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Checklist for Finding and Hiring a Builder or Remodeler

Doing your homework will help you have a more successful experience.

Use this checklist to help you select a home builder or home remodeler to work on or build your home.
  • Contact your local home builders' association for the names of member builders and remodelers: www.nahb.org/findanhba. You can also ask family, friends or coworkers for recommendations.
  • Make sure the builder or home remodeler has a permanent business location and a good reputation with local banks and suppliers.
  • Find out how long they have been in the building business. It usually takes three to five years to establish a financially sound business. You want to make sure they will be around after the construction is complete to service any warranties.
  • Check out the company's rating and if there have been any complaints filed with your local Better Business Bureau: http://www.bbb.org/.
  • Make sure the builder/remodeler has sufficient workers compensation and general liability insurance. If not, you may be liable for any construction-related accidents on your premises.
  • Ask the builder/remodeler to provide you with names of previous customers. If they won't, beware. If they do, ask the customers if they would hire the builder/remodeler again.
  • Ask if you can see the builder/remodelers work, both completed and in progress. Check for quality of workmanship and materials.
  • Do you feel you can easily communicate with the builder/remodeler? Remember you will be in close contact with them throughout the construction process and afterward as you live in your new home.
  • Make sure the builder/remodeler provides you with a complete and clearly written contract. The contract will benefit both of you. If you are having a new home built, get and review a copy of the home warranty and homeowner manual as well.
  • Be cautious of unusually low-priced bids. If the builder/remodeler is unable to pay for the materials and labor as the project proceeds, this may indicate a potential problem. Keep in mind that less expensive does not necessarily mean better!
 
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