Our Home Addition Tips!
What's in this article...
- Our Home Addition Tips!
- Home Addition Tip #1
- Home Addition Tip #2
- Home Addition Tip #3
- Home Addition Tip #4
- Bonus Home Addition Tip
- General Contractors: What’s the big deal?
What do I need to think about when considering a home addition?
Even the smallest home additions are big projects, and there are plenty of items to consider – and decide – before the hammers start swinging.
To help keep from feeling overwhelmed during the pre-construction phase of your project, great contractors compile a list of important tips and considerations that their years of experience as general contractors have taught them about having an enjoyable home addition project:
Home Addition Tip #1
Figure out exactly what you’ll be using the new space for, and its potential uses down the road.
If you’re committing to a project as large as a home addition, it’s wise to look down the road and anticipate what additional uses you may someday have for the space. Although you may want a bonus room now, will it need to double as a children’s’ playroom down the road?
Finishing off your basement may add a great TV room and den, but will you someday want to convert it to an in-law’s suite?
Trying to have this foresight while planning for the construction phase will not only maximize your use of the space — it will also add value to the home in the future when you decide to sell. It may be a smart move to start with barndominium floor plans and then draw different things in the space so you get an “overall” feel of how the finished project will look.
Home Addition Tip #2
Don’t underestimate the invasiveness of a home addition project when choosing your general contractor.
It goes without saying that the general contractor you choose for any home remodeling project should be one you’re comfortable with, but for a project as extensive as a home addition you must have complete trust that the company you’re working with will be in lockstep with you from start to finish.
Because home addition projects are long, detailed and involve meticulous planning, getting to know and trust the individuals responsible for your project will offer the added peace of mind and comfort necessary for a truly enjoyable renovation experience.
Home Addition Tip #3
Put your money into quality products, and items that can’t easily be changed.
One of the best features of a home addition is the full customization homeowners are afforded by building a space from the ground up.
As the homeowner, you’ll have the blessing (or curse!) of making decisions on everything from flooring to hardware and in between, and with that comes the responsibility of deciding where to invest your money.
For example (and we’ve seen it before), it’s easy to change out door hardware…but not so easy – or budget friendly – to replace cabinetry.
Light fixtures can easily be upgraded down the road, but having to replace flooring is both expensive and inconvenient. Keep this in mind when making decisions about where to spend your money, and you’ll end up a satisfied homeowner with more in your pocketbook.
Home Addition Tip #4
Take full advantage of other home remodeling opportunities in conjunction with your home addition project.
While you have the knowledge and services of a licensed general contractor at your fingertips, don’t hesitate to ask questions or further investigate other home remodeling projects you’ve been curious about.
You may be able to save yourself some money by having multiple projects done at the same time by the same contractor, and having all the work done at once also means one less interruption of your busy life.
Most contractors will offer free estimates, and because you’ve already got one right there in your living room there’s truly no harm in finding out more information.
Maybe you can turn a neighboring closet into a half-bath leading into your new bonus room, or easily renovate your kitchen next to your newly added sun room.
By exploring additional, opportunistic projects you may end up with an even better home than you originally bargained for!
Bonus Home Addition Tip
Especially with a home addition, don’t hesitate to ask a question if you’re unsure about something.
Once you reach an agreement with a general contractor, don’t forget that they’re professionals and it’s OK if you don’t fully understand every element of the project.
Just be sure to ASK if you have questions or are unsure about something!
Especially if you have specific instructions or desires for an area, don’t be shy about making your wants and needs heard — both before and during the project to ensure there’s thorough communication and understanding between you and your general contractor.
With a home addition there are plenty of moving parts and pieces that need to be tied down, so if you have a question, just ask!
General Contractors: What’s the big deal?
Why should I use a general contractor for my project?
If you’ve ever looked into home renovation, you know the term “General Contractor” gets thrown around without much supporting information to explain what that really means.
Construction companies are a dime-a-dozen, but finding a licensed General Contractor, however, is a bit more difficult and far more worthy of your time and money than wasting it on someone who isn’t. Not all companies take the time to obtain their state’s required licensure responsibilities, and simply skate by with haphazard work for homeowners who don’t know any better.
To help bring a necessary, added level of understanding about GCs (and the importance of using one), we have taken some of the most important information – and most frequently asked questions – about General Contractors and put it in a no-nonsense format for homeowners to take advantage of.
If you’re among the many considering home remodeling, you’ll want to read the following and heed the advice of practiced professionals in the industry before selecting a company to work on your home.
— What (exactly) is a General Contractor?
— Officially, a General Contractor is a business (or individual on behalf of a business) who has passed the state licensing exam in the category of their trade and maintains an active license allowing them to contract construction-related work.
Just because a company refers to themselves as “General Contractors” does NOT, however, mean they are licensed — and this is an extremely important factor when choosing a home remodeling company.
— Why is it important to use a Licensed General Contractor for my home remodeling project?
— Anyone can can call themselves a “General Contractor,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean they hold a license to practice — and its the licensed ones that are the companies to look for if you’re considering home remodeling. To become licensed, a company “qualifier,” as they’re known, must take and pass a thorough examination testing him or her on a multitude of different building-related topics…and it’s not easy.
Everything from foundation to roofing, joists to gypsum, and building codes to OSHA standards are fair game on the exam, so you can rest assured that if you’ve found a licensee they’re competent in all aspects of the construction process.
“Are you a Licensed General Contractor?” is perhaps the most important question to ask a company before contracting them for your home remodeling project; do you really want someone working on your biggest investment who couldn’t pass the test, or worse, doesn’t care enough to take it??
— Are there different levels of General Contractors?
— There are different types of General Contractor Licenses, ranging from specific trades (like Plumbing and HVAC) to general Building.
Building is considered the highest of the types, as it licenses a company for any type of work on both commercial and residential property.
Above the state licensing level, there is a National level of accreditation for General Contractors, NASCLA (National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies), which qualifies individuals for licenses in multiple states.