For most people, buying a new home means purchasing a home on a lot. However, some people begin the new home process by buying their lot first and then finding someone to build their home for them.

You need to be careful about who you hire. You want to get the best value for your money. You also want to know that you are protected in case something goes wrong. Only a professional home builder can give you that peace of mind.

Don't take chances. Don't choose someone to build your home just because you think you will save a few dollars. Make sure you ask the right questions and have all the necessary information before you make a decision. This is particularly important if you run into part-time builders who offer to build your home in their spare time or "underground" builders who offer to build your home without "all that expensive paperwork".

  • Not just anyone can build a house. It takes skills, experience and knowledge. Professional builders keep their skills honed and stay up-to-date on building techniques and products. They are familiar with building regulations as well as permit and inspection requirements. They have a network of skilled trades and reliable suppliers, and they know how to schedule and manage the entire construction process efficiently and cost-effectively.
  • Professional builders also protect their clients' interests. They carry workers' compensation and liability insurance, so you don't risk being responsible for any accidents on the job site. They show you proof of payment to subtrades and suppliers, so you know you won't have unpaid bills at the end of the process—bills that you may have paid but your builder failed to discharge. They also back up their commitment to their clients with a third-party warranty.
  • Before you hire someone, make sure you know what you are getting into. Ask lots of questions about the builder's experience and track record. Ask about after-sales service and warranty. Check references carefully. Demand to see proof of insurance and workers compensation coverage. And MAKE SURE YOU ALWAYS GET IT IN WRITING!

If you are uncertain about a company, keep on looking!