Choose Your Home Builder Carefully

Choosing the right home builder can be a daunting task, especially in today’s active new home building industry. Builders compete for your business with cutting-edge sales presentations and use advertising and marketing materials that paint the picture of the perfect home. But as a buyer, how do you uncover the difference between a good home builder, and a great one?

Builders should not only be held accountable to build well-constructed homes, but they also should stand behind their construction and make sure their customers are supported during the entire process. Tarion is the administrator of Ontario’s New Home Warranty Program, and annually they ask new home owners to rate their builders based on their customer service. Builders that receive top marks from their customers are recognized with a Homeowners’ Choice Award, formerly known as the Tarion Award of Excellence. Finalists and recipients of these awards demonstrate a commitment to first-rate service and are setting a standard of excellence in the new home building industry in the province.

As a prospective home buyer, it is important to look for past nominees and winners of these awards at Ontario Builder Directory on  This directory provides a 10-year history for all registered builders, as well as those who are no longer registered to build homes. If your builder is not listed, it may be because they did not pass the technical test based on the Ontario Building Code regulations or provide the financial securities mandated to build homes in Ontario – and they are building illegally. The directory will also show if your builder has been a finalist or recipient of an award for outstanding customer service.

To find out more about a builder, ask any of your family, friends or neighbours who may know of someone who has recently purchased a new home or condo. Some questions to ask are: what was your experience like? Would you recommend your builder? How was the after-sales customer service?

A home builder’s job isn’t complete just because the last tile has been laid. A great home builder ensures that their customers feel supported long after they’ve settled into their new home. The Homeowners’ Choice Awards finalists demonstrate that excellent customer service is an essential part of the experience and can make the difference between a good home builder, and a great one.