The Challenge in this kitchen was to incorporate the client’s style and design elements. Watch this video to see how The Counterpoint Group met the challenge and incorporated custom features the client loves.
Many of us imagine how much more we could love our homes if only we could remodel the kitchen or bathroom or perhaps add onto the house. However, remodeling can be scary. We’ve all heard horror stories about contracting jobs that don’t go well. That’s why we want to help you make sure your project is just what you dreamed it would be and not some nightmare.
#1 Dig Deep
A Good Contractor Is More Than Pretty Pictures. When selecting a contractor, do your homework. No matter how great the contractor seems to be with online reviews or even with a friend’s assurance, you must look deeply. First, do ask for referrals and do check online reviews. Look for membership in a reputable trade association, such as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, and the National Kitchen and Bath Association. Membership alone doesn’t mean the contractor is perfect, but it does show a level of professionalism. Keep in mind, these associations often have standards above state licensing requirements.
Look for a high Better Business Bureau rating. If a contractor has complaints, the BBB really is the longest standing organization dedicated to reviewing customer ratings.
Ask to speak to former clients and call them. A good contractor will be glad you want to talk to them.
#2 Licenses and Insurance
The biggest difference between a fly by night contractor who can offer the lowest price and a reputable contractor who does quality work at a higher rate is insurance. Insuring for workman’s compensation and general liability is expensive. But, could you imagine what would happen if a worker is hurt while working on your home and your contractor does not have workman’s compensation insurance? Guess who is liable? You are. Check to see if the insurance is current and call the insurance agent to confirm that it’s up to date. A good contractor will happily supply you with everything you need to confirm their license and insurance.
#3 Contractor Pulls Permits
Make sure your contractor goes through the permitting process and builds to code. Going through the permitting process is a hassle. Contractors might even advise you skip it or to do it yourself. But, there’s a very good reason to have your contractor do it. It’s their license that’s the one of record. If things aren’t up to code, your contractor will answer to the problems. If you do it yourself or you skip it altogether, you are responsible for any future issues, such as when perhaps you want to sell your home or when something isn’t up to code and someone is injured because of it.
#4 Price Can Be A Red Flag
Do not select your contractor on price alone. If your contractor is the cheapest around, that should be a red flag. It may mean he or she isn’t fully insured or it could mean that they don’t have the credentials needed to charge a higher price. If anyone is way below other contractors who seem to be on the same level with photographs of the work, then you have to wonder why their price is so much lower. If they aren’t a member of trade associations, they can cut down on expenses, but if something does go wrong, you can’t turn to the association for help or mediation and the consequence of you being disappointed probably won’t hurt them too much. If you go with the cheapest, don’t be surprised if you end up “getting just what you paid for”.
#5 Go With Your Gut
Be sure you get a good feeling from your contractor. If something in your gut says this isn’t the right person, listen to your intuition. You will be working very closely with this person and their crew. They will be in your home for days on end. You should get the feeling they are honest, happy to listen, calm, and genuine. If something does happen that you don’t like, you want to feel secure that they will understand your concerns. If you don’t make that connection, then keep interviewing. You will know when it feels right. Remodeling is so personal. Contractors are coming in and out while you are trying to live. So, select a contractor who is happy to let you “dig deep” and supply everything you need to feel comfortable. If you found this article to be helpful, please share it with your friends. It can make a big difference!
Why Wait Until You Sell?
Beth Strickland knew she would be moving from the custom home she built 17 years earlier, and she knew when she sold her home, she’d have to go through a kitchen remodel. So, she decided to enjoy the new kitchen well in advance of selling. After her kitchen remodel with The Counterpoint Group, she now has the kitchen of her dreams. It’s one she uses every night for meals with her husband and three boys, and it’s perfect for entertaining. “It’s functional and beautiful. My friends love the marble, and my husband loves the cabinets. I’m so glad to have a kitchen that I really use and enjoy now”, said Beth.
Finding The Right Contractor
Getting the kitchen of your dreams and actually having a good experience during your kitchen remodel is the goal for every homeowner. Beth feels her project went well because she found a contractor who listened to her, understood her needs, and offered her good advice. She found Marc Tyson, the owner of The Counterpoint Group, through an interior designer friend.
“Pat Hollman is a good friend. So, I was at ease meeting someone she recommended. As it turns out, Marc at The Counterpoint Group was a great fit. He really listened to me”, Beth said.
“I had worked with Marc on several kitchen design and cabinetry projects previously. I have always been impressed with his creativity and ideas as well as how well he works with people.Â So, I knew his work and knew he would do a good job for my friend”, said Pat.
“From the first time I talked to Beth, I could tell she really likes a clean, elegant and classic white look, and she wanted to go with marble countertops. But, she was concerned about using marble in the kitchen. It was up to me to give her the confidence she needed to trust marble,” said Marc.
Marble In The Kitchen?
For many years, we’ve been warned that although marble is tempting with its elegant look, it is not to be used in kitchens. We’ve heard it’s too porous and will absorb stains from things like red wine. But, is that true of every marble? “There are two types of marble that I really trust in the kitchen”, Marc pointed out. “No, not all marble is right for the kitchen where food and drink stains happen all the time. However, there are certain types of marble that are both beautiful as well as dense and hard. I showed Beth one of my favorites, Nova Blanco. Â I took her to Mega MarbleÂ where she could ask the owner first hand about this extraordinary material. In fact, I had her take home a small piece and told her to spill everything she could on it, red wine, ketchup, mustard – and just try very hard to stain it.”
According to Pat, many homeowners are considering marble in the kitchen now. She admits the type of marble that works best in the kitchen is quite expensive. “It’s a very dense material, unlike many other porous marbles that will soak up stains.”
Beth says Marc never tried to push her in any direction but simply acted as an educator and listener. He showed her a wide variety of countertops, even though all along he knew she would end up with marble. “Marc knew I would choose marble before I did. He showed me it would work. Now I see it everyday. My husband has his vodka tonics with lime. Before the lime has the chance to etch the stone, I just clean it up. I do the same with any red wine spills. It’s really easy to keep clean”, Beth said.
Quality Cabinets Matter
“I liked the kitchen in my home when we first built it. But, the cabinets were not the best. When looking to renovate, I knew I wanted something very nice and high quality”, Beth said. “I love that my simple White Shaker cabinets don’t just look beautiful, they are functional with the soft-close drawers. Most of all, I love that they are well made and will last.”
Hardware Makes The Difference
When Beth renovated her kitchen, she went from a wood butcher block countertop island to an elegant marble countertop. She got all new cabinets, replaced her hardwood floors, and upgraded her hardware.”Just replacing the hardware made such a difference. Marc was very helpful with that as well. I wanted a beautiful new look, and though I was on a budget, Â I splurged on the hardware and the marble countertop”, Beth said.
The Process Is As Important As The Product
Here at The Counterpoint Group we want clients to have fun with their projects and to enjoy working with us. We’ve made a lot of friends along the way. Beth is one of those friends. “I can’t say enough good things about Marc and his team. He is a great listener. He truly cares about his clients. His subcontractors were always professional. His attention to detail is amazing. Heâ€™s so sweet. He was careful with my budget. He is great about bouncing ideas. He knows what heâ€™s doing”, Beth said.
For Marc, the experience was just as rewarding. “Beth is a lot of fun. I am just so glad she loves her kitchen and that she felt trusting enough that she went with the marble and got what she really wanted all along.”