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How to choose the best home addition contractors

Building a home addition — contact Fortress Home today for a free quote

Building a room addition is a major project but a well-thought-out home renovation will add more than just square footage to your house. It can mean the difference between having to move or staying in the home and neighbourhood you love. Whether your family is growing, or you're working from home, a high quality home remodel can add the extra living space that you need. However, remodeling projects are not small undertakings, so working with experienced American building contractors is essential.

When it comes to choosing the right home additions contractors there are lots of things to consider.

What type of addition do I want?

From a simple sunroom to a more complex suite of rooms with plumbing and HVAC it's important to have a clear idea of what you want, and need. Are you extending your kitchen, building a new master bedroom or adding an extra bathroom? Each of these will have different electrical and plumbing requirements. Some will require removing or replacing roofs and walls, while others will be more straightforward.

Having a clear idea of what you want, or already having plans and blueprints, when you start speaking to professionals will make the process much more straightforward.

How much experience do the general contractors have?

While it's great to give new companies a chance when grabbing a coffee or buying a shirt, when you're extending your home, experience becomes much more important. You'll want to hire professional builders who have a wide range of experience with different types of builds, including home additions, similar to yours.

They need to have experience with more than just building though — experience with local zoning laws, obtaining the right permits and ensuring everything is to code is just as important to ensure your project runs on time, without any hurdles. Which is why using contractors near you is so important.

With Fortress Home you get over 20 years of experience in construction, so you can be assured that you're working with some of Chicago's best house builders.


How much does the company outsource?

When working with general contractors or addition contractors it's always important to consider how much of the building process is outsourced. A lot of people are involved in the process, from planning to construction, and with every step that's not managed in-house there's another opportunity for delays, cost increases or other problems. Where possible find home extension contractors who handle as many of the stages as possible.

These might include:

  • design
  • estimates
  • planning and permits
  • sourcing materials, fixtures, fittings and appliances
  • the actual construction
  • installing and setting up home appliances
  • finishes

Working with Fortress Home in Chicago, you'll find all this and more, in-house, making the entire process smooth, from concept to completion. Searching for a construction company in Chicago? Look no further! Fortress Home has been in business for over two decades. Dial 773 770 8607 and get a free estimate directly from our specialists today!

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Three easy ways to check what their customers say

When working with house extension builders it's always important to find out what’s being said about them so you can get a feel for how well you will work together. Here are three easy ways to do this:

  1. Check what their existing customers say online - Google terms like home improvement contractors reviews to find a wide range of home builders review sites and home builders ratings.
  2. Ask any building contractors you're working with for testimonials and examples of their work.
  3. Speak to your local homeowners association to see if anyone has previously worked with them.

Points to consider

  • Did the project run to time? Depending on the length of delay and size of project this could be a minor inconvenience, or a major issue.
  • Did they stick to the budget? You don’t want to work with someone who always overspends.
  • How easy were they to work with? They are going to be in your home for at least a few weeks, so you need to be able to communicate clearly with them without any issues.

At Fortress Home we pride ourselves on our exceptional adherence to project time-limits and budget. We know what a difference it makes, to be able to fully trust your contractors for home additions.

How do they manage quality and budget?

You want to make sure that any business you work with has high quality standards, and ideally an audit process to ensure quality is met on every project. Even better, if you can find home addition builders who aim to exceed technical standards rather than just match them.

At Fortress Home, when it makes sense to use a higher quality standard than those mandated in the building codes, we'll go the extra mile to ensure the best for your home.


When you get a budget from your contractor it's always good to ensure they've been thorough, to avoid any unexpected costs. It can also help you clearly understand what you're getting for your money, if the budget includes a cost per square foot. That way, if you want to speak to a local realtor about the value that will be added to your home through the extension, you have a clear figure to compare against.

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FAQ

How much will my home addition cost?

This question is impossible to answer without thorough specifications and proper estimates from qualified contractors. And remember, cheaper isn't always better especially if you're looking for the best home contractors. If you get a very cheap quote you need to consider which corners they will be cutting, or check that they really understand what you're looking for.

Is it cheaper to build up or add on?

As long as you have the space, adding on to your house may well be cheaper than building up. It also usually has the advantage of being less disruptive to your day-to-day life, during the construction process. However, you will lose some outdoor space if you add on, so that's an important factor to take into consideration.

How do I find home addition contractors near me?

One of the best ways to find good house builders is to speak to people in your neighbourhood, or your local homeowners association and ask for their recommendations. You can also check online for American home contractors reviews. It's a good idea to get estimates from a few contractors.

One thing to note is that, if you're dealing with reputable companies, all the estimates should be fairly similar. If there are any exceptionally cheap ones, proceed with caution.


Who designs a home addition?

Depending on how complex your home addition is, you will generally require an architect to put together the design. An experienced architect will have all the necessary knowledge to create blueprints that meet all local safety codes and regulations. At Fortress Home we have in-house design expertise so can help you realise your dream addition.

Do I need a contractor to remodel my house?

While it's possible to be your own general contractor, and manage your own project, it's generally not recommended, especially for larger jobs like home additions. A contractor has either a team already on hand, or a large network of contacts to bring in, and dealing with this yourself can take a lot of time, and frustration. While you might save some money managing the project yourself, it's likely to take a lot more time than expected and you may not actually end up saving any money in the long run. Remember, you're not just paying for project management skills — with a good contractor you're getting years of experience and knowledge.

How do I ensure a contractor is legitimate?

It's important to check if your contractor is fully licenced and insured. In Chicago, one of the requirements for a general contractors licence is insurance which covers the maximum cost of any of their projects. This ensures that, if anything does go wrong, for example, your property is damaged, all costs will be covered. Unfortunately many small home improvement contractors will not fall under these licencing requirements and may not be insured. At Fortress Home we are fully licenced and insured, for your peace of mind.

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