FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
HOW LONG DOES AN ADDITION TAKE?
Smaller addition projects of just a room or two without any kitchen and bathrooms will take about 2 months. Larger projects that include kitchen and bathrooms typically take between 3-6 months. Construction moves faster in the spring/summer/fall months and usually takes about a month longer if built during the winter.
DO YOU BUILD YEAR ROUND?
We build year round with the exception of projects that take a large amount of excavation work. If a project includes a lot of excavation, we prefer to start it no later than November or wait until about March/April.
DO YOU HIRE SUBCONTRACTORS?
We always use sub-contractors for the mechanicals which include electrical, plumbing, and HVAC. Beyond that, each project varies based on the timeframe and scope of work. We prefer to use subcontractors for specialty work such as drywall, masonry, and floor refinishing but will vary project to project.
DO YOU HAVE INSURANCE?
All townships require a minimum amount of insurance to be carried to get a permit. We keep our insurance certificates on file with the townships we do the majority of our business in and then provide as needed otherwise. Our coverage is typically higher than the minimum amounts needed.
HOW LONG DOES THE DESIGN PROCESS TAKE?
The design process can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months. It really depends on how many revisions are needed with each drawing and when the homeowner wants to start the project. We can typically move as quickly as two weeks from field measure to contract presentation but think it is important to take as much time as needed to make sure the design is exactly what is wanted to avoid confusion and extra costs during construction.
CAN I SEE EXAMPLES OF YOUR WORK?
We have photos of our work in our website gallery and also on Houzz.com. Depending on what type of project you are doing we have numerous satisfied customers that allow us into their homes to showcase our work to be viewed in person which is usually a huge help in the contractor selection process.
HOW ARE THE FINISHES SELECTED FOR THE PROJECT?
Our interior design services are included free of charge to be used by the homeowners to a reasonable extent. The majority of our customers have been thinking about their project for an extended period of time and have a basic idea of what they want the space to look like and just need some guidance on how to make it happen.
DO I HAVE TO USE SPECIFIC VENDORS?
We have a vendor list that is provided to our customers at contract signing. We strongly recommend using these vendors because we feel comfortable with the quality and service you will receive. Finishes such as tile, flooring, we have some flexibility on where these are purchased. Plumbing fixtures and more specialty products are stricter since we have had issues with online ordering in the past. We prefer to use our vendors for these products as we know the quality and that the parts and pieces provided will all work together and not cause any delays in the process.
IS EVERYTHING INCLUDED IN YOUR PRICING?
A typical scope of work for an addition project includes everything except appliances, carpet, and surface mount light fixtures. Those are typically supplied by owner and installed by Action Builders except the carpet. The carpet is typically installed by the supplier.
DO YOU TYPICALLY HAVE ANY SURPRISES OR UNEXPECTED COSTS THAT COME UP IN ADDITION PROJECTS?
We think it is important to put the time and research into a project during the design phase to avoid any surprises during construction. We typically do not have any major surprises and the majority of our change orders are things that get added by the owner during the project. Plumbing is the exception. When working on older homes there are sometimes existing issues with the plumbing that sometimes come to light when we are tying into the existing systems.
HOW DO YOU APPROACH UNEXPECTED COSTS DURING CONSTRUCTION?
We do not do any additional work without the homeowner’s approval and understanding of the costs involved. If something is not included in the scope of work, we provide the homeowner the cost to do the work and allow them the opportunity to agree or disagree to us completing it.
CAN WE LIVE IN THE HOME WHILE YOU ARE BUILDING THE ADDITION?
The majority of the homeowners live in the home while we are working. The exceptions being larger projects where we are working on the entire house and it just doesn’t make sense from a logistic stand point to constantly move the homeowner around the house so we can work. We do our best to minimize the daily inconvenience while you are living there but keep in mind this is a large renovation project and we will be making noise and dust throughout the project.
WILL MY EXISTING HVAC SYSTEM BE ABLE TO HANDLE THE ADDITIONAL SQUARE FOOTAGE?
Once we have the completed floor plans for the addition we typically bring our HVAC subcontractor in to look at the home. He will evaluate the existing system and then typically proposes one or two options with the associated costs to heat and cool the new space.
CAN YOU MATCH MY EXISTING HARDWOOD?
We do our best to match the existing flooring as closely as possible. Where the biggest difference is found is the grain of the new wood versus the old wood being different. The color we can typically get almost exact but this obviously varies from house to house.
AM I ABLE TO MATCH OR REUSE THE BRICK ON THE EXTERIOR OF MY HOUSE?
Most bricks we are able to match very closely but again varies from house to house. Any brick on the home where the addition is being placed we can take down and reuse or integrate into the exterior where it makes the most sense.
CAN I DO ANY OF THE WORK MYSELF?
This depends on if you are using cash or financing for the project. If you are using cash, then you are able to do as little or as much of the work as you want. We have simply framed additions and gotten them to the insulation stage and the homeowner completed the rest. If you are financing the project, then the amount of work you are allowed to do is limited to what the bank will allow. Some banks will allow tile work, painting, etc. but others will not allow any work to be completed by the homeowner. Painting and tile are the two items most often completed by the homeowners.
DOES THE TOWNSHIP REQUIRE AN ARCHITECT TO COMPLETE THE DRAWINGS?
No, most townships are fine with an engineer’s stamp for any structural aspects of the project. We design and draw our own additions and then have an engineer we consult with for any of the stamps needed. This is done for a streamlined process so we can design the project to the homeowner’s budget.
DO YOU HANDLE THE PERMIT APPLICATION PROCESS?
We take care of all of the drawings and applications needed to get the permit. The homeowner is typically only needed to sign the applications.
WHAT ARE THE BEST FINANCING OPTIONS FOR AN ADDITION PROJECT?
Most homeowners either use a home equity line of credit or get a construction loan. The biggest difference is that an equity line is based off of the value of the existing home while a construction loan will lend on the completed home value to include the addition.