A home builder builds new houses. He may be self-employed and sell what he constructs or work for a company that sells new homes. His job may require him to perform all phases of construction, or he may subcontract select jobs to other building professionals.
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Even if a home builder only performs limited tasks in constructing homes, he needs to have a clear understanding of all home construction processes from the basic building of the structure through the installations of electrical, plumbing, and heating and ventilation systems. He must be able to interpret blueprints and calculate the correct dimensions for each room. His job requires a thorough understanding of interior and exterior building materials, as well as lighting, kitchen and bathroom fixtures and operating systems. Skills in using hand and power tools are essential for this job.
In addition to industry-specific duties, a home builder's job includes communicating with a wide range of people. He must talk with contractors, vendors, prospective buyers and building inspectors before and during the construction process. If he works for himself, he has to be a skilled negotiator to get the best deals on materials and supplies. A home builder needs to adhere to work schedules and coordinate different phases of the building project to avoid labour overlaps that frequently increase overhead costs and reduce his profit margins.
New building construction atmospheres are normally noisy because of the range of power and hand tools being utilised. The air is typically laden with sawdust from cutting lumber and gypsum dust created by cutting and sizing drywall. In the initial stages of construction, a home builder may be exposed to inclement weather as he constructs the basic frames for houses. Home builders commonly wear clothes appropriate for manual labour, as well as protective hard hats. New home sites are typically strewn with building materials, tools, fasteners and fixtures.
Some companies prefer home builder job applicants to have an associate's degree in construction. Many only require a high school diploma or equivalent and provide on-the-job training or apprenticeships for new hires. Knowledge gained through previous construction industry jobs is often preferred. Classes in blueprint reading or project scheduling are helpful to applicants for this job.
Salary and Advancement Opportunities
According to SalaryList.com, the average annual salary for this job in the United States in 2009 was £25,704. This salary is highly dependent on the economic climate of the area where the job is located, as well as the experience of the builder. Increased salary opportunities for a home builder are commonly available only through contracting to build a greater number of more expensive houses.
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