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Resources / Choosing a Builder

Selecting and Hiring a Builder

This section deals with selecting a builder or general contractor to construct your dream home. Choosing the correct builder is an important step. These individuals will take care of all of the scheduling of sub-contractors, ordering materials, and supervising the entire building process from start finish. It is important to chose a builder who has a clear understanding of your needs, can be trusted, and does quality work. How do you find the right builder? Here are a few ideas to help you locate the right builder for you.

  • Ask other professionals in the industry. Individuals in the home building industry should have a good sense of who is and who is not a good builder. Speaking with people such as local designers, real estate agents, building inspectors, subcontractors, and so on will give you an idea of builders these individuals enjoy working with and think does quality work. These listed individuals will probably recommend a builder they have worked with on multiple projects and have seen work through numerous situations.
  • Speak to friends or relatives. Most of us know of someone who has either had a home built or in some way has dealt with a builder. Ask them if they enjoyed working with this builder, were there any problems that arose and if so how were they dealt with, and would they use this builder again.
  • Referrals. When speaking to builders, ask them for referrals. Try to ask for recent as well as customers who had homes built 3 to 5 years ago. Some questions to ask when contacting the referrals might include: How did you hear about the builder? What types of problems come up and how were they dealt with? Were the various stages of the building process handled on time or as scheduled? After the home was completed were there any problems and if yes how did the builder handle them? Would you hire the builder again?
  • Insurance and License. Most states these days require builders to be licensed. You may ask to see their license and/or verify the builder's license with your local state license board. It is also a good idea to check to make sure that the builder is insured. If a builder is not insured you may be liable for any accidents during the construction of your home.

Dream Home Source provides a Builder Locator to help you get started. This locator allows you to search by your zip code so that you may find builders who are building homes within your area.