By Tony Foust
Chairman/Certified Builder committee
Oklahoma State Home Builders Association
More than 2,500 individuals in the state consider themselves to be home builders, yet only 150 of these individuals are Certified Professional Builders. This group is the best of the best, showing a dedication and sincerity to the home building industry.
I was recently asked why a builder would not go through the certification process. This question is always tough for me, because I can't provide an adequate answer. In fact, I don't think there is one. To me, certification is a prerequisite for being a good builder.
While certification does come with requirements, many of these qualifications are things that good builders do regardless to protect themselves and the families for whom they are building.
For example, one of the Certified Professional Builder requirements is to have both liability insurance and a workers compensation policy. While we do our best to prevent accidents, in reality we know that they will occur. Having this coverage safeguards both our business the families we serve.
Certified Professional Builders also guarantee that they will build to code, as well as guarantee their work for at least one year. With the recent legislative passage of the state's first Uniform Building Code, all builders will need to build to code -- in rural areas or otherwise. This provides an initial layer of protection. Certification guarantees it.
Good builders should stand by their work, as well as be available to take care of issues should there be concerns. As an industry built on referrals, I think we all understand the value of happy clients and following through on the original commitments we made.
Certification is not without its perks. Most importantly, the Certified Professional Builder Program offers its members access to continuing education classes that allows these members to stay on top of new science and technology in the industry.
The way we build homes has changed in the last five years, let alone the last 20 or 30. Continuing education classes teach the new, best methods for home building. Families often have more confidence in Certified Professional Builders because they know that they are embracing the newest technologies and techniques to build better homes.
Certified Professional Builders have tremendous competitive advantages due to their accreditation. They are able to utilize the Certified Professional Builder logo on their marketing materials and be listed on the Oklahoma State Home Builders Association website as a builder committed to quality. All of this recognition lends credibility to the work of certified builders and shows that these builders are taking steps to maintain their status as one of the elite in the state.
With so many builders in our state, we must take the extra step to make a lifelong commitment to this industry. By becoming a Certified Professional Builder, you show your clients that you stand by your work and that you plan to be a leader in the industry for years to come.