When you decide to build a custom home, choosing your builder is the most important decision you can make. Therefore, we believe builder references are an important part of the builder selection process. You and the builder should develop a trustful, working relationship that will provide the best experience possible. After all, you’ll spend the next 12-24 months interacting with your builder and there is no bigger stress than working with someone who you don’t like or trust. In this article, we provide insight and a checklist to some of the questions you’ll want to ask your builder’s references.
A builder should be able to give you multiple builder references for recent builds and even some older references. If they don’t want to provide more than 1-2 because they don’t want you to ‘bother’ their clients, beware! Most happy clients are willing to share a few minutes of their experience. You will want to ask questions like:
- How well did your builder stay on-schedule? Communicate with you? Provide the level of quality you expected?
- Have you had any service or warranty issues? How did the builder respond?
- If you had to do it all over again, would you still select this builder?
We have provided a free checklist: Questions to Ask Builder References that can be used to facilitate this process.
It’s important to realize that one builder can’t be all things to all people. Each builder will have strengths and limitations. Some builders excel at producing a modest home with modern conveniences while others will excel at producing a home equipped with every detail and luxury. You want to find the builder who excels at building the type of home you are looking to build. As discussed in previous chapters, you’ll want to ensure they have good references along with experience, excellence, and integrity.
A reputable builder knows their strengths and weaknesses and is not afraid to be transparent. Remember, the selection of your builder and the relationship you establish is paramount to the entire process, and references can help you ensure you’re making the best decision for you and the type of home you want to build.
This article is an excerpt from our book: “Designing & Building Your Custom Dream Home: How to Create an Experience You’ll Love to Remember.” If you are thinking about building your once-in-a-lifetime custom luxury home, be sure to download our FREE ebook: or visit our website at MuellerHomes.com to schedule a consultation.