Oftentimes, simply finding a good builder is the hardest part of renovating or building your home. In a world of con artists and professional scammers, it’s great it really helps to have access to the internet. However, what makes a good home builder is the ability to talk to the home or property owner, and keep all lines of communication open so the project gets done correctly and without issues.

“To be a carpenter or a builder or a home inspector, you have to have that kind of visual brain where you can sort of imagine something taken apart.” - Nick Petrie

What to Ask a Builder

Building a home can be demanding, but rewarding
Build your dream home the way you want to. Source: HGTV

Right off the bat, the first thing to do is to know what kind of questions to have in mind when talking to a builder. Obviously you’re going to want to make sure that they are licensed, bonded, and insured, but what else? So without further ado, here are some good questions to ask a home builder:

  • Can you build my home for a budget of X?
  • Can you do change orders?
  • Can I see your invoices?
  • Do you have a model I can walk through?
  • Will you let me know immediately when material costs change?
  • How often can I expect to hear updates from you during construction?
  • How quickly do you return calls/emails?
  • What’s the estimated completion time?
  • How often can I visit the site?
  • Who are your references?
  • What is your cancellation policy?
  • Have you ever owned a different construction company?

Keep in Mind the Type of House You Want

Another important factor to keep in mind is what type of house your going to build, or what you’re going to remodel. For this reason, it might be best to keep a list of potential builders in a portfolio, to see who might best suit your needs specifically.


You should determine if you need a general builder or a specialist. This could potentially save you a great deal of money and should hold a spot on your choosing a builder checklist.

High Quality Over Low Price Tag

Make sure the architecture is in line with the homeowner's association
Be sure to try out the more exquisite types of architectures. Source: DIY Network

When it comes to building a home, you’re not going to want to skimp on the details. Because your home is not a temporary residence, you’re going to want home builder quality ratings that are above expectations. So be sure to check out a builder’s previous jobs and accomplishments. Opt for the best builder for your home. It would be shame to have to spend so much on the initial building, and then add more for repairs.

Credentials and Resumes

When you want to find a builder to build a house, their past experience is really what it comes down to. So know what to look for in your list of candidates. You’ll essentially want to be sure that your builder is not just up to the task, but experienced in the field. Here’s an example of what credentials to ask for.

  • Resume of projects
  • Communication skills
  • Track record of similar projects
  • Organizational abilities
  • An understanding of time management
  • Workflow optimization
  • References from other clients
  • General or specialized type homes

The “Happy Homeowner” Quotient

Get the right builder for your home
Picking the right builder is half the batter. Source: Remodelaholic

You may be wondering about how to find a home builder in your area. Fortunately, talking to your would-be neighbors and landowners around the area can shed some light on who the choice builders are for that community. If you’ve never heard about the Happy Homeowner quotient, it’s essentially the level of satisfaction that the majority of residents hold for their builder(s). Simply asking around and finding out the best names in the business can be a real timesaver and also save on headaches.

Is there a Homeowner’s Association for the Property or an Architectural Review Committee?

Another good point that a rookie builder would like to gloss over but a veteran would be familiar with is the Homeowner’s association. Are there rules and regulations to what can and can’t be built on the property? What restriction might those entail? If a builder has worked with the HOA before, they’ll be knowledgeable about those issues. Be sure to get a copy of the rulebook and be especially wary of any fees. Otherwise a local home builder’s association will have you covered.

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