Whether they’ve recently purchased a house or owned a home for years, many homeowners find themselves looking to customize their living spaces to better meet their lifestyle or family needs. If you find yourself planning a home edition, it’s critical to partner with a licensed contractor before you swing a hammer.
Brainstorming Home Addition Ideas
When planning a home addition, focus first on the intention of the space. To ensure your new addition meets your needs, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you need more living space or privacy?
- Will this space have a specific function, like a hobby room, home theatre, or playroom?
- Do you want to expand an existing space or create an entirely new one?
- Will the addition increase your home’s footprint, or will it only include fixture remodeling?
- Will the addition involve a story expansion?
As you consider these questions, do your homework to truly understand the design possibilities.
Making Home Addition Plans
Once you’ve decided the purpose of your home addition, it’s time to dig into the details of the project. There are plenty of ways to accomplish your construction goals when renovating, so it’s important to choose options that align with your timeline and budget.
As you plan your home addition, consider:
- Building material availability
- Permits and city building codes
- Your home’s value and curb appeal
- Structural integrity
- Fixture selection
Check out our blog to learn more about what to consider when planning your home addition.
Hiring a Home Addition Contractor
Depending on the complexity of construction, it is possible to DIY a home addition—and, often, you can save money doing it. However, without expert knowledge, home construction at any scale can become time-consuming and complicated based on the age and original construction of the house. Experience is critical, and tackling a home addition project without it can quickly turn the project into an expensive and even dangerous venture.
In addition to saving time and money, an experienced contractor can manage key elements of your project, including:
- Construction costs: a dedicated general contractor can help your home addition project stay on budget by managing the costs of building materials, subcontractors, and unexpected expenses
- Project timeline: your contractor will help ensure things keep moving by working around supply chain issues, labor shortages, and seasonality concerns
- Decision-making: at every stage of your home addition, a contractor can offer advice on things like floor plan development, material selection, and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) options
- Permitting: leave legality to an industry expert—your contractor can navigate the municipality permitting process, building codes, and historical preservation requirements
Finding a Trustworthy General Contractor
Once you’ve decided to hire a general contractor for your home addition project, it’s critical to find a company you can trust. A reliable general contractor ensures your project gets done efficiently, on budget, and on time. Knowing your construction will be completed above board and with the utmost respect for your family’s safety also offers peace of mind, making the construction period much less stressful.
Follow these steps to find a company you can trust:
Clearly Define Your Project
General contractors typically specialize in or have experience with certain types of projects. With a clearly defined scope of work, you can seek out a company that has examples of similar projects on their website gallery or in their portfolio.
Recommendations, Reviews, and References
If friends or family have recently completed similar home addition projects, ask if they’d recommend their general contractor. Always read the company’s reviews, and keep an eye out for red flags. In addition, ask contractors themselves to provide references—other clients with similar projects who can attest to the quality of their work.
Check the Contractor’s Licenses
Ensure the contractor you’re considering has the proper licenses for your specific project. This can be checked online, but if the contractor is hesitant to provide information about their licenses, that’s a clear red flag.
You should also contact the Department of Labor and Industry to see if the contractor has a disciplinary history.
In your first meeting with the contractor, come prepared with a list of questions regarding their licenses, insurance, experience, and process. A trustworthy contractor will be happy to discuss these things with you—and if they aren’t the right fit for the job, they will tell you. Be wary of contractors who insist they can handle your project without the portfolio or references to back up the claim.
Partner With Minnesota Home Improvements
With over 40 years of experience and a reputation of excellence, Minnesota Home Improvements is ready to assist you with any upcoming home addition project, no matter the size. Contact us today for a free quote!