In addition to all the benefits of being a home owner, new homes offer safety, amenities, energy efficiency and a lifestyle like never before.
Technology Brings Safety ... Technological advances mean that today's homes are safer, because new homes take advantage of breakthroughs in building science. For example, hard-wired and interconnected smoke alarms bring a new level of fire safety to new homes. Furthermore, new fire-resistant construction materials, such as better electrical wiring, mean less chance of a dangerous electrical fire.
New Homes = Energy Efficiency ... Building codes along with standards such as NAHB's Green Building Standard, ENERGY STAR®, and WaterSense® mean that your builder can choose from an ever-expanding array of products and materials to make a house more energy, water and resource efficient.
New Homes Offer Buyers A Choice ... People want to be able to personalize their home with their own tile, flooring and appliance choices. In a new home, the consumer can select virtually everything down to the knobs on their kitchen cabinets. It's all part of the American Dream.
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The quality of a new home is largely determined by the skill of the building professional that constructs it. Shop for a builder as carefully as you might shop for a surgeon.
Where to Start ... Make a list of potential builders using our Find A Builder search tool.
Look Around ... Once you have a list of licensed builders, learn about their reputation and the quality of their work. The best way to do this is to visit homes they have built and talk with the owners. Reputable builders should be more than willing to provide references for their work.
Shop for Quality and Value ... Events like the HBA's Parade of Homes, model homes and open houses offer great opportunities to determine the quality and value of a home firsthand. Look at both furnished and unfurnished homes to determine construction quality. Inspect the cabinetry, carpeting, trim work and paint. Ask questions and take copious notes.
Service After the Sale ... Many builders back their work with Home Warranties on workmanship and materials. Other builders offer warranties backed by an insurance company. Regardless, find out what kind of service you can expect after the sale.
In joining the HBA, all members agree to abide by our Code of Ethics. By doing so, members demonstrate to home owners, potential home owners and others in this industry that they take pride in their profession and will do their best to provide the highest quality work possible.
Code of Ethics...HBA members believe and affirm that they shall:
- Deal fairly and honestly with their clients, customers, government agencies, the public, and each other;
- Never commit any act which would tend to reflect on, discredit, or bring into disrepute any segment of the building and management industry;
- Encourage research and education to develop new materials, new construction techniques, advance management practices, new construction equipment, improved methods of financing, improved personal and company relationships, to the end that we all may enjoy a better society;
- Engage in practices and legislation on the local, county, state, and national levels which encourage competition and promote the free enterprise system.
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Home owners and potential home owners in southeastern Michigan have access to professionals who've invested time and money to improve their skills, advance their careers and be recognized for commitment to professional growth by earning designations from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
NAHB has the most targeted curriculum, accomplished teachers and widely respected education opportunities in the business. Finding a builder who has completed one or more of these certification programs is your first step to a successful project. These certifications include:
- Certified Graduate Builder (CGB) emphasizes business and project management skills. CGBs must have at least two years of home building experience and must successfully complete a series of classes specific to the needs of the home building industry, including business management, project management, building technology and safety. In addition, CGBs must demonstrate that they comply with State of Michigan requirements for workers' compensation and liability insurance as well hold a current, valid Michigan Builders and/or Maintenance & Alterations (M&A) license.
- Graduate Master Builder (GMB) designation is for seasoned builders with at least 10 years of experience and is the ultimate symbol of the building professional. GMBs must successfully complete a demanding curriculum of building industry courses which are more advanced, with in-depth instruction geared toward veteran building professionals.
- Certified Green Professional (CGP) teaches builders, remodelers and other industry professionals techniques for incorporating green building principles into homes - without driving up the cost of construction.
To earn and maintain these certifications, members must take NAHB-approved courses from a set curriculum and keep up with continuing education.
In order to ensure the process of purchasing or building your home is an enjoyable experience and that it is well constructed, it is important that you take an active role from the beginning. To help achieve satisfaction and avoid misunderstandings, home buyers who are buying or building a new home should take steps so there will be no unpleasant surprises. There are several things you can and should do to ensure your project meets all of your expectations.
- The importance of choosing the right builder cannot be underestimated. When you look for a builder, find someone with whom you can communicate and develop a positive working relationship.
- Make sure your builder is licensed, bonded and insured. Also ask for references from previous clients.
- Ask the builder for a copy of their warranty and take time to review it before you begin.
- Ensure that your builder has a good contract that covers all the issues of payment, performance, warranty schedule and dispute resolution.
- Don't necessarily take the lowest bid. A builder who is the right fit for your project will usually give you the best value - without cutting corners.
- Meet with your builder regularly during the course of construction to resolve any problems that come up during the course of the work (e.g., change orders, cost overruns, modifications in design, changes in specified materials).