If you’ve decided to build a new home instead of buying an existing one, you’re likely very excited about the opportunity to create a dream house that has everything you want while also meeting your budget. But once you start really getting into the process and all of the details involved, it might feel a little bit overwhelming. When you buy a house, you may make a few decisions regarding new carpeting or paint.
When you build a house, however, you have to make a decision about everything! Flooring, paint, drawer pulls, cabinets, backsplashes, light fixtures, doors… the list goes on and on. It’s an amazing chance to customize everything, but if you’re not sure what to expect, it can seem a bit much. By understanding the process and what to expect, you’ll be able to enjoy everything involved in building your new home without worrying about a sudden surprise.
Site Prep and Foundation
Once you and your contractor have finalized the blueprints for the house, the construction crew will begin preparing the site. They will level it out, put down a temporary foundation, and add the footings. If a basement is going to be installed, the hole will be dug and the foundation walls installed. The utility runs such as your drains will be installed, and your concrete slab will be poured. A city inspector will make certain all of this is installed as it should be. There’s not much for you to do here.
Rough Framing and Utility Installation
Next, the contractors will put up a rough frame. This is the wooden skeleton of the exterior of your home. It will be covered with a protective coating that will protect it from the elements so the wood won’t rot or mold.
Once this is done, contractors will install your sewer lines, pipes, vents, wires, water lines, HVAC ductwork, and other such utility needs. Your showers and bathtubs will be put in now, too, since it will be easier to move these large objects around. Finally, the roof will be installed.
You’ll have several inspections during this time to ensure that the utility systems are up to code and that the framing is done correctly.
Your walls and attic will next be insulated. While fiberglass, foam, and cellulose insulation are the standard options, it does depend on where you’re building. Some insulations work better in certain climates than others.
Drywall, Fixtures, and Exterior Finishes
Once the walls are insulated, your contractors will begin putting up drywall. Now your house is really starting to look like a livable space! The drywall will be painted with a coat of primer, your light fixtures will be installed, and some of your exterior finishes such as siding or brick will be put in place.
Interior Finishes and Exterior Concrete
Now that your interior walls are done, your contractors will start putting in the various cabinets, built-in shelving, vanities, and other items. They will install any decorative trim, put in your interior doors, and build your window sills. All of your walls will be painted with the colors of your choice. On the outside of the home, the driveway, walkways, and other concrete surfaces will be poured.
Countertops and Hard Flooring
The next step in the home-building process is to install all of your hard flooring. This includes wood, vinyl, and ceramic tile floors. Your countertops will also be installed, and all of the exterior finishes will be wrapped up.
Complete the Bathrooms and HVAC
Next, your contractor will put in all of your switches, outlets, and other light fixtures as well as your toilets, faucets, and sinks. The HVAC equipment, including air conditioner and furnace, will be installed and tested to make certain everything is functioning as it should be.
Add in the Finishing Touches
Now all of your final finishing touches will be installed. Carpeting will be put down. Shower doors, mirrors, and other glass items will be installed. Inside, everything will be cleaned up and wrapped up, leaving your home looking exactly as you’ve dreamed it would.
On the exterior, your landscaping will be done. This includes all of the grass, trees, shrubs, and flowers you’ve planned out. Everything, inside and out, should be done once this step is over.
You’ll have a final inspection by the city during this stage. The inspector will make certain that everything is up to code and will provide you with your official certificate of occupancy. This certificate states that the home meets all requirements and is safe to live in. If anything isn’t up to code, it will have to be fixed and then inspected again.
Do Your Final Walkthrough
The last step in building a new home is your final walkthrough. You’ll meet with the builder and walk through the entire house. If anything isn’t right, this is your chance to bring it up. The builder will explain all of the features of the home plus talk to you about the warranty. If everything meets with your approval, congratulations—you now own a brand new home!