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5 Questions to Ask Your Home Additions Contractor

January 12, 2015

When you are undertaking something as involved as a home addition, you need to find a Maryland home additions contractor you can trust with this important project. If it’s planned well and done right, a home addition can add value to your home. But a poorly executed home addition will do the opposite and may even deter potential buyers. Here are a few important questions you should ask when interviewing contractors to make sure you are making the right choice.

Are you licensed, bonded and insured?

This is a staple question you should ask any contractor you hire to work on your home. It may seem like it’s a given that every contractor should be licensed and insured, but there are plenty of contractors who skip this process in order to make a quick buck. Keep in mind, however, that being licensed and insured doesn’t say anything about the quality of service you will receive. All it says is that the person received necessary education and testing to perform this job.

How long have you been doing this?

If you were hiring a tutor or a lawyer, you would probably ask where they went to school. With contractors, however, experience is much more valuable than formal education. Ask your contractor how long they have been in business in general and how long they’ve been building home additions specifically. Most contractors you interview will likely have a lengthy tenure, so look for someone who is passionate about what they do and has worked on a similar project in the past.

How do you estimate the cost?

Most home addition contractors provide free estimates these days, but not all of them approach these calculations the same way. Feel free to ask your contractor what factors they consider when giving you an estimate. You will likely hear things like the cost of materials, project hours, size, complexity, etc. Beware if your contractor is using your home’s current market value to calculate his price per square foot of the added space. Expanding your home is not as simple as purchasing an extra room and attaching it to your house. A respected builder will never base his estimate on your home’s market value.

Do you have any suggestions?

If you are contacting contractors, you probably already decided that home addition is what you want. Maybe you even have a Pinterest board or a folder full of design ideas and décor for your new space. All of this is great, but your vision might not always be practical from the contractor’s standpoint. For example, they could point out that the large bay window you want is not on the sunny side and won’t have much light. Or they might even suggest that instead of adding onto your home, you could finish your basement and get the usable space you need. Ask your contractor what they think and maybe you’ll get some new ideas.

How are you going to make the addition fit in?

Have you ever seen home additions that look like a giant tumor on a house? The idea is to make the addition blend in—not stand out. Proportion is the key, but there are other elements that have to match up in order for the addition to look like it’s always been a part of the home. Ask your contractor about his strategy and how far he will go to achieve an eye-pleasing result. Is he going to track down the siding manufacturer to find the perfect color match? Will he maintain the roof shape and pitch? At this point, you could also ask for references or images of completed home addition projects, to get a better idea of their attention to detail. 

Custom Deck Builders will be happy to answer these and any other questions you might have. We provide deck construction and home addition services in Maryland in Southern Pennsylvania—contact us for a free quote.