by Todd Ellner
May 24, 2017 Home Building

How do you recognize a good contractor?

Peter Gialluisi, one of the founding partners at Gialluisi Custom Homes, walks through the process of choosing the right contractor to build your home.

He explains what particularities should a good contractor possess and how you can be sure you made the right decision.

Watch the entire webinar with Peter below:

1.A good contractor should be trustworthy

“Make sure they have multiple references,” Peter advises. Ask them to show you their completed projects, as it is a great way to see the quality of materials they use. “Speak with those homeowners and see what they think about the contractor,” he adds.

It is important to do your research by all means. Word of mouth is a decisive recommendation tool when it comes to choosing a contractor.

In addition, make sure to always look for references from old customers and employees. Learn as much as you can about their reputation in the home building industry.

Remember: Reputation and quality of work are sometimes worth a little bit more in the home building industry.

Peter points out that you should meet with at least three contractors before deciding to go ahead with one of them. Keep in mind that building your house is probably the greatest investment you will ever make.

Therefore, take as much time as you need when searching for your contractor.

Tip: Try not to get caught up in the price. At the end of the day, you get what you pay for.

2. Top questions to ask your contractor

Certain aspects need to be settled prior to starting any work.

“Ask them about other homes that they have built,” says Pater as he emphasizes the importance of seeing your contractor’s work.

Next, ask them how the building process works. “From the beginning to the end we hand hold the clients,” explains Peter about the internal processes at Gialluisi Custom Homes. “Not only until they move in, but even after that. We walk them through every step. This is part of the process when building a house with Gialluisi Custom Homes.”

Finally, ask for as much information as possible about the architect your contractor works with. Get in touch with the engineer that is going to work on your project as well. It is very helpful to meet the entire team of builders and workers. Knowing each of them will increase your level of trust and decrease your worries.

3. Make sure both you and the builder have good attorneys

As Peter states, “a good attorney can proofread the contract between yourself and the builder and make sure there is nothing missing.”

Attorneys can guarantee that even the smallest details are included in the contract. Particularities such as what amenities are included in the house, aspects regarding the payment and deposit and what selections you are allowed to do, all are essential in a contract.

Gialluisi Custom Homes works with a dedicated real estate attorney. James Foerst is the professional who takes care of all our paperwork, thus making things easier for our customers.

4. How do you know when you found the right contractor?

“You have to feel upfront that you trust the builder,” Peter states. “There has to be a great connection between you and the contractor. To put it simple, you need to fall in love with the quality of their work.”

Choosing a contractor means choosing an entire team of builders, project managers, architects and designers. “You have to be comfortable with the team that the builder surrounds themselves with,” Peter explains, “because you will be communicating with them as well.”

Setting a timeline is another important aspect that needs to be discussed.

However, this too depends on the contractor’s reputation. In mosts cases, when a builder misses the deadline it could mean they are financially unstable. “A lot of that has to do with a builder not paying the subcontractors,” says Peter.

5. Find a builder with a good reputation

Choose a contractor that will be there for you every step of the way, especially if you are a first time homebuyer. Make sure your builder will assist you with everything you need during the building process and even after you move in.

“You need to make sure the builder’s going to come back and fix things that need to be fixed,” Peter advises. At Gialluisi Custom Homes we offer unlimited home maintenance, years after you move in.

Did you know… ? A home is a lifetime investment, thus quality is essential. Make sure your contractor collaborates with top-notch suppliers. Gialluisi Custom Homes works with some of the best suppliers in Westfield.

6. Spec homes vs. custom homes?

Peter agrees that there is no right answer on which one is better. It depends on your preference.

Of course, building a fully customized home on the lot you want is a special process. “You get to choose everything the way you want it,” smiles Peter. It can not be more personal than that.

However, when you are buying a house that is already built, things are different. You skip the step of making endless selections and decisions. “Hopefully you like everything that the builder did select and you are ready to move in with no issues,” Peter says.


There are two important things you need to keep in mind:

  1. Select the right contractor based on their recommendations, experience and on the relationship you feel you can develop with them.
  2. Set realistic expectations depending on whether you are building a custom home or buying a home for sale.

“Along the way of building a new house there are going to be issues,” Peter agrees. “These situations will show you what it really means to communicate with your builder. You need to make sure that your contractor knows how to deal with a crisis.”

“Get to know the contractor prior to hiring him and truly be very selective on who you decide to work with.”

Are you looking to move into a new home in one of the areas we service? See what our clients say about us here.

Build your dream home with us

Enjoy the benefits of our Built To Suit program:

  • Build your home on a lot you already have (or we can help you find the perfect one)
  • Customize everything about your home
  • Enjoy reduced downpayment (only 10% upfront)
  • Get assistance in finding the best financing solution for your needs

You can get in touch with Peter at 908-279-0998 or send him an email at to discuss the details of your home building project. The first consultations are always free at Gialluisi Custom Homes.

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