Posts Tagged ‘good contractor’

Cost of Second Story Floor Addition

This is a guest post by

Erick D. Smith is a blogger living in San Diego who writes about home construction and remodeling. To get a more accurate estimate from one of San Diego’s expert home construction firms, click here.

A second story addition can be a great way to increase the spaciousness of your home, raising its value and giving your growing family the room it needs. Undertaking the project, however, is no small thing. It can be very costly, depending on the size of your house, and regardless of size, it will involve a lot of planning, time, and hard work. Making a thorough cost analysis and creating a realistic budget will make the whole process a whole lot easier and will help you avoid overspending. To help get you started thinking about and planning your second story addition, here is a brief breakdown of the costs that will be involved.

Important Things to Consider

• City and County Requirements – Before you get started on the logistics of the project, it’s important to do some research into the region’s second story addition regulations. Every city and county has its own set of rules regarding how much square footage you’re allowed to add to your home. This is usually based on the amount of land you have. Using San Diego as an example, a good place to find the information you need is the construction permits page.

Temporary Housing – A lot of contractors will recommend that you live somewhere else, temporarily, while your house is being remodeled. This is a good idea, as it will be more comfortable for you as well as safer, so start thinking of a good place where you might stay before beginning your project. The cost of alternative temporary housing is something you should definitely calculate into your budget.

Standard Expenses

• Contractors – Even if you opt to do as much of the managerial work as possible yourself, there’s no getting around the cost of skilled subcontractors. About 30 – 40 percent of your budget is likely to go towards contract work. The average cost for contractors when adding a second floor to your home is usually between $70 and $150 per square foot.

• Structural Engineer – When you’re looking for home construction services, be sure to look for a good structural engineer in your area. This is someone who will be able to inspect your home and determine whether the existing foundation will support a second story addition, or whether additional foundation work will be required.

• Architect – An architect is an important part of a successful second story addition project. He or she will be needed to create a blueprint of the project and an accurate set of plan drawings. The cost of an architect depends on the size and complexity of the project, and will either be a flat fee or a 5 to 15 percent commission.

Effect on Your Home Value

Adding a second story to your home will lead to a reassessment of your property taxes. This means that they’ll probably increase, but in most areas the reassessment will only be of the second story addition, not of the whole house. The overall value of your home will increase significantly, but keep in mind that utility bills are also likely to go up.

How not to pick a bad contractor; how to pick a good contractor

Hiring a contractor in confidence is quite rewarding. When you hire a contractor and you know what to look for usually the outcome is pretty good. Not only does the work that needed to be done look professional but the process is that much more stress free.
10 tips in picking a good contractor
1. Don’t hire an unlicensed contractor – According to Huntington Homes unlicensed contractors don’t pay into Workers compensation and that’s why their able to undercut the contractors who have their license. If they get hurt, you pay the fat bill.
2. Don’t pick a contractor based on price – quality is important and you don’t want to be stuck with an unprofessional job.
3. Ask around – you want to work with a contractor that is recommended by others. Try asking your local lumberyard.
4. Interview your prospective contractor – you will be working closely together with your contractor, make sure you two have great rapport.
Check references – Sometimes you can see past work your prospective contractor has done, this can help you a great deal just judging their past work. A great example for a reference page can be found at commercial shading projects page.
5. Do your homework – Check out your prospective contractor by checking into the Contractors State License Board. Make sure their Legit.
6. Make sure your contractor guarantees his work – Again, don’t get stuck with an unprofessional job. See for an example in a guarantee for services done.
Be informed – make sure your contractor keep you informed. For an example on being well informed on the services being completed in your home take a peek at mold inspection page.
7. Discuss payment options – As discussed in ‘Hiring a Contractor’ if the contractor asks for half the money up front, there is probably a problem and you may want to choose another contractor. The usual payment plan is 10 percent when the contract is signed, then three payments of 25 percent while the job is being done, and the rest is usually paid when the job is complete.
8. Get everything in writing – make sure you have everything in writing. If something goes wrong your agreement in writing is all you have to fall back on.

This list should help hire a good contractor. If you have any questions please ask by commenting below.

Top 5 things to avoid when choosing a contractor

How many times have you watched a court television program or witnessed a case involving a homeowner and a scamming contractor? Don’t let that homeowner be you, be aware and do your research prior to hiring a contractor to do work on your home.

Here I provide the top 5 things to avoid when choosing a contractor for your home:

1. Never hire a contractor that wants more then half of your money up front or is offering a price that is too good to be true – this contractor is either hurting for money or is going to run with your money!
2. If this contractor doesn’t have a listing in your local phone book nor has a listing of only a P.O. Box for their address, you may want to turn the other way – chances are this contractor isn’t as serious about their business as you’d want them to be.
Did your prospective contractor come to you by knocking door to door? If so, tell this contractor, “No thank you,” and shut the door! You should shop for your contractor; your contractor shouldn’t shop for you.
3. Don’t hire a contractor that doesn’t have their license, and make sure it’s still in good standing before hiring them to do work on your home.
4. Don’t choose a contractor that doesn’t have good references that you can contact – you want to make sure that the contractor has completed quality work and checking references is a great way to be sure you’re hiring the right person.

Do your research and make sure the contractor you hire is reasonable, and get your agreement in writing. Taking these steps will ensure you aren’t scammed by hiring the wrong contractor.

Hiring a good Contractor

Hiring a contractor to do a home improvement project can be intimidating. Taking the proper steps, asking the right questions, and understanding where to find the answer to your question will make the process in finding a quality contractor easier. Aiming to lead you in the right direction in hiring the right contractor, listed below is a guide to help you make the intimidating process in hiring a contractor a great experience.

The key steps in finding a quality contractor for your home improvement needs are as followed:

• Avoid scams
• Search for a quality contractor
• Interview your prospects
• Check references
• Discuss payment options
• Write a contract
Avoiding scams

There is a scam out there for most transactions these days, hiring a contractor can be one of those transactions. Simply put, don’t sign a document without reading it thoroughly. Don’t agree to a home equity loan if you can’t afford the payments, don’t deed your property to anybody; don’t agree to financing without doing your homework. More importantly, if the deal sounds too good to be true then it probably is too good to be true.
Search for a quality contractor

Searching for a quality contractor can be a job in itself. Seek recommendations from friends, family members, or the local lumber yard. Make sure the contractor has a listing in the local phone directory as well. Once you have a list of contractors to choose from you can proceed to the interviewing process
Interview your prospects

The answers you receive when interviewing a contractor are just as important as the rapport you have with the contractor. During the interview find out how long they’ve been in business, make sure they have their contractor’s license with the state you reside in, will you need any permits for the project, will subcontractors be used, and find out what type of insurance the contractor uses along with what the insurance covers. The more information you gain the better.

Check references

Request references from your prospective contractors. When checking references, ask questions in regards to their performance, if there were added cost, if the project took longer then expected, and make sure their reference would hire them again if needed. Some references may let you see the work that was done at their home, so ask if you can stop by at their convenience.
Discuss payment options

Discussing payment options will help you in several ways. If the contractor asks for half the money up front, there is probably a problem and you may want to choose another contractor. According to How to Hire a Contractor by Tom Silva, a general rule for “large projects, a schedule usually starts with 10 percent at contract signing, three payments of 25 percent evenly spaced over the duration of the project and a check for the final 15 percent when you feel every item on the punch list has been completed.” It’s good to never pay with cash as well.
Write a contract

Writing a contract out is the most important step in hiring a contractor to work on your home. According to your written contract should include the contractor’s personal information as well as their license number, payment schedule, and the start and completion dates. The contract should include that the contractor is responsible for obtaining any permits needed to finish the project, the cost of materials should be listed, and warranty information, the contractor’s obligations, and an agreement of at least 3 business days should be specified in regards to your right to cancel. Any added oral agreements should be added to this contract as well.

This can be a lot of information to take in, but it is crucial that no stone is left unturned when hiring a contractor. The proper research, the right questions asked, and getting a contract in writing will help to ensure a job well done with your home improvement needs.