What’s the typical cost per square foot to add on a room addition?

  Remodeling is such a unique and custom form of construction that it is impossible to accurately quote a project by square foot price without knowing all specifications of the job. Prices can vary dramatically depending upon several factors including size, location, materials used, demolition to existing house, tie-ins to existing, etc. Some additions are built for $100.00 per square foot, others at $200.00 per square foot, while some additions cost $300.00 per square foot and up.Have you ever tried to buy an automobile per square foot? Which do you think would cost more to buy per square foot-a Chevy Cavalier or BMW 450 SL Convertible? It’s pretty obvious that one vehicle will cost two or three times the amount per square foot as the other. The same is true with room additions and other remodeling projects. It all depends on specific details as noted above.The best way to proceed in getting a price estimate is to discuss your ideas with a qualified remodeler. He or she can give you a ballpark estimate based upon the type of job involved.

We don’t know where to start for our desired room addition.  Should we hire an architect to design our new space?

  Although hiring an architect is an option that you may consider, it probably is not your best option for most room additions.  Rather, you should consider hiring a Design/Build remodeler who has the experience and capabilities to design and build your project within your stipulated budget for two main reasons.First, by working directly with a remodeling contractor to design and build your project, you will control your budgeted costs.  The contractor knows the costs of construction and will design the plans and specifications within predetermined budgets.  This eliminates additional design fees which frequently occur when an outside architect or designer draws a project without knowing the costs to ensure the project can be built within budget.  This is one of the most common problems and frustrations many homeowners experience when not having their plans drawn by someone other than the remodeler who will build it.Second, the byproduct of the reasons explained above is that the design costs will usually be less costly than hiring a third party architect.  Also, it should be a more enjoyable experience for you in working with a knowledgeable and experienced contractor who is totally responsible for the design and construction of your remodeling project.  You’ll be working together from inception to completion as a team with one major goal in mind-designing and building your dream project within your designated budget.

Wouldn’t I save money for my kitchen or bath remodeling project if I bought all the materials myself from Home Depot or Lowe’s and give them to my remodeler to install?

  All experienced remodeling contractors have overhead costs as part of doing business.  These include salaries, office, rent, administration fees, trucks and vehicles, insurance, computers, accounting, etc.  In order to pay for these expenses and earn an honest profit for the risks of being in business, remodeling contractors need to count on sufficient gross profits from all jobs.Part of the gross profits include markups on all labor, subcontracts and materials to form the basis of sales prices.  If a contractor cannot include a fair markup on the products used in a remodeling project, he or she will not have sufficient gross profits to cover overhead, expenses and earn a fair profit.  There just would not be enough markup on labor only to provide enough return in exchange for the risks of being in business.An analogy would be, if you walked into your favorite fine restaurant with a grocery bag of food bought at the local food market and asked the restaurant to cook your food and reduce the menu prices accordingly.  I’m sure you know what the answer would be.  The restaurant counts on a fair markup on all their food (products) in order to receive sufficient revenue to cover their operating expenses and earn a fair profit.

Remember that experienced remodeling professionals don’t just provide an installation, they provide a valued service to assist you in design, analysis of all products and materials to be used, quality workmanship and warranties to protect your continued satisfaction with the products and services provided.  Allow your contractor to earn a fair return for their expertise and assistance in making your remodeling project an enjoyable one for you.

Is my remodeling contractor required to give me a warranty on its work?

  No. A surprising fact that many homeowners find out too late is that a remodeling contractor is not required by Ohio law to provide the consumer with a warranty.  Unless an agreement or contract clearly stipulates a warranty provision, there is no binding warranty provision to ensure quality workmanship and required repairs if defective products or workmanship is discovered.Always ask the contractor to see a copy of the written provisions of the warranty to ensure you have adequate protection from defective work.  There is a written limited warranty program supplied by the Remodelers Council of the North Coast Building Industry Association (NCBIA) which provides a one year limited warranty protection against defective items contained in the warranty programs. Ask any remodeling member of the NCBIA Remodelers Council to obtain a copy of this warranty program.

How much money should I give my remodeling contractor so I can be sure he won’t skip out before finishing my job?

  If you have any doubts about the ability of your remodeler to perform on your contract to your full satisfaction, you should not do business with him/her in the first place.  If you do not know the contractor or know someone else who has done business with him/her, contact the local building department of your city and ask questions about the contractor’s capabilities.Each contractor has their own policies and procedures concerning homeowner payments.  Typically, remodelers require a down payment of 25-50% of the contract price for small jobs and 10-33% for large jobs.  The remaining payments are typically spread out over the term of the project based upon work performed at various stages.Before paying the contractor in full, you should have all work completed to your satisfaction.  If one or two minor items remain to be completed at the end, most remodelers require the entire project to be paid in full except a small holdback amount until completion of those items.  Remember that remodelers are not bankers and rely upon the homeowners to provide sufficient payments to pay their bills, including payroll, and office administrative costs.  While it is the responsibility of the remodeler to provide quality workmanship and good service, it is the homeowners’ responsibility to make prompt payments as stipulated in the sales agreement.

Should I anticipate any costs beyond the contract price?

  Most remodeling projects do cost more than the original contract price. This is caused by several factors including: unforeseen conditions such as decayed framing, hidden pipes or wires, etc. Other causes include changes in the design or plan and upgrades or additional work requested by the homeowner. Given our level of experience, we normally anticipate many problems ahead of time; problems which are often overlooked by other contractors, and do our best to factor these into our price.However, despite our best efforts to control costs, our clients typically spend between 5-12% more than the original contract amount. Therefore, we recommend you have this amount in additional funds set aside to give you the flexibility to make changes or upgrades as you see fit as the job progresses and to allow for unforeseen costs.It’s important to note that Heflin Remodeling will not charge more than the original contract price unless we do additional work or incur additional costs beyond what is stated in our contracts.

Should I get other estimates before proceeding?

  Getting other estimates is a personal decision. Only you can decide if will you feel comfortable having not gotten other estimates. It’s very easy to compare prices but very difficult to compare scopes of work and specifications and even more difficult to compare service and craftsmanship. All too often people are tempted by a lower price and live to regret it when they don’t get the job they expected or worse, things start falling apart. Our advice has always been – hire a contractor you trust and feel confident they will do a professional job for you. Gain this confidence by doing your due diligence – check references and ask lots of good questions.A recent report published by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry confirmed that 91% of the homeowners that “seriously considered only one or two remodeling contractors” were completely satisfied. Satisfaction rates dropped significantly for those considering several contractors.

How can I be sure I will get a quality job at a fair price?

  This is closely related to the question above. However, bear this in mind – reputation is key. If you have chosen a contractor that has an impeccable reputation for doing quality work in the community, chances are high that you will get a good job at a fair price.Again, words of caution though – check references and visit the jobsite to see the work first hand. Any reputable contractor will welcome the chance to show off his work.” It’s unwise to pay too much, but is worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little – that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it can’t be done! If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.”
–John Ruskin (1819-1900) – English art critic and writer