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HABITAT: Expert Advice


Your Home Improvement Questions Answered

Question: I’m putting an addition on my home and I want to find the right builder. How should I start?

Answer: Scott Elliott, Pennsylvania Builders Association (pabuilders.org) The biggest mistake people make is rushing the hiring process. Interview several builders. Ask for an insurance certificate to verify current workers’ compensation and general liability insurance.

You should also see some of the builder’s most recent projects. Verify the builder’s permanent business address and ask for references. Reputable builders should be able to provide a list of references. If they can’t, that’s a red flag that something is wrong.

Don’t always jump on the lowest bid. If a bid is significantly lower than other bids you received, investigate why. Ask detailed questions about how the builder calculated it.

Lastly, the builder you choose should understand your expectations for the project and be someone with whom you can communicate easily.

Have a question for an expert? E-mail tbehan@mainlinetoday.com.

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