Joseph Talbot, Real Estate Broker - HOME IMPROVEMENTS THAT IMPROVE VALUES

• Window installation

HIDDEN COSTS

As a consumer, it is in your best financial interest to minimize costs when adding a new home addition. One of the first places to keep an eye out for hidden costs is the remodelling contract. While it may cost more initially, be sure to demand a fixed-cost contract. This contract should include: • detailed list of the work involved • a change-order policy • a firm price with signatures of yours and the contractor The advantage of this style of contract is that you can shift the responsibility for meeting the costs and budget onto the contractor. For instance, if it is determined that dry-rot is discovered in your support structure, leading to additional work and materials needed to complete the project, the contractor will be legally responsible for assessing this beforehand — not when your project is on the line. This also helps offset the cost of materials, which may rise over the duration of the project. Just be aware, if your contractor is responsible for the costs if a hidden problem is found, they will make their price much higher in the beginning to cover the cost should they run into issues. The change-order policy is also important, as you have a right to change the project if you feel that alterations need to be made after the contract is signed. Again, this is a way that contractors protect themselves, but it also gives you a firm idea of what costs will occur should you change your mind during the completion of your home addition. Also, don't forget that if you secure a loan for some or all of the addition's costs, you'll have to pay loan 84

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