is clear, detailed and helps you figure out the project and costs. He sends an easy-to-understand contract you sign confidently. He pulls all required permits for you. He has a checklist to ensure you are ready for the start of the job (trash bin onsite, cabinets emptied, etc.).
His crew works neatly and quickly, treats your family with respect, cleans up throughout the day. He starts and finished at times that are best for you.
When an under-the-house pipe is discovered to need replacement, something not on the contract, he discusses it with you so you can understand the issue and get it handled. When you decide during the demo to remove an additional wall, he does it for free.
Your appliances are delivered late and he has to make a special trip back to your home to install them, but he doesn't complain or charge you to do this. He is gracious, does a wonderful job, and you feel little stress about the entire project in his hands. You are very happy to refer him so he gets more jobs.
Look for indicators like a dirty truck or messy appearance, body odor, rudeness, slowness, or if, after talking to a contractor, you feel stressed. People feel better after talking to an honest, genuinely able person.
There are all four types in every area. There are all four types advertising themselves as IKEA kitchen contractors.