November 1998 Edition

How Do You Find A Qualified Builder Or Remodeler

One of the most difficult tasks in construction today is finding someone qualified. Do you have any pointers on picking a builder or remodeler?                       
You are right. This is a difficult task. Since there is no licensing  required or requirements of any kind, your best bet is to find a professional who is a member of The National Association of Home Builders or The National Association of the Remodeling Industry. Both have certifications the professional may obtain. 
The NAHB has three different designations for their members.  
Certified Graduate Builder 
To earn a CGB certificate a builder must complete nine, six hour courses. To maintain the designation, a graduate must take one additional CGB course (6 hours) every year after the initial certificate date. The six hours also may be earned by taking approved state and local seminars, NAHB national seminars or college courses related to the building industry. 
Graduate Master Builder 
The courses in this series are more advanced with in-depth instruction geared for experienced building professionals. To begin the GMB certificate program a participant must have one of the following: 1) a Certified Graduate Builder certificate or certified Graduate Remodelor (CGR) certification; or 2) successful completion of three CGB courses and have at least 10 years of building business experience. To earn a GMB certificate, a participant must a) complete five GMB courses or b) complete four GMB courses, plus two CGB/CGR courses (beyond those required for initial certification). 
Certified Graduate RemodelorTM 
This series of courses was designed by remodelers to help other remodelers raise their level of business performance. This program is sponsored by the NAHB Remodelors Council TM and courses are administered by Home Builders Institute. Candidates are required to take a specified number of courses as determined by the score on their professional profile administered by NAHB.                        
For further information on the NAHB certification program, call 800-368-5242, ext. 216 or or                       
The next professional organization to look for is the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. In 1988, the NARI certification program provided the remodeling industry with its first formalized standard of expertise, knowledge, and ethical conduct among professional remodelers. Today, the NARI Certification programs continue to offer a measure of skill and expertise valued not only by other professional remodelers, but by consumers as well.                        
Prized by those who have achieved the designation, the program identifies remodelers who have submitted themselves to detailed review and testing in areas of business management, ethical conduct, and technical skills. To many professional remodelers, NARI Certification offers one of their most valuable marketing tools assuring that the consumer is choosing a professional with years of experience, dedication to ongoing training, and a  commitment to ethical conduct. 
CR - Certified Remodeler 
NARI offers the designation of CR for Certified Remodeler, designed to recognize and identify full service professional remodelers.                       
For further information on the NARI certification program, call 800-966-7601 or 

What Is Important In A Builder Or Remodeler

What are some of the important qualities to look for when selecting a builder or remodeler and do you have any pointers for the project?                       
When you hire a builder or remodeler, you are buying a service. A service can be more difficult to evaluate. You must look at expertise, experience and reputation. Selecting a builder or remodeler requires some investigation. Here are some questions to ask yourself when narrowing the field:  
  • How long has the company been in business?
  • Does the contractor have a permanent business location and phone?
  • Does the builder or remodeler have proof of workman's compensation and general liability insurance?
  • Can the builder or remodeler provide you with the names of customers whose jobs were similar to the ones you are planning?
  • Have you seen the builder’s or remodeler’s work in person, both in progress and completed?
  • Are you able to communicate easily with the builder or remodeler?
  • Will the builder or remodeler provide you with a written contract that you can understand?                        
Some other considerations for the project is having a complete set of drawings and specifications.                        
Having an architect develop the plans for your project is a good idea if you have particularly complicated plans or some specific design needs. You will need to make room in your budget for the architect's fee, which can range from 8 to 15 percent of the cost of the consulting project. Look for architects that are members of the American Institute of Architects. They usually have the designation AIA after their name.                        
A design/build contractor is a good option for people who enjoy the convenience of working with only one company, eliminating any confusion or misunderstandings between an independent architect and contractor. Some remodeling firms have an architect or designer on staff, or the contractor may even be a designer.                      
Whether you choose an architect, design/build contractor or do the design work yourself, be sure to have a complete design in the form of drawings or written specifications detailing every aspect of the project. This will assure you that you get what you originally wanted                     
Source: Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association 

If you have a question, change of address, comment, home tip or would like to send Home Tips to your clients, send your letter to Home Tips, Christian Building Inspectors, Inc., 3697 Habersham Lane, Duluth, Georgia 30096. You can E-Mail your questions to us at We reserve the right to edit questions for length. 

Quote Of The Month

“The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment; it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone.”

- Orison Swett Marden 

A Tip Of The Hat To:

Janice Lloyd

Entrust Home Financin

2000 Riveredge Parkway

Atlanta, Georgia 30328