If you’ve ever thought about building a home, you’ve probably wondered what the process is really like. It might seem like a long and stressful ordeal with any number of twists and turns, and this might actually deter you from pursuing a custom built home.
But the reality is, millions of Americans have been through the home building process with relatively few stresses, and are consistently pleased with the final results. Seeing your home take shape exactly as you envisioned it, and eventually moving in to a brand new space, can be an incredibly rewarding experience.
As with any large task, it helps to break home building down into digestible chunks and see the whole process in stages. This can help dispel some of the anxiety around guiding a home from design to completion, and show that it really can be done without too much stress. In fact, it could be an experience you cherish as a homeowner.
Phase 1: Legal agreements, floorplans, and selecting a home construction contractor
This is a big phase that encompasses many small steps, and a whole blog post could easily be devoted to it! Assuming you’ve purchased land, researched home designs, checked your local building codes and arranged your budget, the most important step is selecting a home builder to work with. This can be a daunting task, and you’ll want all the opinions and research you can get. Hint: Search google for things like “what to look for in a home builder” and follow the insights and advice of people who’ve been through the process. The rest of your building process will go that much smoother if you manage to find a qualified, reputable home builder.
Phase 2: Excavating the site
The first thing your contractor will do, after agreements have been signed and a schedule created, is to begin excavating the site of your home. The measurements of the structure will be carefully staked out, and the foundation will begin to take shape. This will involve digging if your home has a basement; otherwise the area will be expertly leveled and prepped for the next phase.
Phase 3: Laying the foundation
This critical phase involves pouring and leveling the materials that will form the basis on which to construct the rest of the structure, including the garage. Your circumstances and design will dictate whether a block, slab, or wall foundation is used. This phase also includes critical aspects of plumbing, sewage, and in some cases waterproofing.
Phase 4: Putting up the frame
This is an exciting phase, as the wood frame of the house begins to make it seem real. The walls, floorboards, and roof will all be installed during this phase. The roof is completed, including shingles, in order to protect the rest of the construction process from the elements. You see the windows and doors going in, and you begin to see how the actual shape and dimensions of the home will look.
Phase 5: Infrastructure galore
This phase is known in the industry as rough mechanics, and includes everything from HVAC systems (including duct work) to electrical and plumbing systems. This is a very busy and critical phase as your home’s “operating system” is installed. This is where having a highly reputable contractor on your side is important. When this phase is complete, your home will be fully connected to local utility services such as gas, water, sewage and electricity.
Phase 6: Putting in the drywall
As the insulation and drywall are installed, you begin to see how the home’s interior dimensions will really look. Any stone or brick in the home’s exterior design is also installed during this phase.
Phase 7: Getting down to the details
At this point, your new home is nearing completion and your builder is getting down to some of the finer details, such as cabinetry and trim. Appliances and flooring are installed, and the home is painted inside and out. Fixtures and carpeting appear throughout, and the home’s yard is graded. Grass is either planted or sod is laid.
Phase 8: Inspections and finishing touches
Your new home is now complete, and it’s time to make sure you got exactly what you asked for. Careful walkthroughs and inspections are carried out with your contractor, and this is your moment to raise any lingering issues that need to be addressed. Be sure to ask plenty of questions during this phase, and think critically. This is a huge investment and you want everything to be in ship-shape before the builder finally vacates the property and removes all equipment.
Enjoy your new home!
Building a new home is a dream come true for many Americans. By understanding the process ahead of time and working with a reputable home construction company, it’s possible to realize this dream with a minimal amount of stress and anxiety. Happy building!
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