Residential Contractors

In residential building a contractor not only has to know how to build the structure but also have a good grasp of the building codes and covenants in the area where the home will be built. Because of the specific concerns of each area of the country some methods may be allowed while others prohibited. For example, homes in hurricane-prone areas like Florida will require windows to be able to withstand a designated amount of impact resistance because they are in a “wind-borne debris region.” In addition there are regions where foundations have to be built stronger while in others basements are not allowed. These are all concerns of building contractors and why they have to know the codes in these places.

Building a home or having a modular home installed on a foundation requires planning that begins with the prospective homebuyer's imagination. This could originate from a picture in a magazine or a software program in an architect's office. Whatever the source it is the contractor's job to take that idea and make it into a dream home. This is as much a priority as getting the financing because a person has to know what they want before they know if they can afford it.

Type of Home

Deciding on the type of home can be a tough decision because there are so many styles to from which to choose. The area where the home is to be built will play a part in the design requirements especially if covenants apply. For example, some neighborhoods require brick fronts with earth-tone home colors. In the Rocky Mountain areas many neighborhoods have log homes or log-like siding that emulates a log home.

For many people financing will also come into play when choosing a design. In some areas modular homes are actually more expensive than getting one built from scratch. However, if the home is to be built in a rural area, where there are no other homes in the immediate vicinity, then the home builder can pretty well choose whatever design he or she wants.


In no other time in history have materials changed so much as in the past fifty years. In 1950, the newest wall innovation was sheetrock and linoleum floors were covering the old hardwood surfaces. In addition formica and aborite were deemed as miracle surfaces for tables and countertops. In the 1970's plywood replaced tongue-and-groove lumber as sheathing for siding and roofs and wall-to-wall carpeting became the flooring of choice. As well, single-paned windows went to twin-sealed units and the dishwasher became a standard addition to the kitchen

Today, every part of the home has been changed right down to the waterproofing of the basement. Oriented strand board has replaced plywood and people have changed out their carpets for solid surface floors. As the price of electricity and fuel escalates appliances are being built for their energy efficiency and the new heating systems are improving in technology to the heating costs down. Windows, insulation, laminate flooring and stamped concrete are all examples of how new materials have bot changed the face of building while providing money-saving value.


Keeping up with the new trends in building and the materials has not been an easy task for the builders. In the 1950's, sheetrock put building a home in the hands of almost every builder because it replaced one of the last specialized processes: plastering. Now homes could not only be made faster and cheaper bit the level of expertise for walls no longer took years to acquire. Drywalling crews had a shorter learning curve so workers could be trained to do the job in months instead of years. And this meant that fewer homes were sitting idle waiting for professional plasterers to finish the walls.

However, new techniques in building meant that a contractor had to be more than just a good carpenter. Anyone who oversaw the building of a home had to be licensed, which meant school time was needed to learn other skills like accounting and the newest technical advancements. No longer could these strengths be learned entirely on the job. Today a contractor has to know where to go to get everything from an excavator to a solar water-heating system.

The Lot

If the homebuilder already has a lot or piece of land then it is the job of the contractor to build the home on that spot based on the rules in that area and any physical constraints there may be on the land, like a swamp or a steep slope. In rural areas the type of land can decide what kind of a well and/or septic system to construct. For example, there is a percolate or “perk” test that decides the rate in which water drains and this is the main factor deciding the type of septic or waste system that can be built there. If water will not drain quickly then there is a good chance that the county will not authorize a standard system.

These are points to consider before building a home. For information on contacting a contractor consult or Contractor Directory or post your project online.

Posted by: TrustedPros
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