How To Build a Home: Step by Step

Building a home is a step by step process, and can turn into a nightmare if the steps are not completed in order. In this article we will provide a general outline of the steps and the order they should be completed in the construction process. Some steps must be completed before others, while others may be completed together, or their timing may be somewhat flexible.

The steps in purchasing a lot are covered in another article.

  1. The corners of the lot should be staked out, silt fence installed if required and then house itself should be staked out for the excavator.
  2. Physical construction begins with the excavating of the foundation hole and cutting for a driveway.
  3. The foundation which comes next includes the concrete footing, the foundation walls either solid concrete or ICF walls. Also the basement, house (if slab construction) and garage floors are poured. Stoops and sidewalks may be poured now or at a later time.
  4. Natural gas service ordered.
  5. Water and sewer/well and septic are generally installed now.
  6. The steel beams if needed are set and wood framing is next in line along with installation of windows and exterior doors.
  7. The roof may be shingled now.
  8. Plumbing is the first mechanical system to be installed in the house. All water lines, waste lines and vents are installed.
  9. HVAC contractor is next to install all duct work and lines to the A/C unit and low voltage wire. The furnace may be set at this time or later
  10. The electrician now installs all the wiring and electrical boxes
  11. Any TV and Phone/data, along with alarm systems and any other wiring comes next.
  12. The exterior siding may now be installed
  13. Insulation is installed next.
  14. Drywall is installed, taped and sanded.
  15. In this phase the exterior is graded and any concrete/asphalt work is completed.
  16. Generally the house is now primed and a base coat of paint is applied to the walls and ceiling.
  17. All hard surface flooring materials are installed such as wood and tile.
  18. Cabinets/tops and trim are installed.
  19. Painter comes back to stain/paint trim and may begin to add color to the walls.
  20. Plumber comes back to install fixtures.
  21. HVAC contractor installs registers and thermostat.
  22. Electrician installs all outlets, switches and light fixtures.
  23. Any other contractor that may have installed alarm, etc. comes in to complete their work.
  24. Carpet is installed
  25. Landscaping is completed
  26. Final punch list is compiled and work completed
  27. Occupancy

Building inspections are woven throughout the process. The type of inspections varies greatly from area or even town to town. Check with your local building department for their schedule. Climate and time of season will have an impact on certain tasks, such as installing the furnace and pouring concrete. If you can avoid digging your foundation in the rainy season, you will avoid a lot of trouble.

If you are planning on building a home, my last piece of advice is plan, plan and plan some more.






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