How Do I Become a Residential Builder?

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  • Written By: Keith Koons
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2019
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It is not as easy as people think to become a residential builder; there is usually quite a long process involved since people will depend on you to make their homes safe. Many builders start by attending a college or vocational school to learn the tricks of the trade. A residential home builder has to be an expert in all areas of construction from electrical to septic systems to building code standards, much of which you'll learn by working within the industry. Once your knowledge is up to par and you're ready to set off on your own, you will have to obtain insurance and pass a series of tests that are conducted by your local government. If that goes well, there will be a bunch of accreditation-type paperwork to complete, and you'll officially become a residential builder.

While many opt to attend a traditional college or vocational school, there are just as many residential builders in the world who learn the industry from on-the-job experience. Residential construction is certainly a field with a vast amount of variety, however, so most residential construction experts do attend some form of school before they are anywhere near ready to become certified. Many in the field may work as electricians, for example, while studying building codes or plumbing in a local evening program. There is no wrong way to become a residential builder though, so choose the path that makes sense to you.


In order to become certified in the residential development industry, builders will have to pass a series of tests that prove their knowledge. A builder has to be proficient and know the regional standards for plumbing, electrical systems, construction, and drainage. These tests are normally designed to be extremely difficult. That is why even some very few well-rounded construction workers never start their own businesses.

One of the final steps to become a residential builder is obtaining insurance and registering with the region you will be working in. While this may sound easy, many areas are very strict about handing out licenses, so you may end up dealing with a whole lot of paperwork. As long as your certifications are up to date and you've passed your tests, this final aspect is more of a formality than anything you've completed so far.


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