How to Choose a Custom Home Builder

Published December 26, 2023

The quality of every detail of your custom-built home, from the kitchen cabinets to the tiles in your bathroom, depends on the builder you choose to construct your home. That’s why choosing the contractor you want to work with to bring your vision of your dream home to life is not one that should be taken lightly. Below are some key factors and considerations to keep in mind when making your choice.

Reputation and References

Any company can tell you the benefits of working with them, but hearing the positive testimonials of their prior clients is much more meaningful. Research online reviews and ratings of your custom home builder before you decide to work with them. Ask the builder for references from past clients. Call them and ask about their experience, the quality of work, and how issues were resolved.

Experience and Expertise

How long has the builder you want to work with been in the business? Look at their past projects and make sure that they have experience building homes in the style and aesthetic that you envision. Ask to see examples of their past work, both in photos and, if possible, in person. This gives an idea of the quality and style of their builds.

Licenses and Insurance

Ensure that the custom home builders have all necessary licenses and insurances in place so that you are protected from potential liabilities.

Budget and Pricing

Before you sign a contract, get detailed quotes and ensure you understand what is and isn’t included. Ask about any potential additional costs or common overruns so that you can be prepared. A reputable home builder will be transparent about all costs upfront.

Communication and Responsiveness

The custom home-building process takes time, so ensure you’re comfortable with the builder’s communication style and frequency. If the builder is slow to respond during the planning phase, you can expect that their communication will be consistent as you move into the building phase.

Contract Clarity

Ensure the contract is clear, detailed, and comprehensive. It should outline timelines, payments, and specifications for materials and finishes. You should also discuss your builder’s flexibility around custom requests or changes mid-project.

Warranty and Service

What kind of warranty does the builder offer for their work? How do they handle post-construction issues or defects? These are questions that you need to have answers to before you move forward with any work.


Ask your builder who they use for subcontractors and then learn more about their reputation and quality of work. The builder might be great, but weak subcontractors can affect the quality of your home.


You should have a clear idea from your custom home builder about the projected timeline for the project. Make sure it’s realistic and fits your schedule. Custom homes typically take longer to build than spec homes, but they will be better suited to your personalized needs.

Site Management

Ask your custom home builder about their company policies for site management in terms of cleanliness, safety, and security.

Materials and Suppliers

It’s important to understand the quality of the materials your custom home builder will be using to craft your home and whether you are allowed to choose or upgrade any materials for the build.

Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Practices

If this is important to you, inquire about the builder’s experience with green building practices and energy-efficient technologies.


Does the builder have experience in your area or region? Local builders might have better knowledge of the local regulations, soil conditions, and other specifics.

Read more: Where We Build


Building a custom home is a personal experience. Ensure you feel comfortable with and trust your builder before you begin working together. Before making your final decision, take the time to meet with multiple builders, ask lots of questions, and trust your instincts. Making a well-informed choice will ensure that the process of building your dream home is a smooth and enjoyable experience.

At LaFollette Custom Homes, we want homeowners to know exactly what they can expect when working with us. That’s why we hold our custom home-building process to the highest standards and utilize virtual reality technology to bring your vision for your dream home to life. We will work closely with you every step of the home-building process. Contact us today to get started.



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