If the home you love needs a little more space, function, or design, you need the right contractor to construct your addition or remodel. In fact, the quality of the new construction will fall heavily on the shoulders of the Pittsburgh home additions contractor you hire.
Your specific needs play a big role too. It’s important to find the right contractor that you feel comfortable working and communicating with. One of the best things you can do is hire a local contractor with the right skill set, experience and credentials. And if you can find one that specializes in additions for the popular home styles in your area, that’s another bonus!
So how do you find the right Pittsburgh home additions contractor for your remodeling project?
1. Google Search
An obvious way to find design-build contractors is through a quick google search. We recommend checking out who’s on the Google Map Pack, but don’t stop there! Sometimes great contractors are building their digital marketing momentum and may fall right below the map pack on the first page of Google search results.
The Map Pack includes the first three sites that pull up after the advertised sites at the top of the search page. It appears in a box and gives you their locations on a map. These companies can often be some good options in your area. Just be sure to check out their reviews. (See tip #2 below.)
A contractor who shows up at the top of search results often means they’ve invested a great amount of work and funds in their marketing and, as a result, are often sought out and found regularly. So, let Google do some of the screening work for you. Search terms like “Pittsburgh Home Additions Contractor” or “Design-Build Contractors in Pittsburgh,” and see which companies make the cut.
2. Read Reviews and Testimonials
Past clients are the best resource for information regarding a contractor’s abilities. They know how a contractor communicates, how timely they are working with projects, how respectful they are of your home during the renovation process, and the quality of work they provide.
You can ask for testimonials from past clients or search the company’s website for reviews, but often, these evaluations will be the best of the best. And while they may be true, another great way to garner honest reviews is from outside sites.
Search for ratings and written reviews on Google and from websites like:
Also note if a contractor responds to reviews. It’s a good indication of their communication efforts to keep good rapport with their homeowners.
3. Look for a Clearly Defined Process
Did you know you can ask to see contracts and general project processes before hiring a Pittsburgh home additions contractor? Understanding how a contractor works and their process for renovating a home will help you prepare not just the project, but your family, for the large task ahead. Ask for these documents ahead of time or ask a contractor about their processes. Ensure it has a clearly defined process before proceeding.
The benefits of a good design-build process over architect services should include:
- A consultation to determine the scope of the work
- Working with the design team to create the details and blueprint
- A comprehensive and clearly laid out quote.
- Clean and orderly construction of your new addition
- See our design-build process for an example of what a detailed, complete project process plan may look like.
4. Assess Galleries of Past Work
A great way to know if a design-build contractor can not only achieve the scope of your project but can match your design taste is through a gallery of their past projects. This is a great way to see what aesthetic you may get or how flexible and expansive the design-build contractor’s knowledge is with various designs.
Some great places to look for galleries are:
- Company website – look for a gallery, case studies or featured projects
- Social media platforms (Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)
Don’t just look for pictures, but find out the budget for each project, what neighborhood the home was in and the challenges the contractor addressed to make the homeowners love their new home addition and renovation.
5. Evaluate Scope of Projects
It’s important to understand the scope of projects a contractor typically handles. You wouldn’t hire a roofer to fix your foundation, so why hire a contractor to do the job of a design-build contractor for a whole-home remodel.
If you are looking for a large, multi-room or multi-story remodel, ensure a contractor has completed prior projects of this scale. If you want more space, be sure a contractor specializes in additions.
6. Calculate Quality vs. Price
Don’t simply hire the lowest bidder. Take time to assess the quality of work you will be receiving with regards to the price of the project. Have an idea of what you want your completed project to look like and get a bid for the standard of material and craftsmanship. Lower bids often equate to cheap labor and materials. And highest bids can mean bloated costs that exceed your desired budget.
7. Confirm Licenses and Insurance
Any contractor you hire needs the proper licensing to keep accidents and injuries from becoming your problem as a homeowner. Ask a contractor to provide proof of insurance before beginning a project. You can also ask for the company’s license or their license number to verify.
If you really want to go the extra mile in your search, you can search the Pittsburgh court records for previous issues a company may have had.
8. Ask for Referrals from Friends
If you had family members or friends who recently underwent a home renovation and were happy with the results, ask them who they used. What problems did the contractor’s designer and construction crew solve for them? What did they enjoy about working with them? What was the communication flow, design-build process and follow through like? They will be a wealth of information to help you make the right decision in finding a home additions contractor in Pittsburgh.
9. Consult and Interview at Least Three Contractors
Take the time to reach out to the contractors you are considering via phone call. This will allow you to ask specific and detailed questions about your project so you can get a feel for what a contractor provides. It will also provide insight into a contractor’s communication process.
Contractors who are difficult to reach or problematic to communicate with in the beginning will likely remain that way throughout the entire process. This can make a home renovation or addition a headache rather than a joyful experience. And if you’re getting the home addition of your dreams, you should enjoy the process too!
The Right Design-Build Contractor for Your Home
Don’t just hire any contractor. Hire a design-build contractor. Our design-build team at Action Builders employs skilled designers and licensed contractors to create a home renovation or addition that fits seamlessly with your home.
Our goal is to give you a design that looks like it should have always been that way, leaving you with a home you can be proud of. If you are looking for a large-scale, multi-story home renovation, see the host of success stories that Action Builders has given to many Pittsgurgh homeowners. If you like what you see, schedule a consultation to see how our design-build team can transform your home.