Finding the right builder?


I am considering  building a house in the next 18 months. Probably in the 1200-1700 Sqft range. I am looking for advice on how to find & choose a builder. House will be simple and I would like to do a good bit of the finishing work myself. I have building experience to some degree. Anyway, you input is appreciated.

Nov 10, 18 2:16 pm

Let me get this straight... you're on an architectural forum asking advice on how to choose a builder vs an architect. You crack me up. Next time you go to the hospital - ask for a nurse vs a doctor. Good luck!

Nov 10, 18 2:37 pm

sorry, my mistake. I do see the humor. I will not post here any more. Can't find where to delete it and account or I would.

Nov 10, 18 3:54 pm

Don't sweat it. If your 1200-1800 sq.ft. house doesn't require an architect, then you probably don't need one. This is a tiny carpentry project basically. Especially if you are looking to do most of it yourself. An architect would give you a more efficient layout and design, and would protect your interest against a builder who may be scammy if you pick poorly. That said, I have seen very experienced architects get scammed by contractors on residential projects.


Rusty! Why are you not an advocate for Architects?


BulgarianBurger, this kind of a project is not worth Architect's effort. Or thes is a kind of project that you want during a recession but should scuff at during good times. I dunno. I've never done residential. It's an alien world to me.


We have excellent burgers; should try sometime! Many architects do do residential... perhaps you're a specialist in a corporate firm?


Burger, I feel so stalked right now. Imma tell front desk security at my corporate pie hole to screen out any Bulgarians.


lol; wonder how your minority security guards would take that.


OP- not sure what state you are in, but if you're in the tri-state area, see:

Nov 10, 18 5:40 pm

Ask around. Look around. Check references. Pay them for pre-construction services which means they will advise on the project especially budget. 

Nov 10, 18 5:44 pm

Ask for references and run away from fast slick talkers who are expert in everything.

Unless it is specified clearly, you need to tell the builder what kind of finishes you are expecting. I see so many people use the lowest cost designers/  contractors and expecting 5 star hotels finishes.  

Good luck and have fun at it.

Nov 10, 18 6:55 pm

I hired a contractor to build an addition to my house while I gutted and renovated most of the existing structure myself. Do some research online and find 4-5 local builders who have done similar work (that you can actually see in person and/or or speak to references). This should go without saying, but make sure they are licensed and insured in your state. This is a bare minimum cost of entry that a lot of contractors out there don't meet. The best gauge for me was talking to the contractors in-person about the project and picking their brain about how they would do things - this helps you do some weeding out.  I also had to vibe with them.  I refused to do any business with guys I couldn't even have a conversation with, tbh. Then take a look at their bids. I had one guy who came in significantly cheaper, but he left stupid shit out, like removal of 30 cu. yds. of dirt that he thought he would use to "regrade" my property, lol.  In the end, I was very happy with the builder I selected. He followed my drawings and offered suggestions based on his experience when needed.  He was not the cheapest, but I felt he was the most competent overall.

Nov 16, 18 1:34 pm

Nowadays, many good builders are very booked up with work.  Be prepared to wait for a good person if necessary.

Dec 10, 18 9:57 am

At present, most of the “construction” skills are acquired on the job. These untrained and unskilled employees are slow workers.

Jan 31, 19 6:53 am

dont, go live in woods

Jan 31, 19 8:27 am

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