Tips from going from a DIY renovation to finding a contractor for a home remodel or addition and getting construction bids.
This post is sponsored by Dibbs Technology App but all opinions are my own.
Can you believe I have been in my house for 6 years?! The house is just about finished being renovated but there is still one issue… I may have outgrown my house. This two bedroom ranch has been amazing to me over the last 6 years. We have been through so much together but the walls seem to just be closing in on me.
I am not going to lie the thought of listing it has come to mind several times. But I love this house and I want to make it work. So what does this mean?! I am starting the process of exploring adding an addition. I am lucky enough to have a corner lot and have been cleared by the town building department that I have enough room to add a two story addition.
One of the many reasons I love this house. Check out my previous kitchen renovation here.
Now this may seem crazy. I live alone why do I need so much room?! Well there are two reasons. I want to be able to grow with this house and right now I can’t see how thats possible with the space and storage in it’s current state. Second being I run my business full time out of my home and want to be able to separate some of the functions of my business from my living space.
Where to start the process of planning to building an addition
Let’s break down to process of starting to plan for your addition. A project this large can be overwhelming. Knowing where to start will help you jump right in.
Contact the Building Department
You want to contact the building department in your town or city to make sure you have the room on your land to add on to your house. The city was able to look up my property and how many lots of land I owned. In just a few minutes they provided the total square footage I was able to have on my land and the distance from the street and property lines.
My town requires 15 ft from the side of your property to the street, 30 ft from the front of the property to the street and 15 ft at the back of the property to the neighbors property line.
Establish a Realistic Budget
Before even contacting a contractor I wanted to understand what a realistic budget was for this renovation. The average cost of an addition in 2022 is $86-200 a square foot. Living in New England I chose to use the higher end of the estimate to roughly figure out a budget.
Once you have an initial budget you will want to start talks with your financial institution. They can give you an idea of what type of loan you need and pre-approval for funding.
Finding the Right Contractor
You will want to bring in more than one contractor to bid out the job. It’s important not just go with the first contractor don’t rush this process. Compare estimates as well as look references from past jobs. Ask questions about their team of sub contractors, payment schedule, timeline and licensing. Treat this as an interview.
But where do you actually find a contractor? If you live in Massachusetts or Rhode Island the Dibbs Technology App is a great place to start. You can post the project you are looking to have done and reach an entire network of tradesmen. These professionals can then bid on the job, quote price, timeline, send contracts, and even video chat through the app. Keep scrolling for a deeper look into the Dibbs Technology App below.
For this addition I am looking for a contractor to work closely with an architect or for a building company that has an architect on staff.
Consulting with a Realtor
Before signing on to any addition. I suggest consulting with a realtor to make sure your addition will add the equity to your home for future sales. You don’t want to end up upside down on your home after the addition. Factors you may want to consider is the initial price you paid for your home vs the market now. The new square footage with the addition and comps in your neighborhood.
Now that you have chosen a contractor you can secure your financing. I contacted my mortgage company first to see what rates and terms they could offer as an existing customer. You may want to reach out to several financial institutions to see what is right for you.
Now the real work begins
You’ve chosen a contractor! Congratulations. Next steps are permits and construction. Remember this is a long process choose a contractor that you feel good communicating with. Also this is a two way relationship be a good client. You will feel the stress of the renovation disrupting your everyday life as well of the added pressure of all the money your are spending. Treat your contractor with respect and keep an open dialogue throughout the process.
Dibbs Technology App
Choosing a contractor/builder is where I have stumbled in my renovation process in the past. Dibbs is an all-in-one construction bidding and selling products and service app.
This opens you up to a an entire network of contractors and trades people in one place. Where they can then bid on the job, quote price, timeline, send contracts, there’s even the option video chat through the app.
If you are a contractor, suppliers, or other tradesmen in the app you are able to create a post of what materials or services you need and reach an entire network of professionals in the area. These professionals are then able to bid on the post and pay for the job via the app.
The current bidding process for both is unorganized, time-consuming, and there is little peace of mind to getting the best price and the best quality for services and materials. Dibbs is a digital marketplace that expands the network for sellers and buyers. Save time, money, and energy by finding what you need 50% faster.
How to make a post for service in the Dibbs Technology App
Now I am just at the beginning stages of this process. I can’t wait to share more as I get further in this process. Stay tuned for updates with building and design plans. I am hopefully planning to break ground next Spring if all goes right. Stay tuned!