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What to Expect During the Construction Phase of a Design-Build Home Renovation with an Addition


You’ve created a plan, developed a design, hired a team, and signed the contracts—and now, it’s finally time to begin the construction phase of your design-build home addition!

It’s exciting to watch the vision for your home come to life. But there is also a lot of work that goes into construction for both you and your contractor. Setting clear expectations and understanding how to manage your project will result in a smooth construction process.

Here is what you can expect during the construction phase of your home addition:

What Will Happen During the Construction Process?

The first step in understanding what to expect during construction is learning about what will occur during the construction process.

Once construction begins for your design-build home addition, your contractor will:

  1. Establish the foundation and complete dirt work.
  2. Complete the demolition of the interior and framing.
  3. Start mechanical work for plumbing, HVAC, and electrical.
  4. Complete exterior work, including siding, roofing, or decking.
  5. Install the insulation and drywall.
  6. Paint the walls and ceilings.
  7. Complete tile work and install flooring.
  8. Install cabinets and add interior trim.
  9. Add the final finishes.

How to Prepare Your Home for Construction

Before your contractor arrives to begin working on your design-build home addition, you will need to prepare by:

  • Removing all furniture, rugs, and other loose items from the construction zone.
  • Removing all wall decor and other wall items that are in or near the construction zone.

After construction is complete, your contractor will expect you to:

  • Change the furnace filter.
  • Thoroughly clean your home, including the work area.

What to Expect from Your Contractor Before and After the Construction Process

Before construction on your home begins, you can expect your contractor to:

  1. Set up plastic walls with taped seams to keep dust and debris in the construction zone.
  2. Cover finished floors with cardboard and plastic to prevent floor damage.
  3. Cover HVAC ducts with plastic and tape to prevent dust from entering the unit.
  4. Close all windows and doors and tape the door seams to confine debris to the construction zone.
  5. Add an air scrubber to the construction zone that vents outside to provide a clean and healthier home. Your contractor will replace the HEPA filters as needed during the construction process.

After construction is complete, your contractor will:

  1. Thoroughly vacuum the work area using a HEPA filter.
  2. Remove stickers and tape from the work area.
  3. Sweep the floor and wipe down the rooms.

Tips for Managing Your Home Addition

The construction process for your home addition might not go exactly as planned. Instead of allowing last minute changes or unexpected circumstances to take you by surprise, here are some tips for managing your expectations and the outcome of your construction project.

Establish Open Communication

Establishing clear and open communication between you and your contractor is a critical first step for a successful construction project.

Before construction begins, discuss details about the job, hours when the crew will be working, and any rules you might have for the crew while they are working on-site.

Walk Through Frequently

Walk through the construction site frequently—both with and without the construction crew present—to stay alert for any issues.

If you suspect the crew may have completed something incorrectly, have an honest and respectful conversation about the issue with your contractor. It will go a long way to give the crew the benefit of the doubt by assuming that the mistake was a simple misunderstanding.

Expect Dust

During the construction process, demolition, carpentry, and drywall work will produce a considerable amount of dust and debris.

To prevent excess dust from being tracked through the areas of your home that are not under construction, consider renting a Porta-Potty to keep outside and asking the crew to build as much of the addition as possible before knocking down the exterior walls.

Create a Project Journal

Your contractor will not be on the construction site every day. To ensure that you will not forget anything you need to discuss with your contractor, create a project journal to jot down non-urgent questions, record notes from previous conversations, and store important documents.

Budget for Changes

Most design-build home additions are large projects that can result in added costs. Homeowners should budget 10% to 15% for unforeseen costs or last-minute upgrades. Request that your contractor provide you with change orders, so you can sign off on the price of the work before it is completed. Change orders will also help you to keep track of your total project cost during the construction process.

Expect Reasonable Project Delays

Your contractor should do everything possible to keep your construction project on track to be completed on-time. However, there are several unforeseen circumstances, like poor weather conditions, shipping delays, and last-minute additions, that can create delays in your construction timeline.

Ask your contractor to include an approximate start and finish date in the contract for added accountability, but be comfortable with the possibility that the project might run a bit long.

Design-Build Construction You Can Rely On

When you are ready to turn your current space into a gorgeous, spacious home, Action Builders can help. With over 30 years in the industry, our team has helped homeowners expand their home space with beautiful, structurally-sound home additions.

Learn more about how the design-build process can help you save time and money for your beautiful new home addition.