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Step-by-Step Building Guide

The House Designers understands how exciting it is to build a new home! In an effort to make the process easier, we have put together this step-by-step home building guide to help you understand the different building phases and how it all comes together.

1 FOUNDATION: The foundation of your home is a critical element in the building process because it is what holds up the entire structure. Constructed correctly, it prevents future problems that can affect your home’s safety and efficiency. After the ground is excavated, forms will be built with framing lumber (that you can clean and reuse for framing) and then concrete is poured into each section. You'll need to decide what type of foundation you want – basement, slab, or crawlspace –and make sure it works with your lot. During this time, municipal utility connections to the site are put into place, and/or well and septic systems are installed.

2 FRAMING: After the foundation is poured and set, the form boards are removed and framing of the house begins. Just 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!

3 INSPECTIONS & FRAME WALK: Inspections are a very important part of the home construction process and ensure that every element of construction is done correctly. After the initial inspections, your builder will ask you to walk through your home. At this point, you can visualize what your dream home will basically look like because the walls and trusses will be framed and the roof sheathing will be installed.

4 HOUSE WRAP: Certain climates have a higher risk of moisture damage, which can cause mold and wood rot. Therefore, a protective barrier known as house wrap is installed to prevent the structure of your home and its interior from getting wet, growing mold, or rotting. The house wrap ensures that all moisture will remain outside the home.

5 ENCLOSING YOUR HOME: Once framing has passed inspection, your builder will begin enclosing your home and install siding, shingles, the roofing system, any brick or stone details your interior or exterior design requires, and the windows and doors.

Windows and doors are very visible features of your home both inside and out, so you’ll want to choose and invest wisely. Make sure your windows and doors have the performance, durability, and energy efficiency that your geographical location warrants. Our architects prefer Therma-Tru® Doors for entryway doors, Clopay® Garage Doors for plenty of garage door options, and Marvin® for quality windows and patio doors that are dependable and engineered for superior performance, thermal efficiency, and long-lasting beauty. If you want natural light from above, VELUX® makes fantastic skylights and roof windows. When it comes to enclosing the walls, Ply Gem® offers gorgeous siding in a variety of styles to create the desired curb appeal. For authentic, natural-looking stone veneer, our architects rec­ommend Eldorado Stone.

6 MECHANICAL INSTALLATION: This stage is critical and occurs before the installation of
sheetrock. This is the building stage where mechanical components and wiring are installed. Venting, ductwork, water heaters, and the HVAC system are also installed.

7 INSULATION: Insulation is an important factor that determines your home’s energy and cost efficiency. When installed adequately and properly in the floors, walls, and ceilings, this relatively inexpensive product can save money and conserve energy by preventing heat and A/C from escaping your home.

8 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. Now you can really see your new home coming to life!

9 INTERIOR DESIGN: One of the most exciting stages of building a new home is selecting all the products that go into each room. This includes flooring, cabinets, countertops, appliances, lighting fixtures, millwork and trim, interior doors, plumbing products, and much more.

Check out our Architect Preferred appliances by Whirlpool®, KitchenAid®, and JennAir®.

Don’t forget to visit Product Ideas section for useful product information and great building tips!

10 FINISHING STAGES — MOVING IN: The final walk-through is the last step before you move into your beautiful new home. Turn on all appliances, lights, the HVAC system, faucets and showers, and flush toilets and check electric outlets. Check to see that all your cabinets, doors, and windows open, close, and lock properly. Also make sure there aren’t any major defects like cracks, scratches, and/or gaps in the floors. If there are any issues, this is the time to notify your builder and have everything resolved before closing on your home.