A residential builder is a builder who specializes in constructing residences. Also known as a homebuilder, a residential builder can construct anything from an individual custom home which has been developed to exacting specifications to homes in a large real estate development. Like other types of builders, residential builders handle the numerous contractors involved in construction, from the people who dig the foundations to the crew that puts the roof on a home.
When a residential builder is approached about a construction job, he or she visits the site to learn more about it, talks with the architect who designed the project about the plans, and develops an estimate for the client. The estimate includes all costs associated with the project, laid out in a document which breaks the costs down so that people understand how the builder arrived at the estimate. Once the estimate is approved, the residential builder starts work.
Residential builders are the coordinators of the construction site. With the architect's drawings in hand, they find people to perform all of the work, including establishing foundations, framing and siding, roofing, and interior finishing such as plumbing, wiring, and drywalling. Residential builders can also order and install appliances, flooring, cabinetry, and other accessories, delivering a complete finished home at the end of the job.
Residential builders also handle tasks like ordering supplies, controlling supply costs, managing waste, confirming that all of the contractors and employees are qualified for the work, and working with property inspectors to ensure that the structure meets the building code. Typically, a residential builder has a large staff so that it can have several projects underway at once, and the staff includes people experienced in many different aspects of construction, from lawyers who handle construction issues to foremen with extensive experience in the field.
The services offered by a residential builder can vary widely. Many choose to specialize in particular types of projects, such as green homes, housing developments, custom homes, or homes of a particular style. When seeking a residential builder, people should definitely plan to meet with multiple builders, and they may want to ask their architect for recommendations, and consider asking around in the community to learn about the reputations of various building firms. It is also a very good idea to confirm that the builder has a valid business license and that the contractor's license associated with the firm is in good standing.