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Certified Professional Home Builder Program

There’s no denying that if you are currently in a position to buy a new home or remodel
your existing home, now is great time to do so. It’s a buyer’s market. Interest rates are
low; there are unprecedented tax credits, and getting a deal is guaranteed. That is, if you
choose your next home carefully.

So how do you still get a deal AND avoid potential hidden problems and costs? Buy new
from a Certified Professional Home Builder. Buying a new home does not guarantee you
won’t have any problems, but it’s more than likely that you won’t. Everything is new. You
get a warranty in case something goes wrong, and usually the only thing you have to
worry about is paint color and where to put your furniture in your new home. A world of
difference that most will agree is worth the extra money.  

The CPHB program helps take the headaches and worries out of choosing your builder.
A Certified Professional Home Builder has met stringent requirements, including passing
a written building codes exam; providing 14 written references; meeting insurance
requirements; having their customers surveyed annually; completing 16 hours of
continuing education annually; providing a warranty; having a dispute resolution process
in place; and more. Building and remodeling a home requires a lot of patience and trust.
Choosing a professional contractor takes time and research, but in the end, you will be
glad you did.

The Housing Institute, Inc. Administers the only voluntary builder certification program of
its kind in Georgia. The Housing Institute is a non-profit subsidiary of the Greater Atlanta
Home Builders Association and is governed by board of directors from such
organizations as the Better Business Bureau, Georgia Association of Home Inspectors,
local county building inspectors, real estate agents, builders and other industry-related
fields. CPHBs have made the investment to be professional by agreeing to adhere to set
standards. The Housing Institute's mission is to promote the highest standards of
professionalism between the residential building industry and the community.

The CPHB program is a residential builder certification program that helps builders
maximize their professionalism, customer service and homeowner satisfaction. With the
onset of mandatory licensing for all Georgia builders, including CPHB members, the
CPHB designation offers a genuine distinction between CPHB members and other
residential builders. In the current slow and increasingly competitive housing market, that
advantage is especially critical.

By choosing a CPHB member when purchasing your new home, most of the research is
completed for you. When you choose a CPHB member as your home builder, you have
the following real advantages over most residential builders who are merely licensed
under Georgia’s new contractor licensing law. As you read these, consider where your
builder fits in:

•Education: The Licensing Law may require most residential builders to take only three
education hours per year. In contrast, CPHB members must have 16 hours each year-
more than five times as much.
•Code Certification: CPHB members must pass the ICC Residential Building Contractor C
Exam or its equivalent. The exempting period last year exempted many Georgia
contractors who could prove they had at least five years of experience. The Licensing
Law requires an exam for contractors who were not previously exempted.
•References: CPHB members must provide references from: one financial institution; five
home owners; three trade contractors; three suppliers; and, generally two CPHB
members. The Licensing Law only reviews one financial reference.
•Experience: A residential-basic contractor must have two years of residential
construction experience under the Licensing Law, while the CPHB Program requires at
least three years experience in residential construction.
•Focus: The Licensing Law doesn’t require that a builder’s primary business be
residential construction or remodeling. That is a CPHB program requirement.
•Building Volume: CPHB members must have entered into or closed residential
transactions of at least $750,000 or pulled five construction/remodeling permits in the
preceding 12 months.  Conversely, the Licensing Law requires most residential builders
to only have significant responsibility for successfully completing two residential projects
during the preceding two years.
•Insurance: CPHB members must have at least $500,000 of general liability insurance
and builder’s risk insurance. For most residential builders, the Licensing Law requires
only $300,000 of general liability insurance and no builder’s risk insurance.
•Code of Ethics: CPHB members must agree to comply with the National Association of
Home Builders Code of Ethics, while the Licensing Law doesn’t mandate compliance with
those standards.
•Membership in Local Homebuilders Association: Builder members of local home builder
associations generally have broader and more current industry knowledge and skills
than non-members because the former interact with other builders, participate in industry
committees and benefit from association educational programs. CPHB members must
join their local home builder association. The Licensing Law doesn’t impose that
•Warranty: The Licensing Law has a warranty provision, but it doesn’t mandate specific
coverage. CPHB members must use an approved warranty and warranty procedures or
ones substantially equivalent.
•Home Inspections: CPHB members must allow a qualified professional home inspector to
conduct a fair inspection. The Licensing Law doesn’t include this requirement.
•Mandatory Binding Arbitration: Arbitration is favored over litigation as a matter of
Georgia and federal public policy. Its advantages include reduced cost and time and
greater privacy, informality, flexibility and finality. CPHB members must offer arbitration to
home buyers. A similar requirement isn’t in the Licensing Law.
•Better Business Bureau Rating: CPHB members can’t have a negative rating with the
Better Business Bureau. The Licensing Law doesn’t have this requirement.  
•Dispute Resolution Process: The CPHB program has a dispute resolution process
designed to assist in the informal resolution of disputes that may arise between CPHB
members and home buyers. The Licensing Law has calls for a formal complaint process
with investigation.
•Renewal: CPHB members must renew membership annually. License renewal is every
other year.

Information by Atlanta Home Builders Association, No guarantee or warranty is implied as
to whether builders linked on this page are current members but all are licensed builders
in the State of Georgia.
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