With all of the floor plans, supplier links, and details of the panelization process found on their web site, it is easy to get confused about what roll Barden Homes really plays in your new home.  It is important to understand that Barden Homes Is NOT Your House Builder.

OK, So What Do They Do?

Think of Barden as your engineer, consultant, and supplier.  They provide you with floor plans to choose from as a starting point (and potentially ending point, if you are happy with their stock plan), and provide the drafting and engineering to modify the plan to suit your needs.  They also consult on laws and rules for your area, such as how high a chimney must be, whether you are required to have a railing in certain areas, etc…

Their Main Role = Supplier of Building Materials

Out of those three roles, their biggest is being the chief supplier of materials for your home.  You pick a floor plan, and customize it.  They sell you the core materials needed to build the home.  Throughout the customization process, they recalculate the material cost for you.  When I say core materials, I don’t mean everything you need to get the job done.  There is quite a bit that you have to take care of outside of Barden.

drywall Some of the materials they DO NOT include:

  • Drywall
  • Flooring
  • Wiring
  • Plumbing
  • Heating/Cooling
  • Lighting
  • Concrete
  • Insulation
  • Paint
  • Tile
  • Fixtures

While I can certainly understand that providing fixtures, flooring, etc… would be very difficult, since everyone has different taste, why not provide drywall?  I would think that they could buy in such large quantities that they could make money off of reselling it, and even pass some savings on to the buyer.  Oh well!   I guess drywall could be considered a personal taste item as well, since some people prefer paneling or tile.

trusses Some of the materials they DO include:

  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Trusses
  • Walls (studs and plywood or MDF)
  • Trim
  • Roofing (shingles)
  • Siding
  • Decking (though I’ve heard it’s over priced)
  • Decorative Columns
  • Stairs and Railings
  • Vanities and Cabinets for kitchens and baths
  • Countertops for Kitchen and Baths
  • Chase for your fireplace
  • Garage Doors
  • Bilco Doors to basement
  • Structural materials (Floor joists, etc…)

OK, So Who the Heck Builds Our Home Then?

So, you’re probably wondering if you need to invest in some building equipment to erect your house on you own.  Absolutely not!  In our case, our Barden Homes salesman is also a general contractor.  This means he already had quite a bit of experience in working with Barden’s materials and building Barden Homes. 

I would like to mention that our salesman made it very clear that we were welcome to do as much or as little of the work ourselves as we wanted to.  So, for example, if you are an electrician and would like to wire your own home, or want to do the tiling, you’re allowed to do that.  In our case, I think I’ll leave it to the professionals, though I may network the house and paint a bit.

If your salesperson is not a general contractor, he or she can direct you to one with Barden Homes experience.  Our salesman informed us that building a Barden Home is identical to building a stick-built home, only the deliveries of materials come in the correct order, and the time-consuming sections are pre-built.  This means, that any builder could work the Barden Homes product.

Our Salesman Couldn’t Be Our General Contractor

Our timeframe, and our salesman’s timeframe for starting our home didn’t line up, from a scheduling perspective.  He was scheduled to be working on a different building project when we wanted to get started.  This obviously concerned us quite a bit, as we had gotten comfortable working with him, and established trust.

Luckily, our salesman was willing to contact his boss (a Barden Regional Rep), to see if he was willing to be our general contractor.  The stars must have been in-line, because he agreed and is now going to be our general contractor.  This may not seem like that big of a deal, but the new general contractor has built around 300 Barden Homes!  Our salesman had built 11!  Not only is the new general contractor very experienced, he’s built the same floor plan we decided on multiple times in the past!  We are very blessed that it turned out this way.