A Building Designers, also known as a Professional Home Designer or Residential Design Professional, specializes in designing light-frame buildings such as single- or multi-family homes. In some cases, as state regulations permit, they may also design other light-frame commercial buildings, agricultural buildings, or even decorative facades for larger buildings. Having a general knowledge of all aspects of the building trade, a professional building designer can act as an agent to help the homeowner through the building or renovation process. A building designers can also be part of a Design-Build team.
A designer who carries the title Certified Professional Building Designer has completed training courses, practiced building design for at least six years, built a portfolio, and passed a rigorous series of certification exams. Receiving National Council of Building Designer Certification (NCBDC) commits this type of building professional to standards of conduct, ethics, and continued learning.
Each state determines the licensing and certification requirements needed to practice architecture. Unlike architects, home designers are not required to pass the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) to receive a professional license. Completing ARE, which is administered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, is one of the four steps to life in architecture.