room addition contractor

Update: When hiring a contractor for your home addition, it is essential you conduct a thorough interview with them to make sure they are definitely the right person for the job. Many homeowners become intimidated in the presence of contractors as they are the professional so should be left to get on with the job – but you need to know that they understand exactly what the job requires and what they think they will have to do to complete it.

When you are interviewing contractors to make a hiring decision, it is important to keep in mind both the general and the specific questions you need to ask.

Some of the specific areas you will need to discuss with home addition contractors:

  1. Slab or Foundation. Will your addition be slab on grade? Or will it be a raised foundation? Will there be a basement or cellar under it? Will there be a crawl space? Will a slab be sealed and water-proofed? How high will the crawl space need to be to provide easy access into the existing house? Will you use new foundation framing specifications and floor joists or the more traditional spacing of the framing and joists?

  2. Framing and Exterior Walls. Will the addition be framed to the new specifications or use traditional spacing? What kind and amount of insulation will be used? What will the exterior walls be made of? Will you use real brick or stone or the simulated material? What kind of exterior boards will be used? Will you use insulated synthetic stucco siding? Is the siding you have chosen a good match for the exterior of the existing house? If it is not a match, does it blend in well and look appropriate for the neighborhood?
  3. Windows and doorways. You need to discuss special door shapes, styles and headers if you want arched doorways, oversized doors, pocket doors, etc. You will also need to discuss the merits and needs for insulated windows and the need for impact resistant windows if you live in a region subject to severe storms. You will want to consider safety, energy-efficiency and function of the finished space.
  4. Roof. You will obviously need to have the new roof seamlessly connect with the existing roof. You will also want to discuss some of the new roofing materials, such as the energy-efficient metal roofing materials. You will need to consider how the parts of the roof connect and match. Also, make sure the roof will be adequately vented and insulated. Finally, you will need to consider what, if any, space will be available above your addition for storage or possible future expansion. This will be important in planning access, ventilation and framing. Contractor Selection Workbook

  1. What to do with that existing wall. In most cases, your addition will join the existing structure along some part of the existing exterior wall. Depending on the exterior siding of the home, you might be able to use part of the existing wall. For example, if the home is brick, you will need to decide whether to simply open a doorway or remove all of the brick and install drywall. The answer might depend on how you plan to use the new room. If it is to be a family room or home office, you might be able to do some creative decorating that uses the brick wall. This could save some money on demolition, framing and drywall work.

By discussing these questions and concerns with potential home addition contractors before you make a hiring decision, you can be sure you and the contractor are on the same page and that you have covered all of the most important decisions about your new addition.

If this article is helpful, see also:

How to Pick a Contractor
Save Money by Having a Well Written Service Contract
Room Addition Calculators