The steps to finding a contractor or builder you can trust | Interview with Shawn Van Dyke - Episode 5 (Season 10 - INDUSTRY INSIDERS)


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What steps are involved in finding a contractor or builder you can trust?

As a homeowner, for you to know the steps to finding a contractor or builder you can trust, it can be game-changing for your new build or renovation.

And that’s why I’m so excited to be bringing my guest to you: Shawn Van Dyke.

Shawn Van Dyke is a Construction Business Coach, Author and Speaker. Based in the USA, he works internationally with clients to help them run better construction businesses.

Shawn has brilliant advice to share on:

  • how to select your contractor or builder
  • the types of conversations to have with them before you hire them
  • the ways to know you can trust them before you sign that contract
  • and how to work with them in a really productive way.


So, let me tell you a bit more about Shawn.

Shawn Van Dyke is a construction business coach and the author of two books: Profit First for Contractors and The Paperwork Punch List - 28 Days to Streamline Your Construction Business.

Most contractors are not profitable which makes them feel uncertain about what they need to do to grow their construction businesses. Shawn believes construction business owners should be as good at business as they are at their craft.

That's why, after twenty plus years of owning and operating multiple construction businesses, Shawn became a construction business coach. He now works with construction business owners, executives, and managers all over the world and shows them how to stop losing profits and wasting time.

Shawn helps contractors get their lives back. He is also a keynote speaker and Fine Homebuilding Brand Ambassador. You can find him all over social media sharing his knowledge and experience.

He doesn't mince words and gives practical advice to contractors so that he can accomplish his mission: to change the way the world view the trades.

He believes the best way to accomplish this mission is to help contractors run world-class businesses so that they are seen for what they truly are - business professionals who provide an extraordinary service through their devotion to their craft, their customers, and their communities.

Shawn is based in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he lives with his wife and 5 kids.


  • You’re on a mission to change the way the world views the trades. What do you think this view is / has been?
  • What do you think one of the biggest hurdles is to improving the impression that homeowners have of the construction industry, contractors and trades?
  • What should a homeowner do to know they can trust their contractor before they hire them?
  • You encourage your contractor community to charge for their pricing process. Can you talk through why you think this is beneficial for both contractors / builders and homeowners?
  • You shared a great blog and video on “Transparency is not trust” that talked about what line-item quoting doesn’t work. Can you explain more about why this is not great for the homeowner or the builder / contractor?
  • When problems occur, what are your suggestions for contractors to deal with these with their clients, and keep things moving overall?

Listen to the episode now. And be sure to get in touch with Shawn to let him know you heard him on Undercover Architect, and to thank him for all he shares!!

This podcast is an edited version of the full interview with Shawn. This interview is now featured inside my online course “The Welcome Home Course” for American homeowners.

Head to to learn more about “The Welcome Home Course”.

In Shawn’s full interview, he shares more information about ...

  • how important a payment schedule is when establishing contracts and cashflow for jobs - and what this is, and why it’s so essential
  • how, as a homeowner) to avoid working with a contractor or builder where corners might be getting cut, things getting missed, sub-standard quality happening, and it all being hidden where you can't see (or don't know to look)
  • Shawn’s recommendations for setting up a good working relationship between a builder / contractor and homeowner

In “The Welcome Home Course”, I’ve teamed up with award-winning American architect, Eric Reinholdt, to create a specific course for American homeowners.

If you’re planning your renovation or new build, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and confused about the best way forward. Many homeowners make the mistake of diving in, and fall for all sorts of terrible advice as a result. And the journey becomes far more stressful, expensive and time consuming as a result. And their finished home never lives up to the dreams they held so dear.

When you have the steps to follow … the map for your journey ahead, you can then move confidently towards that future home you’re dreaming of, and not waste any time or money.

When you know that step-by-step system has been created over decades of experience in hundreds and hundreds of family homes like yours, you can save so much stress in your project, and create a home that works and feels great.

And when you have the steps, as well as professional know-how, design knowledge, tools, resources, and guides, you can shortcut your journey, enjoy your experience, and avoid the heartache and drama so many experience.

If you’re keen to make your journey simpler, be confident that the home you’re dreaming of is achievable, and know the steps to get you there …’The Welcome Home Course’ is the way. Together with Eric, we’ve packaged up almost 45 years experience to show you the way to your future family home.

Head to to learn more and join us.


Find more information, resources and links for Shawn Van Dyke here >>>

Find out about “The Welcome Home Course” for American homeowners here >>>

And “How to Get it Right” for Aussie homeowners here >>>

161 episodes