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When you hire a company to remodel your kitchen, you’ll probably wonder whether they they’ll have employees vs subcontractors doing the work to fulfill the project’s needs. 

Subcontractors sometimes get a bad rap as there can be a negative connotation associated with them as though they don’t offer Quality results, or a great customer experience. 

As a contractor, and hiring manager, I’ve had the great fortune to align with quality individuals, employees and subcontractors alike.

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What are subcontractors?

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I describe Subcontractors as small business owners.

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Talented craftsmen & women
  • Proud individuals
  • Faith guides them
  • Quality & customer service oriented
  • Responsible to their families, and the contractor.

Many, Like the contractor him or herself, seek an improved well-being for their families and those of our team members by delivering consistent quality and a great customer experience through our developed Skills, talents and competencies.

As a licensed contractor, we are responsible to the state licensing board, the local municipalities, our stakeholders, and families…

…and subcontractors are responsible to us.

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Not just anybody can be a subcontractor 

Subcontractors must meet certain criteria in order to operate as a business. Your local municipality requirements may differ. 

Typically, subcontractors must have registered within the municipality they work. In order to register they must provide the legal business name, the industry they are working, a minimum level of insurance, and in some municipalities, they must pass a minimum standards test. 

Specialty subcontractors like tile installers, painters, cabinet installers, etc. typically do not require state licensing because the work they produce does not require applying for permits or scheduling licensed contractors such as electricians, plumbers, AC companies etc. 

A permit and a licensed contractor and/or subcontractors is required whenever you add, remove, or relocate anything within your home or office that involves plumbing, electrical, HVAC, gas, and or structural components, such as load-bearing walls, the foundation, and nearly everything on the exterior including but not limited to the roof, doors and windows, walls, etc.

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Speak to a kitchen remodeling expert today

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What about employees instead of subcontractors? 

Hiring a company with employees that carry out the entirety of the project can have its advantages. One of the main advantages is that you are only dealing with one company instead of multiple specialized subcontractors. 

In all cases, workers compensation insurance is required when employees are involved. The owner of the business, whether the contractor or the subcontractor, can apply for and receive a worker’s comp exemption. 

There are limitations to qualify and they include a minimum percentage of ownership in the company.

It is not uncommon in order to circumvent the cost for required workers comp insurance that fraudulent exemptions will be produced. To avoid the payroll expense for legitimate Worker’s Compensation insurance. This is one very important aspect to ensure is in place as the contractor and homeowner alike. 

Workers compensation insurance is meant to protect the employee should they be injured on the job. 

The fraudulent, even criminal subcontractors and contractors aside, there are plenty of examples of specialty subcontractors who deliver great Quality and customer experience every day. A competent contractor who values his or her reputation will surround themselves with these small business owners and entrepreneurs.


Should I hire a kitchen remodeling company with employees or one that uses subcontractors? 

Employees are great for keeping everything under one roof but they can come and go and may lack some of the quality you can get with good subcontractors. Subcontractors are usually masters of their craft. A good contractor that cares about the projects they work on will only hire the best subcontractors to help them complete the projects. 

Instead of choosing a company to remodel your kitchen based on whether they use employees or subcontractors, take a look at their portfolio and the work they’ve done in the past. If they use subcontractors, ask them about who they work with and search for reviews.

There really is no right or wrong answer, just make sure you do your due diligence and research the company you are thinking about hiring. Remodeling a kitchen is a big project, and it’s costly to have to redo a bad remodeling job.