Use this checklist to help you select a home builder or home remodeler to work on or build your home.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Ask if you can see the builder/remodelers work, both completed and in progress. Check for quality of workmanship and materials.
5. 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.
6. Make sure the builder or home remodeler has a permanent business location and a good reputation with local banks and suppliers.
7. Check out the company’s rating and if there have been any complaints filed with your local Better Business Bureau: www.bbb.org.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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!
11. Verify that your remodeler is an EPA Lead-Safe Certified Renovator if you are planning work in a pre-1978 home that will disturb more than six square feet of painted surfaces inside the home or 20 square feet on the exterior of the home. Learn more about the EPA’s lead paint rule.