Adding onto your home is a major undertaking, financially and logistically. As you begin your search for a contractor to complete the job, you’ll start by looking for someone whose work you love. That’s certainly important. But you should also place a good amount of value on how well a contractor communicates with you and understands your vision for the project.
Start your search with recommendations. Ask friends and family. But don’t stop there. Local building inspectors know which contractors meet code requirements and lumberyard workers know which contractors buy quality materials and are reliable bill payers.
What Every Person Needs to Know Before Hiring a Contractor
You can easily narrow your list of prospective room addition contractors by conducting quick telephone interviews. Ask contractors about their availability, whether they take on room additions of your size and scope, could they give you a ballpark idea of what a room addition might cost, are they licensed and insured, and can they provide you with a client list? Once you’ve picked your top three or four candidates, you can begin seeking written estimates to determine how much the room addition will cost.
Show them the home addition project area, your plans, and ask them any questions you might have. You’ll get a sense of the contractor’s personality and how well you might work together.
Bids should include a detailed list of materials and their cost, labor, profits, among other expenses. Materials generally make up 40 percent of the total cost; profits are usually between 15 and 20 percent.
But before you hire, do your homework. Call your favorite contractor’s references. Ask whether the job was completed without time and budget overruns. Check with your local Better Business Bureau and your state’s consumer protection agency to make sure the contractor doesn’t have a history of problems with clients or subcontractors.