Frequently Asked Questions


What should I look for in a contactor?
The State of CT Office of Consumer Protection recommends hiring licensed individuals who belong to the HRAC or a similar professional organization.

What is the single most important decision I will make in planning my new building project?
Choosing the person who will do the work. A great design, superb location or dramatic view won't compensate for structural defects or poor workmanship. Take the time to choose the right person for your job.

What does the cost-per-square-foot figure mean?
A contractor quoting cost per square foot is averaging over the entire house. The contractor doesn't mean that every square foot in the house will cost exactly that amount. What any specific square foot costs depends on what's in it. A square foot in your kitchen, bathroom or home theater will cost a lot more than a corner of your living room that's merely "raw space."

I have a modest budget. Should I look for the lowest cost per square foot I can find?
A contractor quoting you unusually low cost per square foot isn't necessarily offering a good deal. To get the lowest figure they may be using inferior materials and unlicensed personnel. Choose the contractor who is licensed, belongs to a professional association that promotes excellence like the HRAC, and who can furnish examples of workmanship or customers for reference.

What is the general cost per square foot for a custom home?
This frequently asked question is nearly impossible to answer without preparing a thorough bid based on a complete set of plans and specifications.

However, we can make the general statement that a good quality custom home will cost anywhere from $100 to $200 or more per square foot, depending upon site, design and selection of building materials and finishing details. Homes with few corners and simple rooflines will cost less than those with complex floor plans and roofs. Homes with standard quality cabinets, plumbing and electrical fixtures, floor coverings and windows will cost less than those with top-of-the-line finishes.

If you're concerned about price, spend time during the planning stage to create a design and select materials that will be most cost-effective. Your architect and/or contractor can provide valuable advice about the expenses involved with various design and material options.

I (or my loved ones) have mobility impairments and my home no longer accommodates my needs. What can I do?
Every year many Americans remodel their homes to accommodate changes in mobility.

Many people who build a new home give little thought to how it will adapt to their needs as they age. For example, millions of homes are built each year with all of the bedrooms on an upper floor, and only a small half bath on the main floor. If a member of the family becomes mobility impaired, either through an accident or the natural aging process, the home no longer suits the family's needs.

The Lifetime Design concept was developed to show how homes can be constructed to adapt to the changing needs of the people who live there. Homes constructed using Lifetime Design elements do not look institutional, and when incorporated into the overall design of the home these elements can actually add to the beauty of the new home.

What Is Lifetime Design?
Lifetime Design is a set of specifications that, when applied to a home plan, will create a home that can be lived in and visited by persons with mobility limitations.

Where do I find a contractor for my building or remodeling project?
Search our Member Directory for a list of contractors. Use our special tool to search by specialty so you can find the right person for your job.

Can I ask my contractor for references?
Absolutely! When initially selecting a contractor, don't be afraid to ask for several references. Once they supply you with a list, check them out. Inspect the quality of the work that was performed. Ask if the project was completed on time. Inquire as to if there were any "added" costs to the initial bid and if so what they were. You also will want to know how easy or difficult it was to work with the contractor.

If the contractor is reluctant to supply you with any references, you may want think about your choice.

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