How to Find, Interview, and Vet a Home Builder

Avoid a stressful build and protect one of your biggest investments with this guide.

Includes questionnaire tool with over 100 inquiries to ask your potential home builders, because screening them properly is one of the hardest but most important jobs.

Guide Benefits

  • Helps prevent financial loss
  • Reduces stress in a home build
  • Saves time by not having to research and develop your own system for finding, interviewing, and vetting builders
  • Gives confidence in your ability to pick and handle a builder
  • Takes the guesswork out of how to do it
  • Helps you start your home build right
  • Aids in getting the home you expect

Inside The Guide

Table of Contents

Introduction 4

Why Choosing the Right Home Builder is Critical 4

Goal and Design of this Guide 4

Decide Your Type of Home Build- Custom, Semi-Custom, or Tract (Production) 5

Key Characteristics of Home Build Types 5

Finding Costs of Home Build Types 5

How to Search for and Find Home Builders to Interview 6

How to Assemble Your List of Home Builder Candidates to be Interviewed 6

Easy, Common Ways to Find a Builder 6

More Effective Ways to Find a Builder 7

When It’s Difficult to Find Home Builders During the Search 8

Basics to Know Before Interviewing Builders 9

2 Types of Agreements Used in New Home Construction 9

A Real Estate Sale Agreement is Used When The Builder Owns the Land 9

A General Contractor Agreement is Used When You Own the Land 9

Working with Builder Representatives 9

The Design and Use of the Builder Questionnaire 10

How to Use the Questions 10

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions 10

Skills/Traits to Assess in a Builder 11

2 Builder Questionnaire Formats 11

Key Features of Questionnaire and Tips on Using it 11

Pre-Qualify Your Builder Candidates 12

The Home Builder Questionnaire- Questions with Explanations and Tips 13

General & Situational Questions for All Builders 13

Custom Builds- Insert These Questions 14

Homes with Preset Floor Plans and Options- Insert These Questions 14

If using a fixed price agreement ask this question 16

If using a cost-plus agreement ask this group of questions 16

Builders that Own the Lot/land- Additional Questions (often subdivision builders) 20

Builders as General Contractors, You Own the Land- Additional Questions 21

After the Interviews 23

Research Each Builder 23

Questions for the Builder’s Current, Past Clients 23

Choosing A Builder 24

How to Pick the Right Builder 24

Using a Less than Perfect Builder 24

Conclusion 24

Appendix 25

The Home Builder Questionnaire- Questions Only 25



Why Choosing the Right Home Builder is Critical

Picking a quality home builder is the biggest, most important task in your home build. Why? You are choosing the company that is the life blood to your build. Therefore, this company will have the most influence and impact on your home build. And don’t forget, they will handle one of the biggest investments of your life.

 The builder’s role includes having direct control of the build process and oversight of the quality. To produce a house efficiently and with quality standards, they must have a system in place to achieve this, from beginning to end. As a big part of the quality aspect, a good builder has quality subcontractors and has cultivated a strong working relationship with them.

Also, they need to have a certain set of skills and characteristics. These include being a great communicator, organizer, and problem solver, along with being trustworthy and honest.

 There is an immense amount of work to build a quality home successfully, so don’t assume that picking any builder will do. Make the necessary effort to find the best builder that you can afford by interviewing and researching your list of builder prospects thoroughly. By doing so, you will set yourself up to avoid having one of the horror story home builds and, instead, have a rewarding one.

Goal and Design of this Guide

Our goal in developing this guide is to help you find the best, qualified builder so that your home build can be successful. No build ever goes perfectly, but having a good home builder will help you to have a satisfying experience and to get the home you want.

 This guide is designed to assist you with the following key steps:

– Search for and find home builders to interview.

– Understand important basics before meeting with your builder.

– Interview builders through the use of our rigorous home builder questionnaire.

– Perform your due diligence on builders.