Dispute Resolution

The homebuilding process combines thousands of components, including national, state and local codes and a multitude of building, electrical, mechanical and plumbing processes. All of these components usually are done by at least 100 different tradesmen working together to create a finished home for the home buyer. Although Certified Professional Home Builders (CPHB) strive for perfection, it is nearly impossible to guarantee that a home will be built without any imperfections.

CPHBs strive to provide customer satisfaction, but unfortunately, disputes occasionally arise. Certified Professional Home Builders (CPHB) must offer a home warranty, provide a customer service plan and agree to The Housing Institute’s (THI) dispute resolution process. THI has also partnered with GuildQuality to perform customer satisfaction surveys, and are currently being utilized for internal improvements.

If you should find a defect in your home, first locate your home warranty and follow the customer service process provided by your builder.

If you have followed your builder’s process and still feel your concerns have not been addressed, you may contact THI.

Although THI has no legal authority during the resolution process to make demands of performance on either the home builder or the home owner, they strive to facilitate communication between the home owner and the builder. The CPHB program does require builders to respond to the concern, and builders who fail to follow the dispute resolution guidelines are subject to review by THI’s Dispute Resolution Committee. Additionally, concerns received on CPHBs are reviewed annually, at the time of builder company’s renewal in the program. The Dispute Resolution Committee will review CPHBs who receive concerns that equal 3 percent of the total permits the builder pulls in a year. The committee has the authority to further investigate, sanction, reprimand or recommend termination from the program.

To register a concern, please follow the guidelines below and submit a written letter to the consumer advocate at THI. Guidelines below were compiled from the Better Business Bureau, Clark Howard’s Consumer Action Center and the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association and are located at www.cphb.org.

Please list the following in your letter:

Your Builder’s Name

Builder’s Company Name and Address

Date your home was built: Month and Year

Date you occupied your home: Month and Year

Did you purchase the home from the builder? If not, how many previous owners have there been?

Is your builder a Certified Professional Home Builder?

(If you are unsure, we will verify his/her CPHB status when we receive your complaint.)

If your builder is a member of the Certified Professional Home Builder program, he/she has agreed to the customer satisfaction guidelines and has adhered to the CPHB program’s criteria in order to retain his/her designation. As a CPHB, a separate certified letter will be sent reminding the builder of the criteria that he/she agreed to under the program and requiring him/her to respond within 30 days.

Did you sign a warranty?
Is your dispute a warranty, code or cosmetic item? If your complaint is a warranty item, please reference and include the applicable warranty documentation with your complaint.

Explain your dispute.

When explaining the dispute, do so in a professional and factual manner.
Credibility and focus can be lost to the reader when name-calling or frustration becomes apparent in your writing.

Document the facts as they occurred.
Keep good records of names, dates and actions that have occurred. With your letter, provide any copies of documentation you may have; be sure to clearly reference your documentation.

State what you would like done to resolve your dispute.
Let the builder know what you would like to have done to make you a satisfied customer.

Be realistic and honest.
You may even give the builder different solutions that reflect different levels of satisfaction you would have if the requests were done.

State a specific timeframe in which you would like to have the work done.
Again, be reasonable. Take into account mail delivery time and the builder’s current scheduling. (Demanding something be done when it is impossible for a builder to accomplish could get an automatic “no” and slow down the process.)

Include your name and contact information (address, home/work/cell phone numbers, fax and e-mail).
Let the builder know how to reach you and when the best time is to contact you.

Please send your letter to the contact information below.

The Housing Institute, Inc.
Consumer Affairs
P.O. Box 450791
Atlanta, GA 31145
Phone: (678) 775-1470
Fax: (770) 934-8363
consumer@atlantahomebuilders.com

Again, The Housing Institute, Inc. has no legal authority over the builder or the home owner but strives to facilitate dispute resolution. Real estate agents are also encouraged to read the Certified Professional Home Builder Program Policies and Procedures, a copy of which is available on THI’s Web site at www.cphb.org.

The Housing Institute, Inc. uses its best efforts to determine a builder’s qualification for certification as a Certified Professional Home Builder. While the program recognizes the professionalism of a builder, The Housing Institute, Inc. does not make any warranty or representation, express or implied, to home buyers or others and has not inspected the construction of any home and, therefore, does not and can not address the specific quality of a new home. The home buyer is encouraged to discuss the program with their Certified Professional Home Builder and to read the Certified Professional Home Builder program Policies and Procedures, a copy of which is available from The Housing Institute, Inc. or on its Web site at www.cphb.org.