The amount of information that is given to you when you’re searching for a home builder can become overwhelming. It’s important to ask each builder the right questions when you’re narrowing down your search. This will help you find the builders who are looking out for you and your new home.

By asking the questions below, you’ll be able to take your list of potential home builders and narrow it down to a precise list of the builders who best fit your needs.

These 6 quick questions should help identify the builders you want to work with a little quicker:


1. Are you a Stick Built Home Builder, Modular Dealer or a Manufactured Home Dealer?

    • Looking at New Home Advertisements almost everyone states they are a custom home builder. Just because the sign or ad says “Custom Homes” doesn’t mean they are a Stick Built Home Builder.
    • A Stick Built Home Builder is one that has the lumber delivered to the job site and builds the home from the foundation to the finished and painted trim.
    • A Modular Dealer will take your order and have your modular home built in a plant and then trucked to the site where they will have to lift, roll or slide the house on to the foundation.
    • Manufactured Housing is built as dwelling units of at least 320 square feet in size with a permanent chassis to assure the initial and continued mobility of the home. The requirement to have a wheeled chassis permanently attached differentiates “manufactured housing” from other types of prefabricated homes, such as the Modular Homes above.


2. Are you a Scattered Lot Builder?

    • If they don’t know the term “Scattered Lot Builder” that could mean they have never built on a lot outside of their own development. They will be unfamiliar with local code requirements, local code enforcement, earthmovers and subcontractors that will go to that area and not know where to get the material they need locally. Instead will have it trucked in adding cost to the customer.
    • Building on a scattered lot is a completely different process than building homes in subdivisions they control or own.


3. How many homes have you built?

    • Pretty self-explanatory. Go with a builder that has plenty of experience and has built hundreds of homes. You don’t want to be the hard lesson number 15 in the “How to be a New Home Builder” Guide.


4. How and when will the final price for my home be determined?

    • Except for the earthmoving budget, the total cost of your home should be on the bottom line of the “New Home Estimate”. The Estimate should be a fairly accurate representation of what you can expect for your new home.
      • Once you have made all the changes, customizations, and alterations to the home plan you want, the COST of the home should be on the bottom line of your “New Home Purchase Agreement”.


5. Can you give me a list of names of five customers that you have built homes for in the last year, for references?

    • This will be a great indication of the character of the builder. If he has a large number of satisfied customers from the last year you can be sure the customer’s satisfaction is the builder’s first responsibility.


6. Do you have a list where you are an approved builder with local and national Banks, Credit Unions and other financial lending agencies?

    • Another super indicator of a great builder. Banks and Lending Institutions hate to give construction loans to customers that use Builders that have left customers unsatisfied, a house unfinished or with complications caused by not having clear specifications and contracts. So ask at the local Banks and others about the builder.


Sending an email to your list of potential builders with these 6 questions should narrow down your larger list of potential home builders to just one or two of the best builders.