NEW HOMES: The Shrewd Homebuying Guide
Fallacies of Builder Licensing
Many people assume that builders must pass through a comprehensive
testing and licensing procedure before being allowed to build homes,
and in some states, that's true. Unfortunately though, many states
have no builder licensing procedure, and others subject builders to
simple tests which have little to do with actual construction.
Quality is subjective and difficult to measure, and even those states
with more stringent licensing procedures cannot guarantee the quality
or structural integrity of a home. Therefore, don't be reassured just
because the builder is licensed. As a matter of fact, if one is licensed,
so are all the others.
If your state does require builders to be licensed (You can find
out from your Realtor® or the local building authority) you can
call the licensing body and have them send you the requirements for
that license. You'll at least be aware of the standards your builder
had to meet.
Finally, I have often noted with some humor that some builders and
remodelers, whose states do not require licensing, proudly display
a license number on their truck or business card. These builders,
one might assume, have gone beyond the necessary steps and have become
licensed anyway. Surely that would indicate a commitment to quality
and to their craft, right? Wrong! The license number displayed is
most likely a business license number, a requirement from the local
governing authority for all those conducting business in that area.
And the requirement for such a license? Pay a nominal fee. That's
all. And that's all it's worth. Not only am I not impressed by those
builders, I'm a bit suspicious because of this somewhat deceptive