Welcome back, readers! I trust Yom Tov was meaningful and enjoyable. While my chag was beautiful with my wife, family, and friends, the Corona variant #1zillion bug zapped me after Yom Tov! I believe in opportunities, and turning lemons into lemonade is my specialty, so I used that downtime effectively!

While resting up, I had time to think and “explore” my surroundings. On a number of isolated outings (yes, I kept away from actual humans), many of the properties I was fortunate to come across were exquisite. I’m amazed at the eye for detail when a home is designed. The challenge is finding a contractor who has the training and experience to turn your dream home into a reality.

Without a doubt, many of you reading this article have “war stories” on building nightmares. Existing home owners wishing to upgrade their homes or building a new home may take recommendations from friends and/or family. We sometimes come across a home being built or being upgraded and are “wowed” by the work! As the expression goes, “Put the horses back in the stable,” and “Hold your horses” (hey, I like horses), take a deep breath and research your home builder. One avenue to research on qualified craftsman is the The National Association of Home Builders. They represent the largest network of craftsmen, innovators, and problem-solvers dedicated to building and enriching communities. Their website is www.nahb.org.

To make your journey a bit easier, I’ve listed a number of suggestions as outlined in envirocenter.org website.

If you’ve already hired a designer, they are the best resource for your search. Your design professional likely has existing relationships with builders and firsthand experience with their construction quality, communication skills, and business practices. Other resources include:

  • Local lenders can provide valuable insight into builders and their history of finishing projects on time and on budget.
  • Reputable realtors have experience in the local custom home market and are an excellent source for home builder referrals.
  • Internet searches can identify builders in your area and their websites can give you an overview of the style and quality of projects they are accustomed to building.
  • Your local chapter of the National Association of Home Builders can also provide a list of qualified local builders.

Last but not least: friends, family, or colleagues who have recently completed custom home projects are reliable resources.


What do I look for?

A well-qualified home builder does not need to be a large flashy organization with fifty trucks on the road and a $100,000 marketing budget. The right builder needs to have the time, financial resources, interest, communication skills, organization skills, and experience to build your new home. A custom home builder’s primary focus should be on building custom homes not speculative homes, so that their services are tailored to your needs.

Reviewing the following 8 items when choosing a builder, will help you create a solid shortlist of candidates: 

  1. A current resume of projects.
  2. Track record with projects of similar scale and detail.
  3. Communication abilities.
  4. Organizational skills.
  5. Client references.
  6. Time management skills.
  7. Understanding and description of the workflow.
  8. Whether they specialize in custom or speculative homes.

 A critical yet often overlooked consideration when building a new home is hiring a licensed home inspector while the home is being constructed. Buyers should definitely not assume that their new home will be flawless just because it is new construction.

Let’s consider some of the common problems that new construction homes might face, and areas that an inspector should plan to specifically scour as part of the comprehensive process.

What could go wrong? Common outdoor issues include:

Incorrectly applied siding, Gaps and cracks in decks and patios, Driveway and sidewalk cracks, Grading and drainage issues.

Indoors, you might find:

Cracks in drywall, Nail pops, Humidity inside the home, water issues, flooring issues, doors sticking shut

Please keep in mind that my articles are not to alarm or cause concern, but to simply educate my readers and clients. Wishing all of you a wonderful “healthy” week.

Jay Aron is a licensed NYS Home Inspector, and seasoned Electrical Engineer, and owner of Bodeck Home Inspections in Kew Gardens Hills. He is available for home inspections including houses, condos, and co-ops. For more information, call 516-417-6111 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..