Builder’s Choice Awards
Frequently Asked Questions

Is my project eligible?
Projects with a grand opening and/or first occupancy between June 1, 2010 and May 31, 2012 are eligible to enter. 

Do you except entries from outside the U.S.?
No. Entries are limited to projects located in the 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Can I enter a project that was entered in last year’s competition?
Yes.  The only stipulation is that it must have been completed after June 1, 2010.

Can I enter a project that has won other industry awards, or that has been published in other magazines or newspapers?

My entry fits into several categories.  How do I know which one to enter?
This is not uncommon.  For example, your project might qualify as infill/mixed use, but also as sustainable.  Or it might be 55+ housing that is also affordable.  Use your best judgment and enter the category in which you feel it will have the strongest impact.

Can I enter the same project in more than one category?
Absolutely.  However, you will need to create a separate binder and pay a separate entry fee for each category you enter.

The house I want to enter is still under construction. Can I enter it?
We encourage entrants to wait until projects are completely finished, furnished, and photographed before submitting.  Renderings may not be supplied in place of photos.

Do you accept “on the boards” entries?

How will I receive my assigned entry number?
Once you register online and submit your entry fee, you will receive an email from BUILDER within 72 hours with an assigned entry number for each of the projects you are entering. The deadline for registering online is May 4, 2012.

Is my online confirmation number the same as my entry number?
No.  Once you register online and hit “submit” you will receive an email with your confirmation number.  This number should only be used if you need to re-enter the system and alter your registration.  Your confirmation number is completely different from your entry number (or numbers).

What’s a "special focus" award?
Whereas the other categories look at the complete picture(whole house, neighborhood, or community), the special focus awards recognize excellence in the details.  A special focus award may be given out for a specific room (such as a kitchen or bath), or a unique feature (such as millwork or an unusual staircase).

Can my project statement exceed 250 words?
Statements longer than 250 words will not be penalized, but entrants are encouraged to keep statements as succinct as possible and to emphasize the project's most noteworthy attributes.

Is there a limit to the number of photos I can submit?
There is no limit, but 10 prints are usually more than sufficient for the binder.  You may include as many digital images as you like on the CD, including extras that are not provided as print-outs. If you are submitting a remodel or adaptive reuse project you will need to include both before and after shots, which will increase your total number of images. 

Do you have specific digital file requirements?
Every entry must include a CD containing digital versions of all the images, plans, and schematic drawings in your entry binder.  Images should be scanned at a resolution of 300 dpi and sized 8x10.  Jpegs are preferred.

What happens if I register and then realize that my project will not be completed by the competition deadline?
We are happy to extend a credit for next year’s competition if you discover that your project will not be finished in time.

Will my binder be returned once the judging is complete?
No.  We like to hold on to all submissions (including those that do not win), as they often provide ideas for future stories in the magazine and online.  We will contact you if your entry turns out to be a good match for a story we are working on later in the year.

When will the winners be notified?
All entrants will receive notification of the competition results in August 2012.  Winners will be informed that they have won a Builder’s Choice Award, but the actual award designations (grand, merit, special focus, and project of the year) will not be announced until the awards gala in October.

When will the winners be published?
All winning projects will be featured in the October 2012 issue of BUILDER, and online at  To see last year’s winners, visit

When is the Builder’s Choice Awards gala?
The awards gala will take place on October 14 in Washington D.C.



Learn more about markets featured in this article: Washington, DC.