When you are building a new home, finding the right builder is crucial. Ask friends and family for suggestions and contact industry associations for a list of members. In the United States, check with the National Association of Home Builders. In Canada, refer to the Canadian Home Builders’ Association. You can also look for a local association to help you find the right builder. Of course, bbb.org is also a great source of information about local builders you may be considering, including BBB Accredited Businesses.
Many things you need to do when hiring a builder are the same things you need to do when hiring a contractor or remodeler. BBB’s tips for hiring a contractor or remodeler cover the basics like getting estimates, what to look for in a contract, and reviewing previous work.
If you already have a specific style of home in mind, try to find a builder who specializes in that style. Ask how many homes they have constructed in the style you like. If you are still considering different styles, find a builder with a wide range of experience and make sure to check their work in various styles.
One important thing to consider about a builder is communication. Do you feel you can easily communicate? Be sure you can reach the builder by phone, email, or in person, and that they respond in a timely manner. Ask how the builder will deal with changes or problems that come up. Remember that you will be dealing closely with this person through the whole process and, after they complete the work, as you live in your home.
You also want to consider how long the builder has been in business. It takes several years to establish a sound business and you want to be sure your builder will be around to service warranties after your home is complete.
Talk to your builder about permits, but also do independent research with your local department of licensing or permits to find out what is required. Make sure the builder will be able to get all required permits before starting the work. Also, make sure your builder is registered with your state or province’s registration and licensing board.
Last Reviewed: June 14, 2017