Home Remodeling and Additions FAQs

by Matt Solis

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Do you have questions about an upcoming remodeling or addition project? You’re not alone. Below, we’ve answered several commonly asked questions about remodeling and additions, as well as how to find and work with an industry professional.

Q: Why would I want to remodel or add on to my home?
A: Remodeling can modernize your home, improve energy efficiency, increase the resale value of your property and give you a new sense of pride in your living space. Home additions can add more usable space to your home. Whether you add a sunroom, a new garage or an extra bedroom, home additions add square footage and usability to your house.

Q: Why should I hire a contractor for my remodeling or addition project? Can’t I just do it myself?
A: DIY stores and home improvement centers may carry many of the tools and materials needed for a home remodeling or addition project, and some homeowners certainly can take on these projects themselves, but many people find that it saves time, money and frustration to hire an experience remodeling contractor instead. A good contractor will help you plan, execute and finish the project with much less hassle than you can expect when taking on a project yourself.

Q: How much will my remodeling/addition project cost?
A: The cost of home renovations depends on the size and scope of your project and the quality of materials that are used. When getting estimates from local contractors, make sure you’re asking them to bid on the exact same scope, size and materials.

Q: I have three estimates and they vary greatly in price. Why?
A: It’s not uncommon for prices to vary from contractor to contractor. But if the gap between the highest price and the lowest price seems too substantial to be correct, or if one bid is much higher or lower than the others, talk to the contractors again. It may be that one contractor didn’t understand the scope or details of the project. Ask the contractors to fully explain their bids, and if they’re vague about their answers, move on to the next contractor. Beware of bids that seem artificially low, as some contractors purposely underbid jobs and then tack on expensive change orders during the construction.

Q: How long do home remodels and additions take to complete?
A: Depending on the size and scope of your project, a remodel may take a few weeks to a few months, and room additions can take several months. Problems found during demolition, unforeseen challenges and the skill of your contractor can also add to the timeline. It’s important to get a clear and reasonable time frame estimate from your contractor during the initial cost estimate.

Q: Do I need to hire an architect or can my contractor draw my home renovation designs?
A: Depending on the size and scope of your project, there are pros and cons to hiring an architect to draw up home remodeling plans. Here are a few to consider:

  • In general, if you’re tearing down/moving walls or if your project includes an addition and new construction elements, hire an architect.
  • Architects are trained to look beyond the outward design and consider the usability of a space, local building codes, and zoning regulations. As such, they can draw a complete set of home remodeling and addition plans.
  • Some design/build remodeling contractors can offer lower costs and shorter construction time frames by providing both home designs and building services.

Q: How much value will my addition or renovation add to my home?
A: The amount of value added to your home depends greatly on the renovation you choose and the quality of the workmanship and materials. If you’re planning to live in your home long-term, you may find that your room addition and home renovation will add more to your quality of living, even if it doesn’t add to the resale value of your home. On the other hand, if you’re planning to sell your home soon, you may want to consult with contractors and real estate agents about which remodeling projects will add the most value to your home. To get an idea of the added value of some of the most common remodeling projects, click here.

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified contractor?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a local remodeling firm with confidence by offering a list of top rated, local companies that have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only contractors rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise® earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with in-depth and ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified company.