Doing your homework will help you have a more successful remodeling experience. Use this checklist to help you select a home builder or home remodeler to work on or build your home:

• Contact the Building Industry Association of Hawaii for the names of member builders and remodelers: or go to You can also ask family, friends or coworkers for recommendations.

• Make sure the builder or remodeler has a permanent business location and a good reputation with local banks and suppliers.


• Find out how long they have been in the building business. It usually takes three to five years to establish a financially sound business. You want to make sure they will be around after the construction is complete to service any warranties.

• Check out the company’s rating and if there have been any complaints filed with your local Better Business Bureau: or the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs:


• Make sure the builder has sufficient workers compensation and general liability insurance. If not, you may be liable for any construction-related accidents on your premises.

• Ask the builder to provide you with names of previous customers. If they won’t, beware. If they do, ask the customers if they would hire the builder/remodeler again.


• Ask if you can see the builders work, both completed and in progress. Check for quality of workmanship and materials and cleanliness of job site.

• Make sure the builder provides you with a complete and clearly written contract. The contract will benefit both of you. If you are having a new home built, get and review a copy of the home warranty and homeowner manual as well.

For more information contact me at

Karen Nakamura is CEO of the Building Industry Association of Hawaii.