How to Choose a Contractor while Considering Home Additions

Home AdditionsWhen it comes to home additions, the end result will only be as good as the home addition contractor you choose. You may get a wide range of different prices and advice from various contractors, so it’s important to know how to narrow down the pool when you’re considering a house extension.

That’s why you should treat hiring a contractor like hiring an employee – run them through a series of questions to determine if they’re the right fit for the job. Of course, getting free written estimates and comparing costs for the same work is important, it also comes down to who you think you will work best with, and who will produce the best workmanship. In other words: the best price doesn’t always equal the best contractor.

Aside from price, you should also find out if the contractor is properly insured in case of a mishap during the project. Do a search online to read reviews and to get an idea of how experienced the business is.

If you find mention a local home addition contractor in the paper or online that doesn’t have a proper website or a portfolio of previous work, this can be a red flag. However, if you have neighbours or family that has used a particular contractor for room additions and they’re satisfied with the job, then you may want to consider them anyway. Otherwise, you can ask for references or find out if they’ve done any local work you can check out in person.

Competent home addition contractors should be able to assess your property relatively quickly and determine whether your request is feasible, or give you suggestions how to save money and time (such as modular room additions prefabricated off-site). It should also be able to give you a clear idea how long the job will take, and what to expect during each step. Make sure there’s a good contact person or customer service department you can consult if you have concerns during the process.

Lastly, successful home addition contractors should not seem too eager to get money up front (especially if they want to be paid in full). If you do provide a deposit, make sure you have a record of any money that you’ve given the company. They should also be able to process payments by credit card or debit as well – cash only is a sign it’s a fly-by-night contractor that doesn’t want a paper trail.

Home additions are a great answer to enhancing your home’s function without moving, but doing your homework can potentially save you thousands down the road.

Points To Consider For Home Additions To Avoid Hassles

home addition
You’ve already decided you need more space in your home, and home additions are a great alternative to selling and finding a bigger property.

However, while you’ve decided an addition is the answer, you should be sure about some things before the work begins in order to minimize the impact on your family. For example, will you be able to live in the home while the work is being done, or will you have to temporarily relocate your family to another living space? These are questions that a general contractor that specializes in additions should be able to answer.

In some cases, building a home addition can take weeks, so you might be in for a lot of noise and disruption – especially if you’re working from home. Modular room additions are a popular choice for many projects because they are fabricated off-site and assembled on-site, drastically cutting down on noise – not to mention mess. The cost for both can vary greatly as well, so be sure to get a written estimate up front.

Other points to consider are whether the ground area the home addition will be built on is stable and able to withstand the weight of the home extension, so it doesn’t sink or sag over time. Soil testing can determine if your property has the right conditions for an addition. You’ll also want to check with local bylaws to ensure your home addition follows minimum setbacks to neighbouring properties, and that all permits have been secured – again, with a trusted contractor on your side, you should be able to determine these details fairly quickly. This step can help you avoid any fines, or any potential hassles from nosy neighbours.

Before building additions to your home, make sure you know the exact reason for the new space you’re creating. If you know ahead of time what the use will be (e.g. a sunroom, an office, or a mudroom), then you can work with the contractor to incorporate features that make sense – otherwise you may be making modifications after the fact, which can be more expensive and time-consuming. If the addition has a bathroom or another space with running water, ensure you’ve factored in costs for additional plumbing.

Home additions can be the answer to all your needs, but it’s smart to plan ahead of time to ensure a smooth project. Partner with a home contractor that has a portfolio of home additions and can run through the options with you – modular room additions or otherwise.

Important Information When Thinking Of Building a Home Addition In The GTA

Home AdditionYour family is outgrowing your existing home, so what do you do? List your property on the market and move?

Luckily, you don’t have to. There are other options besides leaving your family home that you’ve already put so much love and work into. Home additions are a great solution to open up floor space and let you reallocate uses to existing spaces.

However, you should have a clear plan about the addition, which will be made a lot easier when you work with a general contractor that specializes in this area. An expert will help you determine what the use is for the new space, and help design it with this in mind while staying within your budget. For example, are you looking to build a mudroom to have a place for the kids to put their soggy boots when they come in from the yard? Or are you looking for an area to use for storage or for quietly lounging with a book?

Whatever the reason, having a clear purpose for building additions to your home can help determine the scale of the project as well as the required features, so the extra space fits your needs without going overboard.

Aside from knowing exactly how much additional square footage you require, you should also consider the exterior of the addition. Do you want it to look unique from the rest of the home, or blend in with the existing look? This is an important detail to discuss with the builder.

Of course, you’ll also want to make sure the expenditure makes sense in the first place, whether you’re using your home equity for the project or you’ve put money aside for home improvements.

From an investment standpoint, you should also figure out whether you’re getting good value from the home addition. For example, if you’re adding more space to boost market value of the house down the road, do some local market research to find out whether you’re paying significantly more than you can expect as a return on your investment.

You may need to move out in order to allow for construction. Once this is determined with your general contractor, you should start looking for temporary housing ASAP as it is not easy to find a family member or landlord that can provide accommodations that suite your family’s needs. Another process you should get a jump on early is securing financing. Sometimes the back and forth between homeowners and lenders can take longer than expected. It is also important to know where your budget is in order to come up with a scope of work with your contractor that maximizes value.

Another advantage of using experienced contractors is that they will know the procedures when it comes to building home additions, and will secure the proper permits from the municipality to ensure the project goes smoothly.

The design and permit application process in the City of Toronto can be time consuming and tricky for first timers. Working with a general contractor or design/build firm that can take care of this process is key if you want to avoid delays before the project even starts. It is important to work with someone who has knowledge of existing zoning by laws and the permit process. Depending on what you want to build and where you want to build it within the GTA, you may end up wishing for something that goes against current zoning bylaws. In that case, you will need to have Committee of Adjustment hearing to ask for permission. This process can add weeks and even months onto your project timeline and you will want to work with someone who can advise you on the process early on in your venture to avoid any unforeseen hold-ups.

Keep in mind that modular home additions can cut down on project time, as the components are prefabricated off-site and then assembled with no additional construction required on your property. Some general contractors offer this option as an alternative to building additions to your home from scratch on the premises.

Home additions are a great solution to upgrade your home at a reasonable cost, and when you’ve marked the above points off your checklist, you can get to building and enjoying the new space!

Home Additions to Raise the Value of Your Property

Home additions

As a bonus to improving your family’s lifestyle, home remodelling and home additions can bring up your property’s value, so it sells much better down the road.

If you are considering what exactly to do when you renovate, here are the five main home renovations / home additions that cost relatively little, and gain you much, much more.

Continue reading “Home Additions to Raise the Value of Your Property”

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