Help us decide between two contractors for a kitchen remodel
We are finally ready to get started on our kitchen remodel but can't seem to choose between two contractors. Both have excellent references, professional, licensed and insured, no complaints with the local consumers affairs office in the last 7 yrs. The job is a small galley kitchen but it is complicated as it involves removing some loadbearing walls and replacing with flush headers. They are both similar in pricing with Contractor 1 being about 1000$ more but that doesn't bother us too much as we are spending lots more$$ than that!
Contractor 1 is a smaller firm, has been in business for 30 yrs, only does word of the mouth jobs, lives nearby, has done jobs in the neighborhood. He spent over 2 hrs on his initial visit going over every single detail.FWIW, he said he does only one job at a time and didn't think our project would be more than a month from start. He was proactive and came up with a design with his recommended KD so he could give us a fair quote. He has promised us to get a discount on the cabinets-though we won't know actual nos till we sign, it looks like it will be a 8-10% discount on top of the discounted price at that store. My reservations with him are I am not sure how well he will handle the structural part of work. He also was quite sure he couldn't save the hardwood floors under the tile and I didn't particularly like his KD recommendation.
Contractor 2 is a much larger firm that builds houses on a regular basis and did extensive structural work on a friend's house. So I know he can handle the structural part of the project. He is much more tech savvy but as a younger guy has been in business only for the last 15 yrs or so. He is not local to us but does do jobs this far out. He does beautiful work but we probably won't be able to use his sources for many things. We will have to source our own cabinets, fixtures etc which we don't have a problem with. But obviously, we won't get a discount through him for cabinets etc. He didn't think saving our hardwoods would be a problem and I got the impression he will be more willing to listen to our ideas. My reservation with this guy is he straight out told us this will be a small project for him that he will fit in with his other jobs. He also thinks it will take 6 weeks for our job. We will also incur additional architect expenses with this guy as the architect we hired is not responding to us anymore. But that is a whole another story.
Sorry, this is so long! If you made it this far, do you think one is better than the other? We had such a nightmarish time with our last project with a different guy who took 7 months for a 2 month project that it has made us more than a little terrified at making a bad choice again.
Thank you in advance for any opinions you have to share.