Certified Professional Home Builder Program

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Certified Professional Home Builder (CPHB) Program of Georgia
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. That is, if you choose your next home carefully.
How do you get a deal AND avoid potential hidden problems and costs?
Buy new from a Certified Professional Home Builder. Buying a new home doesn’t 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; 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.  CPHBs have made the investment to be professional by agreeing to adhere to set standards.
The CPHB program is a residential builder certification program that helps builders maximize their professionalism, customer service and homeowner satisfaction. With 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.
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 requirement.

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 calls for a formal complaint process with investigation.

Renewal: CPHB members must renew membership annually. License renewal is every other year.

The Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association 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 Greater Atlanta HBA 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 cannot address the specific quality of a new home. The home buyer is encouraged to discuss the program with his or her Certified Professional Home Builder and to contact The Housing Institute, Inc. for more specific information about the program.

Board of Directors, Committee Members and Staff


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Board of Directors
John Cooper, President
Cooper Homes, Inc.

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Michael Smith, VP/Treasurer
Harcrest Homes

Kirk Boggs, Certification
Benchmark Homes, Inc.

Frank O. Brown, Jr., Certification
Weissman, Nowack, Curry & Wilco, P.C.

David Clough, Dispute Resolution
Waterford Homes, Inc.

David Ellis, Executive Vice President
Greater Atlanta HBA

Fred Elsberry, Dispute Resolution
Better Business Bureau

Donnie Hensler, Education
WaltonCounty

Lori Lane, Outreach
Prudential Georgia Realty

Gary Lewis, Certification
Georgia Association of Home Inspectors

Judy Mozen, Education
Handcrafted Homes, Inc.

Tony Perry, Past President
Big Red Construction, Inc.

Steve Smith, Fundraising
Triton Industries

Morgan Wheeler, DisputeResolution
WaltonCounty

Randy Wilhite, Fundraising
Northwest Exterminating Co., Inc.

Committee Members 

Certification

Dan O’Dwyer
Dwyer Homes Inc.

Bob Hrehor
BDH Associates, Inc.

Education

Gary Englebert
DeKalb County Building Inspections

Fundraising

Josh Yudin
XM Radio

Steve Bragg
WKHX FM/WYAY FM

Outreach

Gary Duncan
Georgia Association of Home Inspectors

The Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association Staff

Valerie Siegel, Education Manager
678-775-1469
770-934-8363 fax

 

 

Current / Renewing Builders

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Renewing Your Certified Professional Home Builder of Georgia (CPHB) Designation

Please review your official CPHB Certificate or review your CPHB BuilderFusion file for your company’s anniversary date. At renewal, you will be required to continuously meet the initial program criteria (i.e. insurance, etc.) but will not have to attend another CPHB orientation or resubmit references. The Housing Institute will need you to update your current file. You also will need to meet the 16-hour education requirement and provide any materials relating to any new CPHB policies and procedures.

All CPHB renewals are due on the first of the month. Renewal packets are sent two months prior to your certification anniversary date. Failure to renew will result in immediate termination from the CPHB program on the first of the month. All CPHBs who extend beyond their renewal date for any reason will be assessed a $25 fee for each month they remain in the renewal process after their anniversary date.

If you have questions regarding the renewal process, please contact Valerie Siegel at 678-775-1469.

Marketing Your Status

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There are many different ways to promote and recognize your designation as a Certified Professional Home Builder of Georgia.

CPHB Logo and Promotional Items
Use the CPHB logo on all of your marketing collateral (letterhead, business cards, signs, advertising, etc.) You may request the logo by contacting cphb@atlantahomebuilders.com or 678-775-1469.

The HBA Bookstore has many promotional items such as CPHB yard signs and CPHB shirts. You must be a current CPHB purchase these items. .

CPHB and First Multiple Listing Service (FMLS)
CPHB and FMLS have negotiated an agreement to have CPHB be searchable criteria on the FMLS data listing. This comes from a request by the real estate community and allows Realtors to search for homes by the CPHB designation. Visit www.fmls.com for more information.

Articles and Marketing Documents
New Home Purchase and Sale Agreement Addendum
Residential Home Renovation Agreement Addendum
Construction Agreement Addendum
Press Release for New Designees
10 Ways to Market Your Status as a CPHB

Prospective Builders

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To become a Certified Professional Home Builder of Georgia (CPHB), applicants must provide financial, homeowner, trade contractor, supplier and other references. They also must submit proof of insurance; agree to abide by a code of ethics; offer a limited warranty; follow a set of building performance standards; agree to offer mandatory binding arbitration in all contracts; offer a customer service warranty plan; and home inspection clause. For a list of frequently asked questions click here.

Application Process

Please read these documents very closely as Certified Professional Home Builders must continually adhere to specific requirements.

Register for the next CPHB orientation. The orientation describes the benefits of earning the CPHB designation and covers the complete application and renewal processand all application and renewal criteria. NO APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED IF THE PRINCIPAL OF YOUR COMPANY HAS NOT ATTENDED THE ORIENTATION.

Print and thoroughly review the following documents.
CPHB Letter
CPHB Frequently Asked Questions
CPHB Application Cover Sheet
CPHB Application
CPHB Policies and Procedures
CPHB Advertising Rules
CPHB Education Policies and Procedures
CPHB Education Reference Card

Complete the application cover sheet, application, application reference form and provide requested information (proof of current insurance, limited warranty, etc.). APPLICATIONS MISSING ANY ITEM(S) ON THE CHECKLIST WILL BE RETURNED. If your application is returned, it will slow the application process and you may be assessed a penalty.

Submit completed application package to:
The Greater Atlanta Home Builder Association
P.O. Box 450749
Atlanta, GA 31145

If you have remaining questions after reviewing the CPHB Application Frequently Asked Questions, please email cphb@atlantahomebuilders.com or (678) 775-1469.

Real Estate Professionals

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Behind every successful real estate agent is a long list of repeat or referred home buyers. Selling the CPHB program to prospective home buyers is one of the easiest sales you can make and one of the safest ways to guarantee repeat business. You have plenty of sound reasons to choose a CPHB for your home buyer. To receive a free copy of the CPHB Directory and Buyer’s Guide or to receive information on our free CPHB Realtor Orientation, e-mail your name and address to cphb@atlantahomebuilders.com.

  • To search for a Certified Professional Home Builder click here.
  • In the event you or your client have a dispute with a CPHB, please review the CPHB dispute resolution guidelines. You also may speak to a consumer advocate by calling 678-775-1470.

To read a special Georgia Realtor article on the benefits of working with a CPHB, please click here (part 1) and here (part 2).

Time = Money
Using a CPHB will save you time checking references and gathering information on a client’s new builder. The directory provides all the necessary information to impress a client about your knowledge of Georgia’s top builders. It also includes a resource section that will help as you work through the selling process. Keep the directory handy as a quick reference for your daily needs and questions!

Warranty = Accountability
In addition to all the criteria CPHBs must meet, the builder must provide an approved, written home warranty, and every builder must adopt accepted guidelines in the warranty. CPHBs also must agree to submit to a dispute resolution process.

Knowledge = Professionalism
Use this directory as another tool to help you educate your home buying prospects. The profile provides you with an abundance of information to sell any savvy home buyer on the benefits of teaming up with a CPHB for their new home.

Happy Home Buyers = Repeat Business
Use this Directory. Carry it with you. Let the CPHB program sell itself. All you have to do is tell the home buyer about the CPHB program, and you’ll be one step closer to selling a home and creating another satisfied home buyer.

Search FMLS for CPHBs
First Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (FMLS) and The Housing Institute (THI) formed a one-of-a-kind partnership that allows CPHB to be listed as searchable criteria in the FMLS database. The CPHB designation is listed in the special circumstances field in FMLS. Listing agents can list property as being “CPHB-certified,” and buyer agents can search for CPHB properties by selecting “CPHB” as a criterion. Be sure to check out FMLS’s 1st Connection for CPHB listings.

The Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association 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 Greater Atlanta HBA 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 cannot address the specific quality of a new home. The home buyer is encouraged to discuss the program with his or her Certified Professional Home Builder and to contact The Housing Institute, Inc. for more specific information about the program