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Question DetailsAsked on 7/11/2013

What questions should I ask a contractor before I hire one to build an addition on my home?

Live in upstate NY (Albany area). Planning to build an addition on our small home in the next year. What kinds of qualifications should I look for in a contractor? Do I need to secure financing first, or get quotes first? Should quotes be free of charge, or do most contractors charge to put together a quote?

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Voted Best Answer

Click on the Home > Remodeling link under your question, and you will find several recent questions and answers regarding questions to ask contractors, getting bids (and how many to get), etc.

You should first have an architect do the plans - that should also get you an estimate of cost so you know which bids are reasonable and which are not.

I would talk about getting a loan first, ,but do not tie down the actual loan amount until the bids are in (which the bank will want to see) and a contractor is selected - then tie down the financing BEFORE final signing the contract with the builder, so you are sure you have funds before you commit to the contract. It is also common to sign the contract subject to final approval of the financing by the lender, which is OK too. Do NOT commit irrevocably to the contract before you have the funds committed.

Bids should be free, but be fair and make sure they are bidding on a specific scope of work you intend to go ahead with, because it takes a good few hours to put together a bid, and a general contractor might spend 10 or more hours on an addition bid by the time plans are looked at, takeoffs are done, materials priced, subcontract bids are rounded up, etc.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD

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