Luxury Home Builders: How to Choose The Right Builder For You

Choosing the right luxury home builders for you is an extremely important first step in your journey towards a new custom home! Before choosing your builder, you should do the following six things:

  • Research, research, and more research!
  • Read customer reviews
  • View the builder's portfolio
  • Ask questions
  • Look out for high-quality customer service
  • Check for certifications

Continue reading below to learn more about these six steps to choosing the right builder for you. If you are looking for luxury home builders in the Kawartha Lakes area, you can also contact us at Conlin today for a free, no obligation consultation. Before you get started on building your dream home, learn more about the six steps you should take before choosing your builder.

1.Do Your Research!

luxury home builders - do your research
Browse online, look at local newspapers, and talk to real estate agents to find information on local home builders

Check The NAHB & Google

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) suggests that the very first thing you do before you get started on finding and choosing your custom home builder is to make a list of all the potential companies you may work with. Create a computer document or simply get out your pen and paper and write down local custom home builders' website, contact information, and anything else you think would be helpful.

If you are having trouble finding local home builders, you can do a quick google search for "Custom home builder near me" or "Custom home builder in [your city]." If that is not yielding any results, or you're worried about the quality of home builders popping up on Google, you can also check out builders via certification sites - such as the Ontario Builder Directory.

Check Newspapers & Websites

You may also want to check out your local newspaper and flip to the real estate section - you may see ads for builders or custom-built homes for sale with information on the company who built it. If you want to go the extra mile, contact real estate agents and ask which custom home builders they have enjoyed working with.

After you've compiled your list, check out the builders' websites. You can learn a lot from browsing their website, such as the certifications they have (we'll get more into that below), pictures of their work, and how long they have been in business. All of this research is extremely important - and will help ensure you work with a builder that you can trust. During this process, you will also want to read as many reviews as possible - and that brings us to point #2.

2.Read Reviews

For all you boat enthusiasts, the Kawarthas encompass the 386 kilometre Trent-Severn Waterway that begins in Trenton, Ontario and ends in Georgian Bay. This combination of natural waterways and canals provide a scenic route that is considered "one of the finest interconnected systems of navigation in the world."

Read online reviews
Reading online reviews can help you see past customers' experiences

We live in the information age - everything you want to see or know can be found within seconds of a quick Internet search. Online reviews can tell you everything you need to know about a company - both the good and the potentially not so good! Resources such as the Better Business Bureau and Google Reviews allow prospective home buyers inside information into the experiences of previous customers.

It's important to keep in mind that no matter how amazing a company is, there may still be some negative reviews out there - no one can control what others say about that, and occasionally there are unjustified negative reviews written about a company.

However, it is still a good idea to read through all reviews - both bad and good - and make a decision for yourself. For example, if a company has 50+ great reviews and only 3 bad reviews, it is fairly safe to say that they are a well-respected, professional company.

If you are having trouble finding reviews online, you can learn about past experiences in other ways. Reach out to your prospective builder and see if they can provide you with a few references. These references should be customers who have used the company to build a similar project as you plan to. While speaking to references, ask them about customer service, timelines, and if they felt respected and listened to throughout the project.

3.View Their Portfolio

View the company’s portfolio
Ask to see a portfolio of recent and previous work - you can also check out their online gallery if possible

A professional luxury home builder should have a collection of their previous work on hand and ready to show prospective clients. They should not only have a portfolio ready to go, but they should be excited and willing to share readily! If you are having a hard time getting real pictures of a builder's work from them, that may be a red flag. A professional builder will be proud of their work and happy to show you what they've done in the past.

Some builders will have a few images on their website in a portfolio page such as an online gallery. Online galleries often do not always include all of their work - so it's a good place to start, but if you want to see everything a company has to offer, it's important to contact them for more information.

Visit Show Homes

If possible, get an interactive 'view' of a company's portfolio by visiting show homes and as many open houses as you can attend. It's one thing to look at a picture of a home - it's another thing to stand inside and see the workmanship for yourself.

As you walk through a show home or an open house, take a look at the quality of finishes, feel counters and cabinets, take a look at the floors. Walking through a home built by your prospective luxury home builder is one of the best ways to get a sense of the type of home you will end up with!

4.Ask Questions - Lots Of Questions!

ask your builder questions
See if you can have a sit-down meeting (or phone call) with your builder and ask all the questions you may have

By this point, you have probably narrowed down your list of builders to only a few that you are considering. Because your list is smaller, you will have the time you need to ask the builder(s) important and extensive questions. If possible, see if you can sit down and meet with your potential builder. If that is not possible, plan a phone call with them.

Sample Questions To Ask

Remember, building your own custom home is not only a large investment, but if it is not done properly or you are unhappy at the end, that can be cause for some serious stress! You will want to ask questions now, before you've made a commitment, to get a feel if a certain company is right for you and your needs. No question is too out-there! Don't be afraid to ask questions that you think are silly. Some things you may want to ask your builder are:

  • Have you built houses like the one I want to build in the past?
  • What is the timeline?
  • Are my plans for my house realistic?
  • Will you be able to meet my design wants and needs? If not, how can we compromise?
  • How involved will I be in the design process?
  • Can you work within my budget?

These are just a few questions you may want to ask. Before you have your meeting or call, make sure that you have your questions prepared. Building a custom home can be a bit overwhelming, and you won't want to forget important questions in the midst of the excitement of your call. Consider writing your questions down ahead of time so you don't forget anything you wouldn't want to miss.

5.Watch For Customer Service & Quality Communication

customer service
You won't want to wait until the middle of construction to find out your builder hasn't communicated well with you!

Even if your new home builder has the best portfolio you've ever seen, lots of great reviews, and checked off all the boxes during your Q&A, that won't be helpful if they have terrible customer service and client communication. When you choose to build a custom home, you choose to have a say in the details and design of your home.

However, if your custom home builder doesn't communicate well with you, that means little things along the way can get missed - and those little things can easily turn into bigger things! It is important that clients and their builders have great communication throughout the process so that you don't feel left out, confused, or like things are not progressing the way you had planned.

As you conduct your research, pay close attention to what others have said in reviews regarding a company's customer service and quality of their communications. You can also take note of how quickly the builder responds to your emails, phone calls, and how attentive they are during your meeting(s) with them.

6.Check For Certifications

new home certifications
Before you move forward with a builder, ensure they have the right certifications

In most places, there will be certifications and warranties that professional home builders will be a part of. Unfortunately, poor-quality builders and even scammers who take large deposits but fail to deliver on their builds do exist. Because of this, it's important to work with a builder that has the proper certifications and offers warranties according to local regulations and bylaws.


For example, under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act (ONHWP Act), a builder and vendor of a new home has to provide you with a warranty that ensures that your home:

  • Was constructed in a workmanlike manner and is free from defects in material
  • Is fit to live in
  • Is constructed according to the Ontario Building Code
  • Is free of major structural defects as defined by the regulations of the ONHWP Act
  • Includes other warranties that are prescribed by the regulations.

Tarion and The Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act

As well, in Ontario, The government has appointed Tarion, an independent, non-profit corporation, to be responsible for administering the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act. As part of their duties under the Act, Tarion:

  • Will protect home buyers if a builder fails to fulfill their warranty obligations, and will prosecute illegal building practices
  • Will facilitate disputes between homeowners and builders over warranty coverage
  • Will make warranty decisions fairly and impartially
  • Will ensure that new home builders follow the ONHWP Act
  • Will license new home builders and vendors

Before you select a builder, ensure that they can provide proof that they are legally allowed to build new homes, and that they offer an extensive warranty that will protect you, the buyer, from serious problems down the road. A professional builder will happily provide you with proof of their certifications and warranties when you ask!

Conlin Premier Construction: Luxury Home Builders You Can Trust!

Conlin Premier Construction logo

Conlin Premier Construction: New Home Builder Kawartha

At Conlin Premier Construction, we really care about the work that we do and the complete satisfaction of our customers. We have the experience that you need to get finest custom home in Peterborough. For custom home construction as well as, renovations, and additions, you can depend on Conlin.

With our expertise, we will complete your project exactly to your specifications and with the high quality of workmanship that you deserve. Contact Conlin Premier Construction today to get your custom home started.

At Conlin, we do all of the work ourselves and we have our own sub-contractors who do the mechanical work. This means that we can be in charge of the quality control on every part of your home's construction, from start to finish. And we make sure that you are with us all through the process. Your complete satisfaction is our ultimate goal and that is why we prioritize excellent communication.

The following video will further explain why Conlin is the best for custom homes in Kawartha Lakes.

"The team at Conlin Premier Construction has worked with us for two projects. First, they took down our old, tired single car garage and built a lovely, solid, well insulated two and a half car garage. They did great work and were always happy to allow us to do the parts of the job we were comfortable with. They listened to our ideas and had the plans drawn up to include everything we wanted... A year or two later we called them again to convert a two-piece basement powder room into a three piece, with shower stall. Again, the work was very well done and looks great. We would be happy to call them again ."

- Denise Powell

Read More Testimonials Here

At Conlin Premier Construction, we have over 30 years of experience building custom homes, custom cottages, additions, and unique outbuildings with the highest standard of workmanship and all of our homes are backed by the Tarion New Home warranty. If you are looking for a premier builder in the Kawartha Lakes region that you can trust, talk to the professionals at Conlin and then contact us today for a no obligation quote.