Building a new construction home is so exciting and yet it may seem like an overwhelming process at first. However, with the right experienced team working alongside you and your vision, you should be well equipped to handle the in’s and out’s of the process. Your real estate agent, lender, and the builder all understand what needs to be done and when. In this post, we’ll dive deeper into the actual building process of a new construction home and what needs to be done in what specific order.
The general process for building a home goes as follows, although it can vary from region to region and builder to builder, especially if you’re building an elaborate custom home. Be sure to be in good communication with your builder about their specific procedures.
- Prepare the construction site and pour the foundation
- Complete rough framing of the structure
- Complete rough plumbing, electrical, and HVAC (short for heating, ventilation, air conditioning)
- Install insulation
- Complete drywall and interior fixtures, start exterior finishes
- Finish interior trim, install exterior walkways and driveway
- Install hard surface flooring, countertops, and complete exterior grading
- Finish mechanical trims, install bathroom fixtures
- Install mirror, shower doors, finish flooring, exterior landscaping
- Final walk through
Step one is preparing the construction site and pouring the foundation. This stage is going to include applying for and acquiring necessary permits, having the construction crew do the dirt work to level the building site, placing wooden forms for the temporary foundation, and installing footings for the foundation. Permits will allow the builder to have local government approval for everything from zoning to the grade of the land to installing septic systems and actual construction. Site preparation for the dirt work will include clearing the land of trees and rocks using heavy equipment, as well as installing footings, which are concrete structures where teh house interfaces with the earth that supports it. If your home has a well or a full basement, both of those will be dug at this point. When this first step is complete, an inspector will visit the site to make sure the foundation is up to code. When the building is signed off, it’s time to move on.
Step two is to complete the rough framing, which is where the structure literally begins to take shape with the wood skeleton of the house coming together. After the flooring system, walls and roof systems are completed, plywood is secured to the exterior walls and roof and then the windows and exterior doors are installed. It’s really starting to look like your new home! The wood, or sheathing, is then covered with a protective barrier known as house wrap which prevents liquid from infiltrating the structure and reduces the likelihood of wood rot and mold.
Phew! Only two steps in and you have a pretty formed shell of a house! Let’s cover the next few steps. Step three on the list is to complete the rough plumbing, electrical and HVAC, so that means the following will be installed: pipes and wires, sewer lines and vents, water supply lines, bathtubs and shower units, and then ductwork and vent pipes for the HVAC. Doing all of these items simultaneously does make the most sense, for instance, if you have a large tub or one-piece shower unit, you will want this placed in the home before the drywall is installed and it makes it tricky to maneuver through halls. Exterior siding and roofing are most likely going on at this same time, and these contractors are coordinating together to make sure that HVAC vent pipes are installed in the correct places through the roof. After the roof goes on, electricians install outlets, lights, switches, and run wires from the breaker panel to each receptacle. Usually three inspections are done throughout this part of the process as well to make sure the structure complies with building codes.
Moving onto step four, installing the insulation means that the home will keep a more comfortable, consistent indoor climate while improving the home’s energy efficiency. There are several types of insulation options, and you can go over these with your builder, such as fiberglass, cellulose, foam mineral wool, concrete blocks, spray foam, structural insulated panels or foam board. One of the most important qualities of insulation is its thermal performance, which indicates how well the material resists heat transfer. Most homes are insulated on all exterior walls, as well as the attic and any floors that are located above unfinished basements or crawl spaces.
Step five of completing the drywall and interior fixtures ensures that drywall is hung and taped and textured, a primary coat of paint is applied, as well as exterior finishes such as brick, stucco, stone or siding, are installed. Drywall hides the boards it is hung on and the seams of the drywall are taped and it’s all textured to provide a fluid, finished look in the interior of the home.
Next comes step six where the interior trim, including doors, window sills, and decorative trim will be installed, as well as cabinets, vanities, and fireplace mantles if you have any. Walls will get their final paint of coat or wallpaper. This step also usually includes installing exterior walkways and driveways at this point, so as to avoid heavy equipment damaging the pavement or concrete, but it depends on the builder.
The project is really moving a long now and the house is looking quite finished! Let’s cover steps seven, eight, and nine. Step seven will be installing hard surface flooring throughout the home, such as ceramic tile, vinyl or wood as well as installing the countertops. Exterior projects during this step include final grading to make sure theres proper drainage in your yard and preparing for landscaping. Step eight will be finalizing mechanical trims such as light fixtures, outlets and HVAC registers completed. The bathrooms should be looking done at the end of this step with the completion of sinks, toilets, and faucets. Step nine and the finish line is in sight! Just a few more finishing touches of installing mirrors, shower doors and final cleanup throughout the property. Outside, the landscaping is getting planted and completed. An inspection usually takes place after all these tasks are completed. If any defects are found at this stage, a follow-up inspection will be scheduled as well.
YOU DID IT! Well, maybe your great building team did most of the work, but building a new construction home is no joke and there’s a lot of emotions as the buyer that goes into the process as well! So give yourself a minute for congratulations, as the last step in this building process is your final walk-through with the builders. This is where you can spot items that need to be corrected or adjusted. Your builder will go through all the bells and whistles of the home and how to use the systems, as well as explain the necessary maintenance and upkeep or the warranty coverage. It’s your job to spot items to correct now, so be attentive. Look for surfaces of countertops, fixtures, floors, and walls to name a few. It’s now time to officially make it your new home, so you will work with your real estate agent and title company from here to complete the process. Now comes the fun part, moving in and making the space exactly what your family needs for many years to come! Enjoy and hopefully you’ll have learned many things throughout the building process that you can share with others looking to take on a similar house project.
This information was compiled from this article: https://www.newhomesource.com/learn/step-by-step-guide-to-home-building-process/