How to Find Quality Contractors and obtain Accurate Home Addition Estimates
By Mark J. Donovan
|One of the top questions asked by homeowners who are planning a home addition is how they can obtain accurate home addition estimates from contractors. Unfortunately estimating home addition costs is not a simple answer. There are many variable factors that influence home addition estimates. Variable factors include the specific homeowner living space needs, the unique layout of the existing home, the current local home building market conditions, and the contractors hired for the project.|
For example, a family room addition, bedroom addition, sunroom addition or a garage addition are typically much less expensive than a home addition that includes a new kitchen or bathroom. Kitchen additions for example require new pluming, kitchen cabinetry, and kitchen appliances. Kitchen additions also require electrical work, including the installation of GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters). Bathroom additions are a similar story. Bathroom additions require extensive plumbing and electrical work, cabinetry and bathroom fixtures.
- How many doors and windows are associated with the new home? (Doors and windows can dramatically impact home addition estimates.)
- How the new home addition will tie into the existing home and the structural work required. (For example, will the home addition be connected onto just the side of the existing home, or will it wrap around the back of the home as well? Also, will the size of the home addition require steel or engineering timbers? Finally, what type of foundation will be required? Will the new home addition be built on a slab, crawl space, concrete foundation wall, or steel posts?)
- The quality and type of material used in the home addition. (Siding, door and window choices, interior trim, flooring and lighting selections all will impact the contractor home addition estimates that you receive.)
|By developing sketches and a list of specific requirements for you home addition you can answer many of these questions and more effectively communicate them to potential home addition contractors. Ultimately this will translate into more accurate home addition estimates.
Once you have home addition plans in hand, you are ready to find a home addition contractor for your project.
Finding a Contractor and Obtaining Home Addition Estimates
Finding a qualified and professional home addition contractor(s) is not always easy to do. It is very important to find the right one for you specific home addition plans.
For example, hiring a deck contractor is hardly the right person for a kitchen addition project. It is also important to find a home addition contractor that can meet your timeline and budget requirements.
|To find a qualified building contractor you can check with your neighbors and friends, or your local phone book for references. However, a better approach is to use a national home addition contractor referral company. These types of companies have large databases of pre-screened and qualified contractors that are located all around the country. You simply fill out one of their free online forms and 3 to 4 of their locally pre-screened and qualified contractors will contact you to discuss your home addition plans. With your requirements in hand, they can then provide home addition estimates for your project.||
Evaluating Home Addition Estimates
When obtaining home addition estimates it is important to make sure that the contractors provide you with a complete home addition cost breakdown table of every phase of the project. The more detail in the home addition cost breakdown table, or bid sheet, the more likelihood of an accurate home addition estimate.
To help in obtaining accurate and consistent home addition estimates, see my Home Addition Bid Sheets. My Home Addition Bid Sheets provide a request for quote section that you can provide to prospective building contractors. They also include comprehensive home addition cost breakdown tables, in Microsoft Excel format, that allow contractors to specify his projected home addition cost estimates for every phase of the project.
When interviewing potential home addition contractors make sure you check their references. I typically like to check 3 to 4 references.
Specifically I prefer to check 1 or 2 references associated with recent work completed by the home addition contractor and then another 1 or 2 references associated with projects that were completed a few years ago. This way I can judge the contractor’s current work ethic as well as the quality of their work.
For more help on building a home addition, see HomeAdditionPlus.com’s Home Addition Bid Sheets. Our Home Addition Bid Sheets provide you with the knowledge and information on how to plan a home building project, and what to look for when hiring contractors. They also include detailed cost breakdown tables and spreadsheets for estimating your own new home construction building costs.