How to Find, Interview, and Vet a Home Builder

A guide to help you find the best builder for your new home construction.



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. The one that will have the most influence and impact on your home build. And don’t forget, they will be handling one of the biggest purchases of your life.

How to Find, Interview, and Vet a Home Builder will help you get a qualified builder and the home you expect from them.

Finding, interviewing, and vetting home builders is a process. This guide is designed to take you through the steps of it. It will help you:

1. Search for and find home builders to interview.

2. Understand important basics before meeting with your builder.

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

4.  Perform your due diligence on builders.


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 the Cost 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