Renovation and Remodeling FAQ's

Why is it important to select a licensed general contractor for my remodeling project?


A general contractor is a licensed professional who serves as a single point of contact and manages all aspects of your remodeling project. This includes securing building permits, scheduling inspections, ordering building materials, and scheduling and supervising all trades required to complete your project. The general contractor assumes full responsibility for the integrity of workmanship at all stages to ensure your project satisfies all state and local building codes in all phases.
 

Are all licensed contractors considered general contractors?


No. Currently, there are over 20 different types of contractor licenses issued in the state of North Carolina. These fall into two broad categories: general building and specialty contractors. A general building contractor is “a contractor whose principal business is in connection with any structure built, being built, or to be built, requiring in its construction the use of at least two unrelated building trades or crafts (e.g. plumbing, electrical, drywall, etc. ).” Room additions and most kitchen and master bath remodels are best handled by a licensed general contractor, as these projects typically encompass demolition, framing, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, etc.

 

Will my project require a permit?


As a general rule, a building permit is required whenever:

1.there is structural work involved (e.g., removing load-bearing walls).
2.the basic living area (square footage) of the home is to be changed.
3.the home’s mechanical systems (e.g., gas, electrical or plumbing) are to be reconfigured or otherwise modified.
As a rule, you should always request that your licensed general contractor obtain the building permits. This is because the person who “pulls the permit” is considered liable for ensuring that all completed work complies with the state and local building codes.

Is there an average price-per-square-foot for a room addition or other remodel?


Many variables must be considered when remodeling or adding a room to an existing home to arrive at an “average” square-foot price. These include:

•the home’s current engineering/structural aspects along, with the potential impact of any proposed changes
•the age of the home (many older homes do not meet current building code requirements) and what is required to bring the home into current code requirements
•location and condition of existing plumbing and electrical wiring, and how any additions will impact the system’s overall integrity
•required changes to the roof line
•zoning requirements and setbacks currently enforced
•types of finished materials and hardware to be included
•interior surface choices (Corian, granite, natural stone or tile?)
•plumbing and light fixtures (spa shower or hot tub, recessed lighting?)

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