Hiring a home builder to build your custom home from the ground up can be exciting. However, you probably do not want your excitement to be ruined by being taken advantage of by your contractor. Of course, there is a certain amount of risk that goes along with hiring a contractor to build your home. Luckily, there are steps that you can take that can help you protect yourself. These are a few of them.

1. Make Sure You Hire a Reputable Contractor

First and foremost, it pays to do your research before you ever choose a contractor to build your home. You're going to want to look for a contractor that has a reputation for coming through on its projects, not overcharging and ensuring that the home is built properly. You can do a lot of this research online, such as through the local Better Business Bureau website.

2. Have a Lawyer Look Over the Contract

It can be easy for your eyes to become glazed over when you're looking at a long building contract. However, you should not just sign blindly on the dotted line. The contract should have clauses in place that both protect you and the contractor, and it should cover things like what will be done if the project takes longer than it should or if the materials end up costing more than your original quote. Looking over it yourself is certain better than just signing it, but for best results, you may want to have a real estate lawyer look over it for you. This shouldn't cost much and can help you ensure that you truly understand what is listed in the contract. The lawyer might also suggest that certain changes be made to the contract to ensure that you are protected.

3. Require a Contractor Bond

Many people feel more comfortable if they require their contractor to hold a contractor bond. The bond is designed to help ensure that the contractor lives up to what he or she promises to do and can go a long way in protecting you during the home building process.

4. Check in on the Project Regularly

Some people are very hands-off during the entire home building process. However, checking in regularly to see how things are coming along can help you keep your contractor on his or her toes and can make you aware of any problems that might pop up before they become more serious.