Home Addition Estimates
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
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.
Cabinetry, plumbing fixtures and
lighting fixtures are expensive items, and thus can dramatically impact the home
addition estimates that you receive.
Other key variable factors of the
living space that will affect your home addition estimates are:
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
Once you have home addition plans in
hand, you are ready to find a home addition contractor for your project.
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
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.
Photo by Mark Donovan
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
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
Addition Bid Sheets.
Addition Bid Sheets
provide you with the knowledge and information on how to plan a home addition project,
and what to look for when hiring contractors. They
also include detailed cost breakdown tables and spreadsheets for estimating
your own new home addition building costs.
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