Deciding to build a brand new home from the ground-up is an exciting moment. You finally have the chance to create your dream home exactly the way you’ve always imagined it. But the home-building process can also seem a little overwhelming. Floor plans, windows, electrical, and plumbing – how do you even know where to begin?
To help you know what to expect, here’s an overview of the home-building process:
Before you even begin thinking about clearing ground and pouring foundation, there is a lot of decision-making to be done prior to build.
First, you must plan the design of your new home. You will need to meet with an architect to plan every detail of your new home. Start with the larger concepts and then get more specific. Consider square footage, placement of the master bedroom, and kitchen layout. Do you want all of the bedrooms on the same floor? How many bathrooms do you think you’ll need?
To help you get started, read Building a Custom Home: Questions to Ask Yourself.
Also, to design a custom home with unique design impact, see the Top 10 Trendsetters in Home Building.
Purchase a lot
Next, to prepare to build your custom home, you will need to purchase a lot.
Sometimes there may be a plot of land that you’ve already fallen in love with, and you will design your custom home to its parameters. More commonly, you will want to design your dream home first and then find the appropriate lot to accommodate it. Often, your builder can help you determine if the land is question can ideally support your home design.
You have spent the time carefully designing the details of your new home and selecting the land on which you would like to live. Now the real work begins!
The first step in the home-building process is site preparation. At this point, expect things to get a little messy. Your newly purchased lot will be overrun with a backhoe, a bulldozer, and the like. Before any construction can begin, the first task is to clear and level the land. This includes removing any obtrusive debris, trees, and rocks, and prepping the land for the house’s foundation.
Next, it is time to begin digging. Holes and trenches will be dug for the foundation and footings will be installed. (Footings are the bottommost part of the foundation where the house meets the earth.) Once the footings are in place and an inspection has been completed (the first of many), the foundation concrete can be poured.
At this point in the home-building process, a basement and/or a well are also dug – if necessary – and another inspection is completed to prepare for the next step: framing.
In the framing step of the home-building process, you will begin to see your new home come to life. The floors, walls, and roofs are framed out of wood, creating the skeleton of your home.
After another inspection is passed, exterior finishes will be completed. Plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) sheathing will be applied to the exterior walls and the roof to seal off the inside. After sheathing, house wrap (a protective barrier that prevents water from entering the structure and causing mold or wood rot) is also applied.
Finally, windows and exterior doors are installed and the siding and roof are constructed.
Plumbing, electrical, and HVAC
Now that the skeleton of your new home is erect, it is time to install its inner-workings.
Your electrician and plumber will begin by running pipes and wires through the interior walls, ceilings, and floor. He/she will then install and configure all receptacles for outlets and light switches and configure the wiring for telephone and cable TV.
Next, sewer lines, vents, water supply lines, and HVAC ducts are also installed. At this point in the home-building process, bathtubs and shower units are moved into the house as it is easier to maneuver these large items with fewer obstacles in the way.
Finally, another round of inspections must be completed to confirm that the plumbing, framing, and electrical are all up to code.
After foundation, framing, and the configurations of electrical and plumbing, your new home is getting closer and closer to matching the picture in your mind.
The next step is to put up insulation and drywall. The drywall is then usually sanded, primed, and painted.
It is at this point that the construction starts to get a little less nuts-and-bolts and a little bit more fun. Any exterior finishes you may have planned, for example, brick, stucco, or stone detailing, will be installed. And any “extra” details (e.g. home security systems, solar panels, etc.) will be set up.
At this step, you are approaching the end of the home-building process and you are finally able to see your architect’s drawings become realized.
The custom flooring you selected will now be installed. The colors of the paint chips that you most likely deliberated over for hours will finally coat the walls of each room. In the kitchen, cabinets will go up and countertops will be installed. And any decorative trims or moldings will be completed.
Finally, the outstanding details of your new home will all come together. Faucets, light fixtures, and appliances will be mounted. Any remaining electrical tasks will be resolved. Sinks, toilets, and shower doors will be put in, carpeting will be installed, and mirrors will be hung.
As one of the finishing touches, any specific landscaping designs you have planned will be executed as well.
At last, the final round of inspections will take place. Building code officials will thoroughly assess your new home and issue a certificate of occupancy. (Of course, if any issues are identified, they must be eradicated and undergo another inspection.)
You will also complete a final walk-through with the builder. (This is often called a “pre-settlement walk-through.”) You will discuss any maintenance responsibilities, the operations of various systems in the house (e.g. heating and cooling), and warranty coverage and procedures. Also, it is important to confirm with your builder that there are no outstanding issues with the house that need to be corrected.
Then, congratulations! The home-building process is complete. Get the keys, step through the front door, and say hello to the dream home you’ve been waiting for.
You no longer have to wonder about how to make your dream home come to life. The home-building process is indeed long and detailed, but the final result is always worth it.
Now that you know what to expect about building a custom home, contact our expert home builders at Brendon Homes to begin discussing your dream home.