Tips for Hiring a Home Builder

As your new home will likely be the largest investment in your lifetime, hiring a builder is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Choosing the right builder for you and your home is critical for a successful experience as you and he/she will have an ongoing relationship for months; therefore, there needs to be clear communication, trust and a sense of camaraderie in this endeavor. A good home builder should be an advocate and team member of the collaborative process in building your new home and he/she will work with you as you establish parameters for the budget along with the design and construction process. The following are timely tips that should ensure a good working relationship with a home builder and successful completion of building the dream home you have saved and planned for when the time arrives to execute the final piece of the journey.

  1. Network with local lenders, real estate agents and friends/colleagues along with an internet search for competent and reliable home builders. Also, a search of your local chapter of the National Association of Home Builders can also provide a list of qualified local home builders.
  1. Request examples of the home builders work making sure he/she has experience in building homes similar in nature, i.e. – size and scope; commiserate with your home building plans. Request references and examples of the exterior and interior work recently completed along with the names and numbers of the references for follow-up.
  1. Have a detailed conversation with the builder, asking relevant questions to ensure the builder uses the upmost level of professionalism in all his presentations and conversations, whether formal or informal.
  1. Request a copy of pertinent licenses, their current insurance company and bonding information while simultaneously ensuring there are no legal claims, current or otherwise, on the builder.
  1. Make sure the builder has excellent written and oral communication skills; this may seem trivial but the ability to efficiently communicate cannot be minimized.
  1. Always have a dependable source of contact, as emergencies and the like will invariably arise and oftentimes, the sub-contractors and others in the home daily will be unable to make the decisions necessary at critical times.

As with any large purchase, planning is a key feature of the process and finding the right home builder for your dream house may be confusing, awkward and time consuming; however, you are possibly engaging in the largest purchase of your lifetime and need to be confident in your decision. So, do your homework and conduct the appropriate research to ensure a seamless and satisfying home building process.

14 thoughts on “Tips for Hiring a Home Builder

  1. Faylinn says:

    My husband and I are planning on having our first home built next year and so we really appreciate any tips that we can gather. I especially like your fourth tip about getting copies of licenses and other important information, because I would not have thought about it. However, how can I know whether or not there are any legal claims going on that I should be aware of?

  2. mark says:

    There are several ways you can check:
    1. Call your local Home Builders Association.
    2. Check with the Better Business Bureau.
    3. If they are licensed with the State, you can always call the State to verify information.
    4. And there is always good ole Google.
    These are a few ways that you can use, with the first two being two of your best options.

  3. kiyel williams says:

    I think it’s a great idea to provide the builder with secondary contacts you trust in case they have questions you are unable to answer at that time. knowing what kind of work the builder does as well would be a good step in determining their ability to build your dream home. I will pass this on to my friends who are wanting to build their own home. Thank you for the information!

  4. emily bennette says:

    Building a new home can be very difficult when you have a lot of ideas. So, I liked what you said about having several detailed conversation with your builder. That way they are clear on what your vision for your home is and they can give you want.

  5. Nathan Johnson says:

    My wife and I are looking forward to building a house one day. We are currently in the design stage, but soon we are going to have to hire a builder. I appreciate your advice on choosing a reliable company to build and this gives me a good place to start looking. Do you know how long the average build takes to finish? Thanks for the info!

    • mark says:

      I would say an average would be 6 months. There are so many variables involved. Size of the home, weather, dependable sub contractors, availability of materials, etc.

  6. Marie Watson says:

    You make a great point about requesting samples of the home builder’s work. I would think that it is important to have an idea of the kind of work they do, and how you can expect your project to turn out. It seems like it could also be a good idea to ask for references, so you know that past clients have been happy with the work their builder provided.

  7. Jack Palmer says:

    I like your idea about asking for some examples from the home builder. That way we can know for sure if they can accomplish what we want our home to look like. My wife and I want to have our own home built one day, it’ll be good to have these suggestions in mind when we get things rolling. Thanks for your input!

  8. Sam Wilkins says:

    I agree that you should ask for a copy of their licenses and other information. That way you can be sure they are a real company that knows what they are doing. Something that I think is also important, is asking what construction courses they took . That could show they have the knowledge they need to and care about the profession.

  9. Kyler Brown says:

    My wife and I are trying to find a home builder right now. I really appreciated some of these tips because I’ve never had to hire a contractor before. I especially liked your tip to have a detailed conversation with the builder in order to determine whether or not the person will be easy to work with. Thanks!

  10. Lauren Woodley says:

    I really like the suggestion you give to request examples of the home builder’s work. As you say, this will help you to see if they have the right amount of experience you’re looking for, and I completely agree! For your home, you usually have a specific style and design in mind, so making sure that the building company you hire can adequately execute that vision will help you to be happy with what you end up with! Thanks for sharing.

  11. April Cook says:

    I’ve always dreamed of hiring a custom home builder to help create my perfect house. Thanks for these great tips on finding and working with a builder. I especially like tip 6 to have a dependable source of contact. This is important in making sure that things end up the way you want them. Thanks again for the tips!

  12. Charles Kemp says:

    I think it would be nice to have a home builder help build your home. I also like that you mentioned having a copy of their licenses just because it would help with insurance purposes. I have never thought about doing something like that.

  13. Aria Wellington says:

    Written and oral communication skills are really an important part of hiring a contractor, I agree with you there. My husband and I are going to be building our first home in the next few months and there are a lot of custom things that we want to do. Hopefully, we will be able to find someone to help us build our dream home!

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