Selecting Your Builder

there are many builders
selecting the right builder requires a little homework on your part. Make sure to check their business membership and references. Work with a contractor who understands what you want to accomplish.


Page Topics:

  1. start with a pre-screened search
  2. make sure they have NARI membership
  3. investigate their established business
  4. interview the contractor
  5. check references
  6. contractor evaluation form
  7. selecting contractor checklist

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Start with a Pre-Screen Search

First and foremost,

begin your search using ServiceMagic's pre-screened network of home building contractors and service professionals

ServiceMagic maintains a rating system submitted by previous customers on various contractors and service professionals. You may view this rating system prior to selecting your contractor.


ServiceMagic will also guarantee the service.

That is the assurance you need to make sure the project is done correctly.

Start Here: Select Area of Service Needed

Additions and Remodels Home Interior
Appraisers Home Theater
Architects - Inspectors Kitchen and Baths
Cleaning Services Painting and Staining
Electrical - Appliances Plumbing
Flooring - Concrete Pools and Spas
General Contractors Roofing and Siding
Handyman Services Walls and Ceilings
Heating and Cooling Windows and Doors
Home Construction Yard and Garden
Home Exterior Other Services

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Make Sure of NARI or NAHB Membership

Investigate if your builder is a member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) or member of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)

  • these Associations represent building and remodeling contractors, product manufacturers, and other industry specialists
  • these associations are committed to enhancing the professionalism of the home building/remodeling industry
  • members must abide by a standard code of ethics:
    view NARI code of ethics
  • NARI certification includes exams and certification classes:
    view certification requirements


More information about the NARI / NAHB:

contact the chapter within your area for information about a potential contractor

visit | visit

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Investigate Their Established Business:

Check the contractor's place of business, phone number, and other industry associations —

  • make sure they are valid establishments
  • make sure the contractor is fully licensed with local and state governments, if required
  • check with your local jurisdiction to ensure the license is valid and up-to-date — do not base the contractor's license with a business card or verbal commitment
  • lookup state, county and city governments for information on the contractor's license:
  • make sure the contractor is fully insured and carries worker's compensation, liability insurance and property damage insurance — ask to review the documentation


Check with your local Better Business Bureaus, building associations, and other consumer protection agencies:

view the Better Business Bureau

ensure that there is no outstanding complaints, fines, or penalties issued against the contractor — if so, make sure the contractor provides a valid explanation

you can view more information about selecting your contractor:
from the national association of the remodeling industry

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Interview the Contractor

Meet with the contractor face-to-face.

Be prepared to show drawings, specifications, and clippings from illustrations and products

see project specifications plan


Be detail in your specs

  • This increases the likelihood that the contractor is the right person for the job.
  • Be prepared to ask questions about the contractor and your project — note that you are looking for the person with best all-around service and qualification


Sample questions include:

— business establishment
— time frame
— operation policy
— certifications and permits
— insurance
— crew and use of subcontractors
— review of sample projects
— other

the NARI has a complete list of interview questions:
view interview questions

NARI also provides a summary of "warning signs" during interviews:
click here

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Check References

Request references from previous clients.

Contact these references to inquiry on the contractors work habits, completion schedule, clean up, and any other related issues or problems that the previous client may have experienced


sample questions to ask —

did the home contractor complete the home contractor project within your satisfaction?

was the project completed on time?

did the contractor fulfill his or her part of the contract?

was the contractor easy to communicate with?

did the contractor and his crew showed up on time?

were you satisfied with the subcontractors that your contractor used?

would you recommend this contractor again without hesitation?

the NARI has a complete list of interview questions:
view interview questions

NARI also provides a summary of "warning signs" during interviews: click here

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What's in the News
How Much Down (LTV) Calculation

Enter the estimated purchase value of your home: see market values page


  Loan Amount Additonal Down
70% LTV $ $
75% LTV $ $
80% LTV $ $
Note: any loan amount above 80%LTV will require Private Mortgage Insurance or other financing arrangement.
85% LTV $ $
90% LTV $ $
95% LTV $ $
100% LTV $ $
* Calculations are based upon the assumptions you entered. Please note that rounding errors can make a small difference in calculations.