How to Choose a Builder


The Wisconsin Builders Association shares its list of important questions to ask any prospective contractor to ensure the safety of their homebuilding investment

Madison, WI (June 28, 2018) – Home ownership is the most significant investment most people make, and, when choosing to build your own home, the stakes are raised further.  Who can I trust to build my dream home? Who will stick to vision, my time frame, and my budget? What should I know before signing a contract?

The Wisconsin Builders Association (WBA) has developed a list of important questions for consumers to ask any prospective homebuilder that can reveal a great deal about the builder’s quality, reputation, and trustworthiness before ground is broken.

For example, consumers should never be asked to pull building permits themselves, and should always ask a prospective contractor to present proof of their Dwelling Contractor Certification and Dwelling Contractor Qualifier Certification, two credentials required by Wisconsin law that prove a contractor is carrying the proper insurance and is up-to-date on the latest building practices. 

Prospective contractors should also be willing to present a variety of references, including past clients and other companies they work with (e.g. local suppliers, banks, subcontractors), as well as show current projects they are working on, both completed and in progress. Consumers can also ask whether a prospective homebuilder has ever been sued, whether there are any liens against properties they have built, and whether they are a member of a trade association or hold other industry designations. 

“While online reviews and personal referrals can give you great information, the critical questions you ask when you first meet with a builder can give you a far better impression of how that builder will work for you personally,” said 2018 WBA President Steve Atkins.

The full (and printable) checklist of questions and tips for consumers to consider at the start of their homebuilding journey can be found at


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