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Building a new house is one of the most exciting times in your adult life. This event brings a whole new set of experiences, such as choosing the fixtures and finishes, working with an interior designer and much more.
Professional home builders will get to know the needs and tastes of the homeowners so that they can ensure the final outcome is just what the buyers wanted. They walk the homeowners through the various stages of construction, answering their questions, identifying their lifestyle and understanding any pain points they’ve experienced in previous homes.
As a homeowner or buyer, it’s wise to make an appointment with a home building company to discuss specific details that will impact both the process and the outcome of your build. Through this meeting, you will learn a lot from the builder, including the phases of construction and the steps involved within each phase. These steps include site preparation, permitting and much more, as described below.
A great homebuilder will begin your experience with an introduction to the person who will be guiding you through the home building process. Depending on the builder, this can be a real estate agent, client advocate, interior designer or even the builder themselves. Your initial meeting should allow the builder to identify what you’re looking for in a home as well as help you with your financing questions.
LOT SELECTION & SURVEYING
If you don’t already have land on which to build, your client advocate should be able to assist you with finding and purchasing a lot. The site’s shape, size and soil conditions need to be carefully considered, as less-than-ideal lots will need to undergo certain transformations to be approved for building.
HOME AND SITE PLANS
The site engineer will begin working on your site plan. If you want your home placed a specific way on your lot, you can be sent a preliminary site plan so that you can see and approve the placement before the plans are finalized.
To close out the preconstruction stage, the draftsman works to put all the final touches on the plans, including the complete electrical plan, foundation plan, and any specific modifications that need to be taken into account before permitting.
Once the engineer has reviewed and approved the construction plans, your builder will apply for your building permit from the county. No work is to be performed until the permit is approved and issued.
The property will be cleared, graded and prepared for construction. This process typically begins with the removal of any trees or vegetation standing in the way of the home and followed by any necessary grading to ensure a smooth surface on which to build. Then, underground utilities are run to the property in preparation for the foundation system.
The foundation framing and footings are installed to support the foundation system. After pouring the concrete, there will be no activity on the site for several days while the concrete cures.
TRUSSES AND INTERIOR FRAMING
The trusses and interior framing are erected and placed. The trusses will support the weight of the roof and the wood framing will define the living space as well as facilitate the placement of plumbing, electrical and HVAC rough-ins.
After framing and truss placement, the roof is dried in. This makes sure the roof is impenetrable by water even before the shingles, metal or tiles are installed. Getting the dry-in completed early in the process allows the work inside the home to proceed without fear of water damage during construction.
Once the roof is dried in, the plumbing, electrical and HVAC rough-ins can be installed. Once installed, these rough-ins must be tested and inspected for safety before proceeding.
WINDOWS AND EXTERIOR DOORS
The windows and exterior doors are installed. Now the unit is sealed to keep out drafts and water.
Insulation offers a comfortable indoor climate as well as energy efficiency. There are many options when it comes to insulation, from spray-in to fiberglass and mineral wool batting, with drastically different R-values.
DRYWALL AND EXTERIOR FINISH
Drywall gets hung on the interior walls and taped. The exterior finish – either paint, siding or stucco – is installed.
The drywall, flooring, countertops, paint, door knobs, light fixtures, cabinet hardware, and decorative trims are installed.
The final grading is executed, ensuring proper drainage away from the home. The driveway, walkways, and patios are poured at this stage and will need a few days to cure. The landscaping will be the capstone of the build.
The builder will walk the homeowners through the completed home, explaining the home’s features, systems and components as well as maintenance requirements, warranties and other important instructions. If there are any questions or concerns from the homeowners, they will be noted in the final punch list and completed prior to move-in.
The builder typically provides a packet to the homeowners with all of the home’s warranty paperwork and service recommendations, and keys are handed over. At this stage, the homeowners will transfer the home's utilities; your client advocate can assist you with this process and put you in touch with the right people. Note: It's important to do this as soon as possible to reduce the chances of experiencing service delays, interruptions or other issues.
New homes are typically covered by a one-year workmanship warranty. Ask your builder about their warranty options.
Many builders will check in with the new homeowners roughly 30 days after move-in to make sure the owners are happy in their new home.
As you can gather, the process of building a new home is packed with action steps, the results of which come together at the completion of the build to give buyers a safe, energy-efficient home that is tailored to their specific needs.
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