The NAHB Research Center and KB Home, of Los Angeles, announced that KB Home will adopt a unique quality certification program developed by the NAHB Research Center's National Housing Quality (NHQ) Program throughout the country. KB Home is the first of the country's largest home builders to implement the program on a national scale. The certification program focuses on efficiency, accountability, and communication on the jobsite.

To become certified, contractors must complete 15 hours of classroom training; create a customized quality assurance program and manual; undergo random site evaluations; and participate in an annual audit in which they must demonstrate continuous improvement in the quality of their work in order to be re-certified every year.

Eventually, KB Home will require all of its trade partners to become certified through the NAHB Research Center to continue working for the company.

KB Home's nationwide roll-out follows a successful pilot program in the company's Las Vegas division. "The NAHB Research Center's program establishes quality standards of the highest caliber while providing third-party verification that those standards are being achieved," said Leah Bryant, regional general manager of KB Home, who spearheaded the pilot program in Las Vegas and will now be responsible for the nationwide roll-out.

"One of the biggest benefits of this program is the harmony that is created on the jobsite when all of the contractors have been through the same training," added Bryant. "They speak the same language and work together to deliver the utmost in quality assurance."

KB Home plans to begin the program in Southern California, followed by Texas in December 2003; New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Northern California in early 2004; and then in the Southeast.

*The NAHB reports fireplaces are the most popular amenity among new-home buyers; 60 percent of newly built dwellings have them. An increasing number of homeowners are opting for gas fireplaces that can be controlled by remote with flame and heat settings, sound effects, and incense to mimic wood fireplaces.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Los Angeles, CA.