Q: If I wanted to add a room to my house and would like to have the work done in the summer, when would be a good time to contact a general contractor to schedule the work?
It generally takes about 4 to 6 months to do the planning, estimating and scheduling of a larger project. A smaller remodel, such as a one-item improvement (siding, windows, deck, patio, etc.) generally takes about 1 month.
Q: I’ve often heard about delays in construction projects because of building permits and inspections. How likely is that to delay the remodeling of my kitchen if the kitchen remodel includes new electric and plumbing?
A: Generally, if you are prepared with the required information for the building permit, it should only take 1 to 2 weeks to obtain. Likewise, if you are prepared for the building inspector, it should only take 1 week to obtain the inspection, normally based upon the inspector’s weekly schedule.
Q: Is there any way to estimate the cost of an addition based on square footage?
A: This is very difficult to do and generally is misleading for additions and renovations. Each project is different and requires vastly different design parameters. Often the inclusion of a single item (like a $6,000 whirlpool or kitchen appliance) can increase the square foot number dramatically. I do not use square foot numbers because of this. I estimate each job separately to be sure to give an accurate estimate up front, which is invaluable in your decision-making process.
Q: Should new construction (i.e., an addition) be painted with the final coat right after the room is completed? Someone told me to wait 3-6 months for the construction to settle. Is that true?
A: I generally recommend that the final coat be applied right away. If you wait 3-6 months, the new addition will be disrupted again for the painting to take place (not to mention the number of rooms I’ve seen that never got the final coat). Today there is very little settling to be concerned about. There is the possibility of some “nail pops” in the sheetrock but those can be touched up easily.