New Home Builder Institute Fresh Standards

Build Your Own House—With Control

Congratulations on your (soon-to-be) home! While building a new house is an exciting—and possibly mind-boggling—experience for you, it is important to stay involved in every step of the process. Generally speaking, building your new house should not be a passive exercise. A myriad of decisions must be made, and they should be made by you. When you are unable or unwilling to make decisions, you force the builder to make them, and the result may waver from what you were hoping for.

Understand Your Contract

No matter what type of contract you sign, you become a party in a legal document involving a massive amount of money for the construction of your new house. Therefore, it is essential that you know your rights—and exercise them.

Watch Building Costs

The average house contains approximately 1,500 to 2,000 square feet. Do you need more space than that? Why? How much more? You pay for each and every square foot of space in your house, whether it’s occupied, usable, or otherwise.

Comply With Building Codes

No, you should not expect to control the number of nails used in your home. However, you should expect a substantially built house that is free of defects and in accord with all applicable codes and regulations. Require proof of such compliance at the closing of your mortgage. Many jurisdictions issue Certificates of Occupancy, which would indicate accord with the minimum code and safety standards.

Be Flexible

Be ready and prepared to compromise in order to resolve situations and problems. Be aware, however, of what you may be giving up in this process; examine and understand both sides. Is the situation worth what you are losing?

How to Become a Builder

If you’re interested in working in the construction industry as a builder, you’ve come to the right place. This article includes all kinds of information about how to become a builder, including required skills and training and a Q and A with a veteran of the industry. Keep reading to find out all about how to become a Builder.

What Does a Builder Do?

Builders manage, coordinate and work on the construction, maintenance or repair of residential and commercial buildings. Sometimes Builders supervise a project by arranging subcontractors to complete specific jobs and sometimes they do the work themselves. Builders also ensure that the construction project meets industry and government regulations as well as their clients’ requirements.

The work Builders do is generally conducted outdoors mostly in industrial conditions as part of a construction team.  It may be necessary at times to operate machinery. The hazardous nature of construction work requires Builders to comply with strict safety regulations and to wear protective equipment thus ensuring that the site is safe for all personnel. The daily activity of a Builder will depend on the level of experience and their specialization

The more experience you have the more responsibility you will be given until you work your way up to that of a supervisor. As a supervisor you will delegate work, organize projects and hire specialist contractors.

Builder Skills

A Builder is expected to carry huge responsibilities and manage a team of people.  There is a lot of flexibility in this career choice and you are sure to find something that you enjoy doing. Full-time Builders usually work Monday to Friday, and Saturday mornings. Self-employed or sub-contractor Builders may work longer hours in order to meet with clients or handle administrative tasks. Seeing that much of the work is done outdoors poor weather conditions may reduce work activity at times. Builders generally need to be in good health.  A certain level of fitness and strength is required as you will most likely be expected to carry heavy objects on a regular basis.

Things Real Estate Agents Should Know About New Construction Projects

Any experienced real estate agents will say selling a new construction project is way different from selling an existing one. It can be exciting for both the buyer and the real estate agent when they close the deal for a new home. After all, the buyer will be the first to live in it or use it for their intended purpose. However, selling new construction is challenging and requires patience and perseverance from the real estate agent.

Selling new construction is an entirely different process.

The process for selling new construction is distinct from a resale transaction. There are extra steps that are unique to this type of sale. One of the first things real estate agents should take note of is the builder contract. They have the responsibility to outline the buyer’s rights outlined in the contract, including the deadline for the buyer’s ability to terminate without forfeiture of deposit money.

Buyers need a real estate agent for a reason.

For buyers, purchasing new construction can be intimidating. Often, they will deal with the builder’s own sales agent. The buyers, in turn, need their own agent who will look after their best interests. Without one, they will be exposing themselves to a lot of risks with what is usually their most significant investment.

The builder’s contract requires close analysis.

As agents get more experience in new construction projects, they may notice that the process is easier than resale transactions. There won’t be a lot of negotiations over earnest money, deadlines, and post-inspection repairs. The key here is to analyze the wording of the builder’s contract.

Financing can be tricky for new construction projects.

Financing can be tricky for new construction deals compared to resale transactions. Dealing with an unfinished home that can take months before it’s ready poses a significant risk. If a buyer barely qualifies to purchase a home at the time of the contract

Builder Upgrades: Where to Splurge and Where to Wait.

I received a text from a friend earlier this week stating that she was headed to her builders’ design center and she wanted to know what she should upgrade on now and what she should wait on until later. This is a very important question, one you should never set foot in a design center until you have an answer to. Their job is to sell you on as many upgrades as possible and when you walk through their model homes, which feature all the upgrades, of course you want to upgrade everything, who wouldn’t? However, builders are not known for giving you the best deal on your upgrades, so they should be approached with caution

Of course, some things would be a pain to upgrade later or may be more cost effective to upgrade with the builder, so you need to have a clear game plan in place before you set foot in the design center! You want to prioritize correctly to spend your money on the things that add the most value to your home, both for your comfort and for future resale value

One other note, most builders will wrap the price of upgrades into your mortgage allowing you to pay for them over time. Whereas paying for upgrades after the fact will come out of your pocket. Obviously paying cash is wise, but if you know you want hardwood floors immediately but you will not have enough cash to pay for them anytime soon, you may want to consider upgrading them through your builder.

Your kitchen cabinetry! Go ahead and choose upgraded cabinetry now! What should you choose?  Taller cabinets that fill the space or go all the way to the ceiling. This will give your kitchen a more custom look. Choose a door style that is simple, no need to splurge here, however, do splurge for full overlay doors so you won’t see the gap between the doors and won’t have a center stile.  Also, soft close features are well worth the upgrade! I also like adding built-in trash cans and as much storage as possible, including cabinetry over the refrigerator!

All these upgrades will help your resale value and would be a total waste of money to replace later. However, if you want your cabinetry painted, you can wait on that. Just choose their basic color and either DIY it or hire someone to paint them your desired color after the fact.


Just over three years ago moved into our brand new home (and I shared the pros and cons of building new vs. buying existing). Today I want to share some of the things now know about building a new home that wish known four years ago when started considering a build

Don’t confuse the base price with the actual price of the home. Realize you will be quoted a cost for the home itself, but that you will need to plan on plenty of upgrade costs as well. The upgrade cost will depend on the choices you make about the design of your home, but the cost to get roughly the same upgrades varies widely from builder to builder. A sales agent such with in with the amazing “base price” of the home, and then you to choose a lot and put down a deposit before you have any idea how much the upgrades will add to the price of the home.

Don’t assume that anything you see in a builder’s model home comes standard. We visited a builder in our area that advertises low home prices, and were shocked to find out how much of what we saw in the model was an upgrade. I knew that the granite countertops would be an upgrade, but the entire kitchen layout was an upgrade costing $10,000, and the master bathroom layout was another upgrade costing nearly as much. Window sills were an upgrade. A garage door opener was an upgrade. Central air was an upgrade

Don’t take the sales agent’s word for it on upgrade prices without verification. We dealt with three different agents at three different builders. All of them could tell us up front what the base price of the home we were interested in was, but they varied widely in how much they could tell us about upgrade costs and how accurate what they told us was. One agent gave us an estimate of “what most people pay” in upgrades that ended up being only about half of what the upgrades we wanted would have cost. Another agent promised costs that turned out to be nowhere near true.

Don’t forget to ask for incentives. Your sales agent may be able to offer “incentives” that will reduce the total cost of the home. Ask about current promotions on the base price of the home, possible design center credit toward upgrades, and the preferred lender incentive. (And ask more than once. All they can do is say no, right? And you might be surprised when they say yes.)