The process of finding the right builder for your custom home starts with defining your own criteria for success. This helps ensure that your project stays within budget and on schedule without putting too much of a strain on your wallet and your time. 

Working with builders is stressful, so you want to hire someone who will communicate clearly and frequently, and not someone who tends to beat around the bush. You need a home builder that’s transparent about details, someone who listens to your ideas and concerns and walk with you each step of the way to help relieve or even eliminate that worry. We’ve compiled this guide to help you decide what kind of custom home builder you’d want to work with. So, here are red flags about home builders that should alarm you.

1. Asking For More Payment Up Front

The first step to protecting yourself is to say no to any home builder who asks you for 25% or more of the total cost upfront. Ideally, you should pay no more than 15%. Anything over this threshold should be considered a red flag. You should be able to pay for the construction as it goes along. 

For example, if framing costs 15% of the project, you should only pay 15% for this part of building your new house. There will be moments during the construction process where you will need to pay more money for unplanned costs or for work around the house. At these moments, you should only pay for what is necessary. 

If a home builder tries to tie money to dates instead of to constructional milestones, it is a red flag. Another red flag is paying the lowest price without reference to qualifications or references. It can be hard to discern who is good and who isn’t, so try to talk to past clients and ask for references. Asking for references can help you spot potential problems before they become full-blown disasters.

2. Keeping Odd Hours

It’s always recommended that you visit the construction site and see how progress is going. It’s okay to give your contractor a heads up before visiting the site, but oftentimes you should try and stop by at a random time of day or on the weekend. Contractors do set their own hours, but if they aren’t at the site during the day, then when are they working? Chances are the project will take longer and therefore cost more money. Sometimes, work can’t be done for a day due to a material needing time to dry or set, but it’s not professional for them to have large chunks of time missed every week. These irregular visits that you make will make sure that your contractor is always on schedule and that they’re actually doing their job.

3. Being Unresponsive

Always make sure that your contractor is in contact with you in some way. Sometimes you can’t reach them for a day or two when they are on vacation, but you should always be able to get a hold of them when you call. If you can’t get in contact with them in a matter of days, then they are not responsive. This means that they won’t be there when you need them or that they will be so involved in other projects that they can’t devote themselves to yours. This is another red flag that tells you clearly that you need to look for a new contractor to work with.


Building a custom home is a big undertaking, and it’s essential to know who you’re working with. If you find that any of the red flags from the list apply to a potential builder, it’s a good idea to move on to the next one. Keep in mind that many custom home builders give off a certain vibe that may feel a little off, but they may still be a good choice. Remember that the most important thing is to feel good about your builder.

Banner Custom Homes is committed to providing high-quality custom design in every project that we handle. As one of the most trusted home builders in Tulsa, OK, we make it our goal to build a house for you that you will proudly call home. Contact us, and let’s start building your dream home today!