So, you're thinking about building a new home! This is one of the most exciting ventures of a lifetime.
We've put together this step-by-step home building guide to help you understand the different building phases and how it all comes together. You'll see the whole process in one snapshot to guide you through selecting your dream house plan all the way to the finishing stages.
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and Green Building
in our Product Ideas
section dedicated to providing you building tips and product ideas to make your home building experience easier.
1 CHOOSING A PLAN: Choosing the right house plan can be an exciting experience if you know what to look for and prioritize your needs. As you begin your search, be sure to look for features that fit your lifestyle, lot and budget. You'll want to carefully check the design and size of each room, especially the kitchen, master suite and great room — since these are the most lived in areas of a home. The trend is towards a more casual, open floor plan, which allows you to easily customize your dream home.
2 FOUNDATION: The foundation is a critical element of the building process, and it must be done correctly to prevent problems further down the road. Your lot needs to be cleared and adjusted (i.e. fill dirt brought in, leveling, etc.) to prepare the space for your new home. Next, form boards will be put up which serve as a mold for the foundation. After plumbing lines are put in place, the foundation is poured and you'll be able to see your home's footprint.
3 FRAMING: After the foundation has been poured and has set up, the form boards are removed and framing of the house begins. Much as our skeleton serves as the structure for our bodies, the frame of a house is the underlying structure of the home. As the framing progresses, you will see the layout
of your home unfold, and you'll be able to identify different rooms, doorways, and windows. If your home seems smaller than you imagined at this point, don't panic. It is simply an illusion!
4 INSPECTIONS: Inspections are a very important part of the home construction process, for it ensures that every element of the building is done correctly. After the foundation is poured and the framing is completed, your town or city will send an inspector out to view the progress. He or she will check the framing and the mechanical components of the home, making sure they are up to code and installed properly.
5 FRAMEWALK: After the first inspections, your builder will invite you to walk through your home. At this point you will be able to visualize more easily what your dream home will look like. At this point, all walls and trusses will be framed, and the roof sheathing will be installed. Another framing inspection will also take place.
6 HOUSE WRAP: Certain climates offer a higher risk of moisture, mold and wood rot occurring in the home. Therefore, a protective barrier known as a house wrap is installed to prevent the structure of your home and its interior from getting wet. The house wrap ensures that all moisture will remain outside the home.
7 ENCLOSING YOUR HOME: Once the framing has undergone inspection, your builder will begin enclosing your home. At this point in the construction process your builder will install exterior sheathing, shingles, the roofing system, windows and doors. Since windows and doors are one of the most visible features of your home from both the inside and out, you'll want to carefully select the perfect doors and windows for your new home. Make sure your windows have the performance, durabilty and energy efficiency that your particular geographical location warrants. And look for windows that have tax credits that could save you up to $1,500.
8 MECHANICAL INSTALLATION: This stage is very critical and occurs before the installation of the sheet rock. It is at this point that all mechanical components and wiring is installed. It is incredibly important that everything be installed correctly, since it will soon be covered by sheetrock and will be much less accessible. At this point, you may want to consider having a home fire sprinkler system or home entertainment system installed. During this stage, plumbing and mechanical components will be roughed in. Venting, ductwork, a water heater, and the HVAC system will be installed. Any exterior finishes, such as masonry and wood,will be installed at this point, as well.
9 INSULATION: Insulation is a critical factor in determining your home's energy and cost efficiency. When installed adequately and properly in your home's floors, walls, and ceilings, this relatively inexpensive product can save you large amounts of money throughout the life of your home, simply by preventing heat from escaping your home. Best of all, this product is maintenance free!
10 SHEETROCK: Once your home is framed and wrapped, and all the mechanicals have been installed, the sheetrock is put in place to form the walls. Your builder will be able to assist you in deciding the thickness of sheetrock you want to use, and if you want to use screws or nails to fasten it to the studs and joists. You may also want to consider what type of texture and paint to use on your walls to achieve your desired effect.
11 INTERIOR WORK: Once all of the major structural components have been installed, it is time to move to the more decorative details of the home. This includes cabinets and countertops, interior doors, flooring, fireplaces, moldings, staircase balusters and railings, and base and door trim. The phase basically includes choosing and installing every element that transforms your house from a structure into a home!
12 FINISHING STAGES: As you approach the final stages of the home building process, you are probably experiencing excitement, anticipation, and maybe even a little anxiety. All of these emotions are understandable, because by now, you are seeing all of the hard work that has gone into the process take shape, and the final product, your dream home, is finally within reach! It is at this point that your home develops its personality through your choices of lighting fixtures, bathroom accessories and fixtures, window treatments and more. It is only a short time from now that you can unload the moving truck and settle into your new home!