How to Choose a Custom Home Builder

If you’re in the market for a brand-new home, you should shop for your builder as carefully as you shop for your home. Whether you are buying a townhouse, a home in a subdivision or a custom-built home, you want to know that you are buying a high-quality product from a reputable local builder. Here are some time-tested tips to help you choose the right construction company.

Make a List of Possible Builders

Once you have considered the type of home that you want, you will need to find a builder. Contact your local home builders association to obtain a list of companies that construct homes in your area. In Cheyenne, the Southeast Wyoming Builders Association represents the professional building industry.  

Do an online search for builders and projects underway in the area where you want to live. Looking at builders’ websites and reading blogs and articles can help you to determine which builders are active in your area, the types of homes they are building and the price you can expect to pay. Make a list of builders who build the types of homes you’re looking for in your price range.

Ask your local realtor to help you with your search and ask friends or relatives for recommendations. Ask about builders they have dealt with directly or ask them for names of acquaintances who have recently had a good experience with a local builder.

Do Your Homework

When you have a list of potential builders, it’s time to start asking lots of questions — of both the potential builders and the owners of their homes. Your realtor can set up interviews with potential home builders to get the answers to all the questions you have. Request that your realtor get a list of addresses for the builders’ recently built homes and subdivisions. Builders may even be able to provide names of some homeowners who would be willing to talk with you.

Drive by on a Saturday morning when owners may be outside doing chores or running errands. Introduce yourself and explain that you are considering buying a home from the builder who built their home. Talk to several owners and try to get a random sample of opinions. Usually, people will be willing to tell you if they are pleased with their homes. And if they are not, they’ll probably want to tell you why.

The more people you talk with, the more accurate an impression of a custom home builder you are likely to get. At the very least, drive by and see if the homes are visually appealing.

When you talk to builders and homeowners, take along a notebook to record the information you gather and your personal impressions about specific builders and homes. Doing so will help you make comparisons later.

Gateway offers many distinctive floor plans to choose from, all of which can be customized to suit a customer’s wants and needs. 

Questions to Ask a Local Builder

  • Does the builder provide a written warranty?
  • What does the builder’s warranty cover and for how long?
  • Does the builder have a quality control program in place?
  • What is the average HERS (Home Energy Rating System) Index of the builder’s homes?
  • Does the builder offer design services to modify existing plans or create custom plans?
  • What options does the builder offer and how much do they cost compared to other builders?
  • Can the builder provide you with references?
  • Is building homes the builder’s main source of income or is it a secondary source for them?
  • How much experience does the builder and its employees have?
  • Do the owners or key employees have any related degrees such as engineering or construction management?
  • Is the builder local, residing in and supporting the community?
  • Does the builder hire local contractors?

Shop for Quality & Value

Look at new homes whenever you can. Home shows and open houses sponsored by area builders are good opportunities to view homes. Model homes and houses displayed in home shows are often furnished to give you helpful ideas for using the space. You may also ask a local builder to see unfurnished homes.

When examining a home, look at the quality of the construction features. Inspect the quality of the cabinetry, trimwork, carpeting and paint. Ask the builder or the builder’s representative a lot of questions and get as many specifics as possible. If you receive the answers verbally rather than in writing, take notes. Never hesitate to ask a question. What seems like an insignificant question might yield an important answer!

At Gateway, we understand that a new home is one of the largest investments you will ever make. It’s a purchase that will affect your family and lifestyle for years to come, therefore, you should carefully consider your choices of construction companies and the products they have to offer. Our experts have been constructing high-quality homes and commercial projects in southeast Wyoming and northern Colorado for more than two decades, and we have an expansive portfolio of projects for your review. With an in-house team of CAD designers, Gateway offers the versatility to customize one of our existing floor plans to meet your needs or design a unique floor plan from scratch. In addition, we are proud to build in a variety of new and established communities or on your own land.

See Gateway Craftsmanship in Person

If you would like to see the exceptional quality of a Gateway home in person, our team of realtors is available in our three model homes daily. This will allow you to ask questions and view the Sweetgrass, Saddle Ridge, Whitney Ranch and Whispering Hills communities in person to get a feel for the local neighborhoods. If you prefer to sit down with a Gateway project manager to discuss the building process and any special needs you may have, please contact our office today at (307) 632-8950 or complete our online contact request form. Our entire team looks forward to helping you build your future today!

Not ready to build or buy a home yet? Stay in the know with what’s happening at Gateway – including homes we have available – by following us on our social media platforms, including FacebookInstagram, Twitter and LinkedIn!


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