NJ HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR: RAISED LEVEL
The time has come and you want to call a NJ Home Improvement Contractor to build a Raised Level on your home in Bergen County NJ.. You and your spouse have a budget set, financing secured but you are not sure which NJ Home Improvement Contractor is going to build your Raised Level Renovation project. Also, you are not sure how all the small details are going to play out. You need to iron out some of these details early on so here are a few important things that you will need to go over.
DECIDING ON A NJ HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR:
Deciding on which home improvement contractor to hire for your raised level project in Bergen county NJ can be a difficult decision. Everywhere you look, there goes another contractor vehicle but which one is a good fit for you. The only way to really know is to actually call some NJ Home Improvement Contractors, set up appointments and meet them for an interview….yes you read that correctly. An interview is exactly the way you must treat this as.
Meeting New Jersey Contractors
Remember a crew of workers is going to be literally taking over “YOUR HOME” for roughly three months. They will be coming and going, in and out all day long. If you live onsite as the construction is going on then you will be right in the mix. You want to meet the owners that run their crew of workers. Feel him out to see if you think he is the type of person you want to have running throughout your home with a crew of workers. Does he seem like he can handle a crew responsibly? It’s much better if you get along with the contractor since he will be at your home and more importantly will be the person that you communicate daily with. Will he manage even the small elements as good as the larger daily functions? I am a great judge of character. You give me five minutes and I can determine if a person will be able to accomplish the tasks that I ask him to be responsible for. If you can do this as well then it can save you lots of potential problems while the job is underway.
Who’s Providing the Architect for your Raised Level Renovation?
When it comes to your architectural plans which will be needed to apply for a building permit, the homeowners have a few options.
The first option is simple. Hire an architect, meet with him and have him draft your ideas into a set of architectural drawings. The architect will meet with you several times
and go over your ideas. This is a very one on one scenario. He is listening and accumulating your feedback and input then transferring it into preliminary plans. This is great if you want to be in direct communication with the architect. Remember, he is being paid by the hour so this option tends to be very costly. The other thing worth mentioning is you may not even like what the final product is after several meetings. At that point you may be $4,000 dollars and counting in the hole already. When it’s finally over with, the price may be up to $5,000-$8,000 for a raised level based on all the hours
spent going back and forth. On a positive note, your ideas expressed will be on paper for all those contractors to view and bid on.
The second option is the one that I have used with my customers throughout the years. Some contractors will provide their own architect. We have our own in house
architect that we provide to our signed customers. The way this works is simple and we can use my system as an example. You would call us for an estimate. When a representative arrives, we will listen to what your ideas are then within a few days we would provide you with a proposal. In most cases, people will call us a few times with the standard questions that most homeowners ask and we would answer them accordingly. Once a homeowner decides to move forward we would set up a contract signing. After the contract signing was completed we will provide a date within 2-3 days after the contract signing where the architect will arrive at your home. The day the architect arrives, he would be handed a package of information only pertaining to YOUR job. This information is everything stated in the contract which was signed days earlier. He would simply measure your home where the raised level or home improvement project will be built, then within 1 week you will be provided with a set of preliminary drawings. To speed up the process, we usually send the plans via email direct to the customer. The customer will then notify us of any changes. In
most cases, this usually goes back and forth one or two times. Once the homeowner approves, we will finalize the plans and then submit the drawings to your local building department for a zoning review. This system is usually included in our home improvement pricing plan and works out to save the customer thousands of dollars. Not all contractors have an in house architect nor work side by side with an architect but it is important to ask if they do, it can save you thousands of dollars.
Another Cost Saving Tip
After stressing the savings you realize when hiring a contractor that has their own in
house architect, I can’t stress even more the savings you realize by working with a contractor that has its own architect especially if unexpected problems develop while building your Raised Level.
When building your raised level, many times things pop up that is not expected. When
this is the case and yes this happens a lot with existing home renovations and construction, an architect will be needed immediately to verify the findings and make adjustments to the plans. For instance, let’s say a raised level is being built and in the early stages while the new second floor is being framed the builder realizes that the original floor beams are not what they were thought to be or even let’s say the existing chimney which runs through the new second floor plan is off and in actuality falls inside the new upper bathroom by six inches. These items need to be addressed now. Not tomorrow nor the next day. Any hold ups can mean another day your top floor is not covered properly making it exposed to the outside weather conditions. When working with a contractor that has his own architect, most cases that architect is on call and
will arrive to verify and remedy the situation with an alternate plan of action that meets your local building department codes. If there are any fees for the unexpected issue changes, they usually are minimal. When we are hired, I usually make sure no extra architect fees are charged to my customers.
The opposite is usually the case when hiring an outside architect. I also found that the homeowner provided architects were slow to respond to emergency calls. These delays are very costly for the homeowner. In most cases where this has happened, I found that the overcharges directed at the homeowner were usually very excessive.
These are just a few of the things to consider when hiring your NJ Home Improvement
Contractor to build a raised level for your family.