Have you had trouble finding the right tradesperson for a job around the house? Maybe it's because you haven't been asking the right questions.
When it comes to constructing an accessory dwelling unit, the company you hire not only needs to know how to build the structure, but also the rules and regulations that come with putting a miniature house in your backyard. So it's pretty important to ask the right questions to ADU builders, so you don't end up with any surprises.
Do Your ADU Builders Specialize in Design and Construction?
While it might seem like most construction companies would have some knowledge of design specifications, this is not always the case. Especially when it comes to smaller buildings. Instead, most builders will work to a set of instructions and not question the specifications, even if it looks off.
There's not a lot of room for error when it comes to accessory dwelling units, so it's critical to have a team that can handle the design aspects and work with the builders to bring it to life. Your only other alternative is to partner with two different companies, which can sometimes work out to be more expensive.
What Experience, Licenses, and Insurance Do You Have?
It might seem like an obvious question, but for peace of mind, you should make sure that whoever you hire has the proper insurances and licenses to work on an ADU. Hiring a contractor that's unlicensed can be risky, especially if something goes wrong.
Experienced ADU builders are also a requirement. Even if the company has experience in construction doesn't mean they are competent in constructing an ADU. Don't be afraid to question this as you'll want an assurance that it will get built properly on the first attempt and not require someone else to come in and repair the finished product. After all, there’s a big difference between “we’ve built 1 or 2” and “we’ve built a dozen”!
Are There Any Permits or Fees I Need to Know About?
If the company has experience in building accessory dwelling units, then they'll be well aware of the requirements when it comes to any government permits or fees. It's best you find out about these details before construction commences as mistakes could delay your product substantially.
The right contractors will even do this work for you. They should get in contact with the relevant departments, organize inspections, and obtain the necessary permits to complete the job. This type of organization takes the work off your hand and demonstrates that the company knows what they're doing when it comes to ADU's.
How Do You Approach a Project?
Another demonstration of experience is understanding how the company approaches the design and construction of your ADU. Ideally, they should show examples of previous works that are similar to what you're looking for.
The team should explain how they approach everything from the design and development of architectural plans all the way to the interior design finishing touches. You don't need to be an expert in understanding all the technical aspects of the process, but the company should be able to explain it in a way that you understand what is going to happen.
Do You Offer a Warranty?
When you're constructing a building that's likely going to have someone living inside of it, you want some assurances that it's going to stand the test of time. Asking about a company's warranty can give you some peace of mind, but you should dig deeper to feel completely satisfied. Some questions you should consider asking are:
- Does the company have a warranty?
- How long does your warranty last?
- Does the warranty only cover specific components of the ADU?
- How long have you been in business?
- Do you expect to be in business in 10 years' time? (this is a big one)
You should ask what could potentially void the warranty. This may include making alterations on your or using another provider to complete repairs. Knowing this will help you gain an understanding of what you should avoid doing to the ADU.
What Finance Options Do You Offer?
Any construction project can be a costly affair and depending on how elaborate you want your ADU to be will depend on your financial situation. You can use your mortgage to help fund the project, but there are some companies that offer financing options to assist in bringing your dreams to life. Some common options include:
- Low down payments options
- Interest-only payments while construction occurs on your ADU
- Interest-only payments for the first 12 months
- Construction periods up to two years
- Vacation home options
- Fixed and variable rate options
- Property value assessed after renovations and not on current market
- Any closing costs included in the loan
The construction business may not take on the loan directly, but they will work with you and a financing company to agree on the best way to finance your ADU. These types of arrangements should also fill you with confidence that the company is an expert when it comes to constructing accessory dwelling units.
Do You Have Any Other Questions?
You should ask any question that's on your mind and going to give you the peace of mind that the ADU builders you hire are going to exceed your expectations. You shouldn't settle for anything less.
Our people are happy to answer any question you have about accessory dwelling units and how we will help turn your vision into a reality. Talk to one of our specialists today and get all the information you need in minutes.