New Home Builders: All You Need to Know to Hire the Best | Chicago

A dream house is different for everybody. For some, it is a smart home with energy efficient features, appliances, and digital tools, for some — a modest cabin with basic amenities somewhere in the woods. No matter what kind of new home you are planning to build, you need a team of experienced home builders to make your vision a reality.

Choosing the right new home builders might be a bit overwhelming — new construction is a big thing! That's why our Fortress Home specialists have prepared this little cheat sheet for you. Creating it, we have used our 20-year experience in building different kinds of new homes. Information contained in it comes directly from our team members, specializing in different areas — from the design center to the construction department itself.

Building a new home on itself should be a positive experience. Begin it today! If you have any questions or need a free consultation, give us a call at 773-770-8607.

We work in Chicago city and the surrounding areas and would be happy to organize a home tour in one or a few completed projects.

The basics of new home construction

Professional new home builders will execute the project from A to Z — from getting the necessary permits to making the final touches in your freshly built new home. But the choice of contractors is so big, that future homeowners have to search wisely.

Key things to inquire from a potential builder

To know if your potential builder has relevant competence, make sure the company is licensed, has all the required certificates (including the registration), a substantial number of successfully completed real estate projects, a good online presence, and recommendations from homebuyers. Trustworthy companies are always a well-established member of the local community.

The main services provided by the new home builders

  • Getting all the required state permits
  • Creation of the pre-construction design (architect blueprint, floor plans, recommended materials)
  • Energy efficient smart homes
  • Substantial building
  • Building estimates
  • Providing relevant insurance on all the works
  • Preparation of the building site (demolitions of the old structures, leveling the land, utilities)
  • Full-spectrum of construction works: building/masonry/carpentry/steelworks
  • Buying materials and delivering them to the building site
  • Hiring subcontractors
  • Overseeing and managing the entire building process
  • Get started building today!
    Custom Home Builders
    We will design a new home that fits your life by finding out what is important to you, your family and your lifestyle.
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4 main types of new home builders

There are just a few basic scenarios out there on the new real estate market. You can hire:

  1. A development company that owns the land and is ready to build a custom-made or prefab house on it. This might mean that you will get your own home faster, because all the permits and preparations have been already attained. These company often have an in-house design center
  2. A development company that owns a residential housing project/community with a few different design options for your future home. You will be most likely invited to take a tour of the model home — and be offered modern construction options: sufficient energy consumption, modern appliances, spacey floor plans, etc.
  3. A builder that does not own the land and only performs the construction of new homes. Most likely they will need to hire a subcontract architect for a custom-designed house. But if we are talking about trustworthy companies with big experience, the quality of the build will most likely be high.
  4. A builder that does not own the land and has all in-house specialists, including architects and designers. A lot of future homeowners prefer when all the needed resources are concentrated in one team of professionals. But before making a choice, get more information by inquiring about this builder's portfolio and recommendations.

In case you need to buy land for your new construction, we recommend referring to a professional realtor with good experience in your area. Not only will they help you in search of a perfect plot, but also recommend a trustworthy partner for obtaining a mortgage with good interest rates.

Are you going custom-made or prefab?

New construction homes can be prefab or custom-made. Both options are equally fine — and choosing one is more of a matter of your own convenience.


If savings or good mortgage options allow you to go custom-designed, be ready to get patient and take one step at a time. The process of creating new construction homes from scratch is time and energy-consuming. That's why you need to search for a perfect candidate very carefully.

See what design options and features they offer, whether their approach is modern, allowing sufficient energy savings, and if they met all the needed requirements in their past projects (deadlines, budget).

Meet the team and learn the contact to a tee. Customer care is also super important: evaluate the level of comfort that you experience, communicating with them.

  • In the Chicago area, iL, the average price of a custom-made single family home is $250 000-400 000.
  • On average, building a home from scratch takes up to 8 months.


Getting a prefab home is a smart choice, no matter if you live in the city or in the countryside. As Wikipedia states, these homes "are specialist dwelling types of prefabricated building, which are manufactured off-site in advance, usually in standard sections that can be easily shipped and assembled". These features significantly reduce the costs and the timings of project completion.

  • The price of a prefab home can be 10% to 25% cheaper than of a custom-build project
  • On average, building a prefab home takes 4-6 months.

Recommended reading

Custom homes on your lot!
If you currently own a lot, or need help finding one, Fortress Home is excited to offer comprehensive on-your-lot home building services. We have many ideal floor plans for building on your lot, don't worry - we can modify our standard plans or develop a fully custom plan just for you.
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From a dream to a material form

This moment has come. Your dream home is about to get a material form. You got enough savings, you got a vision, you chose the location, you are confident in your decision. But where to begin? Here are a few steps that our clients performed before ending up with us (based on live interviews).

  • Get inspired. Create Pinterest boards, follow plenty of architectural and design Instagram accounts. Save pictures in your phone. Go even further by creating digital collages. This will help you to "filter" the look and the style of the desired space
  • Write down all elements (and details) of your future house. One of our customers told us that during this simple activity she and her family realized that they have envisioned the main part of the house — the kitchen combined with the living room — absolutely differently. And it helped them to agree on the design before they found a builder
  • Perform basic online research. Find the top new construction companies in your town. Pick up the site and the style of completed jobs that you like the most. Write down the phone number or fill in the contact form
  • Talk to selected new home builders. Feel the vibe, ask if they specialize in custom-made or prefab new houses. Describe the project. Get an estimate. Ask about the main steps.
  • Count the approximate costs. Will the new building take the place of a previous home? Do you need to buy land? Do you need a mortgage or are you going to use your own money?

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the best builders of new homes?

The best builders of new homes are the companies that have been on the market for a long time, are considered well-established members of the local community, have all the required licenses and certificates, have a big portfolio of completed projects, as well as very good customer reviews. In your future home search go local — it is always better to work with builders, who know every little detail of your city.

At Fortress Home we have been working in one location — the Chicago, iL area — for more than 20 years and have built dream homes for many families. Give us a call today at 773-770-8607 for a free estimate and professional advice!

What to pay attention to while choosing new home builders?

You have to make sure that the service they provide is licensed, real and of a high quality. Ask for all the necessary state licenses and certificates, search the location and explore finished home projects, refer to their customers for recommendations. Past homebuyers can be of great help here: they are most likely to honestly share, if the quality of construction was satisfying. Performing these simple steps, you can really save yourself time and money.

How much does it cost to build a new home?

According to Home Advisor, in 2021 the average cost of building a home in the US was around $300 000. The price depends on the location and the type of the house. As we have already mentioned before, in Chicago the price for building a single-family house is $290-349 per square foot.

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What is the main asset of a construction company? Everything is simple. This is not an investment, not funds in the company's account. These are those unique houses, apartments, and buildings that have already been built and put into operation by the company. In different architectural styles, other concepts, and various tasks assigned to the general contractor. That is the asset in Fortress Home, with over 300 homes from more than 20 years of operation that delight their families.

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