hbuild53 (hastek build for FreeBSD 5.3 onward) is a script package to help build FreeBSD base systems. It makes sense if you have multiple systems to build.
hbuild53 will work on FreeBSD 4.x - however the base kernel configuration file will not - as of 5.2.1 the base kernel configuration file is too different.
hbuild53 provides automation for some of the things you might typically do after a base FreeBSD installation. This is relatively simple stuff but has saved me time when building/rebuilding/upgrading multiple systems.
This idea will probably make sense to those who build multiple machines, and will not make sense if you work with one or two systems only..
This package is intended to help start a server build (not to be installed over existing systems, though it probably won't hurt anything to do so), assuming you will be building
other applications later as you build your final platform.
This package is specific to FreeBSD 5.3-RELEASE onward. It will upgrade your ports tree, install ports, create some customizations, and provide some sysadmin packages, such as log archivers, a chroot'ed BIND builder, a heirarchichal unix platform backup system, shows how to set up serial console, a new kernel, and ipf for packet filtering.
Each hbuild subdirectory has bits you might be able to adapt into your own system administration.
You will need a reasonably fast internet connection for the ports. Why install ports rather than packages? You don't have to, but I always thought it's better to build the software on the particular system, although it takes longer.