Ask questions. Then ask more questions. And then ask follow up questions to the earlier questions. Then you can hire the right builder for your new home or addition.

Brad Chaney of B. Chaney Improvements has had many meetings with potential clients over the many years he has built custom homes and major additions. He’s also answered many questions about home design, remodeling, permits, recommendations, move-in dates, the final walk through, etc.…

While some people seemingly wake up one day and say, “I really want to build a customAsk questions when meeting with a builder home…now,” or “We need a great room added on before we host our Super Bowl party next week,” such a decision really needs more thought. A famous man once said, “Give me six hours to cut down a tree, I’ll use four to sharpen the ax.”

The best way to start is to write down some good questions before you start contacting local builders to give your prices for the picture of the home you pinned on your Pinterest board called, “Dream Home.” Here are a few good ones to put at the top of your list.

“Are you licensed and insured in the state where I want to build?” A reputable contractor should be able to offer documents and the statements in those documents should be easily verifiable through the local builders association and state licensing agency.

“Who will supervise the building and do you use subcontractors?” While subcontractors are often hired and supervised by the builder, it is almost always better to have a foreman and most of the labor force directly on the builder’s payroll.

May I see some of your recently finished projects and one that is in progress?” A quality builder should be proud to show off these projects and put you in touch with former clients. If you can talk to someone currently under contract, you can ask them about the professionalism (workers showing up when expected and communication with the builder/foreman) of the builder in question.

“Can you describe your building process for me between the initial meeting and the closing with the bank?” This may be the ultimate test for judging a contractor. While not every little detail will be in this answer, the builder should have a solid agenda as to how the workflow will go and how you – the homeowner – will be kept connected to the project throughout each phase.

Websites such as, and are places to search for more questions.

And although the builders you interview may have nice websites and words that ease your mind as to what a great job they will do once you sign the contract, experts recommend using several search engines to check on each builder.

One client said, “When working with a customer builder, there is a lot of trust involved. You have to get to certain level of trust before you hire your builder.”

If you want to interview Brad Chaney, he will be happy to answer all of your questions. You can email him through this website or call the Charleston, SC office at 843-388-4334.

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