When people are finally in a position to finally get their own home, they are typically faced with two choices: buy an existing house, or build one from the ground up.

Some fall in love with a house they saw on the market that they just have to buy it. Then there are those who choose to build their own custom homes for one reason or another. Doing the former is much easier, while the latter requires a bit more effort and can get a bit more complicated. You need the help of a good custom home builder to get it right.

Finding the right builder, however, can get a bit tricky. You have to do some research, and if you do find candidates for the job, you need to ask them questions to determine if they’re the right fit for your construction project. Here are some questions you need to ask prospective home builders for your new home.

Do you have a license and insurance?

More often than not, licenses and insurance policies go hand-in-hand. States typically require builders and other types of contractors to be insured before they can be given licenses to operate.

When your home builder is licensed and insured, you have the assurance that the builder is qualified for the job, and that you are protected from liability for any personal injury or property damage that might happen at the construction area.

How long have you been in the custom home building business?

One of the great things about experienced builders is that they have been working with clients for a long enough time to know how crucial a client’s input is for the success of any project. Experience also assures you that a builder knows his or her stuff after years of building homes for clients.

Can I see your previous work?

In any industry, it’s always wise to see a contractor’s previous work first before making a decision to hire or not. It’s the only way to see for yourself if the quality of work is up to your standards. And since we’re talking entire houses here, ask the candidate if it’s possible for you to check out his or her work in person.

Will you be working exclusively on this project?

Not that you’re demanding exclusivity, but commitment can a concern when the home builder you’re eyeing has a small operation that doesn’t seem to have the personnel or equipment to work on multiple projects at the same time, but is accepting work left and right anyway. You need to be sure of that builder’s commitment, or it will take forever to finish your new home.

Can you work at the location of the project?

If you’re building your new home in a location that is a bit far away or harder to access, you need to be sure if the candidate is willing to work there. You don’t want to be in a position where your builder backs out in the middle of the project because of the location, and you have to deal with all the drama and stress that comes with it.

Do you guarantee your work?

Home builders typically provide a one-year warranty for their work, although some of them actually offer structural warranties for as long as 10 years.

Are you up-to-date on building codes?

Building codes get updated, and it’s vital for a home builder to be aware of these updates. You wouldn’t be too happy if you have to take down any structure your builder has already finished because it’s not in keeping with local and state building codes.

How do you plan to communicate with me?

It’s good if the candidate says you will communicate by phone, email, or Skype. However, it would be light years better if the builder says he or she uses a software-driven system that will make relaying progress reports and the like so much easier for all parties concerned.

Without a doubt, you have more questions that you need to ask candidates for the job, so list them all down, and don’t hesitate to ask them, along with the ones listed above.

Learn the 10 key questions, you must ask any contractor before you hire them

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