Check building permits at local building department. Look at residential
projects similar in size and scope as yours. Check by the site and ask the
owners. Going back several few months in permit dates will likely yield
projects that are recently completed.
Try to get by soon enough to get fresh information. After a year, you are
likely to get more generalized opinions and/or minor grievances that are
In many places in the US you will need a permit, and to get a permit,
you will have to show them satisfactory plans. So your first step is to
find someone to design this and draw up the plans; ask him for
recommendations as to a contractor.
Alexander Galkin wrote:
SPAMBLOCK NOTICE! To reply to me, delete the h from apkh.net, if it is
I will draw the plan and take care of all permits. I have pretty much
experience with applying for permits and inspections. My township local
inspectors know me in person as they visited my house several times each
inspecting previous projects. I need a contractor to perform a very specific
job: excavate soil for addition, build foundation and possible frame floor.
I don't need anything else and I will be doing rest myself. Obviously I do
not need GC.
You probably will need an engineer's stamp on the plans - ask your engineer
who he/she thinks is a good contractor for the type of work you need. He may
not be able to tell you who is the least expensive, or who completes the job
in the least time, but he's been on lots of site inspections and knows who
follows the plans, whose workmanship is good.
If its NOT a public building, but just your home, or even in
many cases, calif for example, a factory you will not need an
engineers stamp for most of that or any of it some
cases...depends on the impact issues and local codes, if its a
public use building or not....thats if you are an owner
the rules can change if you are a contractor..but not always..
its a regional issue.
In your case you can most likely draw up your own plans, take
it to the city and they will probably approve them..especially
if they are obviously competent...if they look flakey, then
the city will insist on a competent set of plans.
Make sure you have a FULL set of plans, mechanical, electrical and plumbing.
Make the subs bid off the plans then if they choose, give an alternate very
detailed bid. It is the only way you can compare apples to apples. A good
web site is www.HVAC-consult.com
To find a good contractor you should talk to past customers and I mean
a few years after the job was completed. Also don't go to a contractor
who builds new houses if you just want a small addition 'cause they
may tend to push your job to the background while they go after the big
On Thu, 10 Feb 2005 21:03:46 -0500, "Alexander Galkin"
Ask around the neighborhood. Word of mouth is the best referral you
can get. One caveat though. Look at the work the GC did. Your
standards may be different than your neighbors'.
Steve Manes, Brooklyn, USA
I would start by studying up on all the work to be done, including
soil/drainage/settling issues. Heat/AC limits or needs. Construction
materials and methods. You can't negotiate a project like yours without
knowing your options and areas for concern. Look at some new houses for
ideas. Check around the neighborhood for a house that has had an
addition and knock on the door :o) Then, go to your state, city or
county website and find three contractors who have held licenses for at
least 10 years. Check for complaints or discipline against their
licenses, and start getting bids. Bid should include license and
insurance info, material type and brand, completion time, payment
intervals, lien release info, etc.
Our city has construction standards, with detailed drawings, for all
kinds of projects. This is their standard for city work, done by city
engineers and available on the internet. Good resource, IMO.
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