Here’s what to expect during the main construction process.
Building your new home can be really exciting, and at the same time, nerve-wrecking. There’s a lot that goes into it so we can understand if it gets a bit overwhelming sometimes. In todays article we’ll talk a little bit about the process and outline the main steps involved during the construction process of a new home.
Keep in mind that the home building process may vary from area to area and builder to builder, especially if you’re building an elaborate custom home. Keep in mind to ask your contractor about their specific policies and procedures.
1. Plan Approvals & Site Inspection
- Apply for and Acquire Permits
Before a contractor can put a shovel in the ground, we need to get designs approved and provide permits for things like zoning, grading (changing the contour of the land to accommodate your home and driveway), septic systems, home construction, electrical work, and plumbing. Once the necessary permits are acquired, construction can begin.
2. Prepare Construction Site & Pour Foundation
- Construction Team Levels Site
- Temporary Foundation
- Install Footings
Usually, preparing the site and foundation is performed by the same crew. The crew levels the site, puts up a template for the foundation and digs the holes and trenches.Depending on whether you’ve opted for a basement or not, the necessary foundation will be poured.
Once the concrete is poured into the holes and trenches, it will need time to cure. During this time there is usually no activity on site.
After curing, the team applies a waterproofing membrane to the foundation walls; installs plumbing and backfills excavated dirt into the hole around the foundation wall.
3. Complete the Shell & Installing Roofing, Fixtures, Plumbing and Electrical
- Floor System, Walls, Roof Systems Are Completed
- Pipes and Wires
- Water Supply Lines
- Bathtubs, Shower Units
The floor systems, walls and roof systems are completed (collectively known as the shell or skeleton of the house).
Once the shell is finished, siding and roofing can be installed. At the same time, the team is able to start running electrical and plumbing pipes and wires through the interior walls, ceilings and floors. Sewer lines, vents and water supply lines for each fixture are installed. Bathtubs and one-piece shower or tub units are put in place at this point because there’s more room to manoeuvre large, heavy objects.
After the roofing goes on, the house is considered “dried in.” An electrical team then installs outlets, lights and switches and runs wires from the breaker panel to each point, as necessary.
4. Insulation, Internal & External Trims and Fixtures, Walkways & Driveways
Common Types of Insulation in New Homes
- Foam Mineral Wool
- Concrete Blocks
- Insulation Concrete Forms
- Spray Foam
- Structural Insulated Panels
- Foam Board or Ridged Foam
Insulation plays a key role in creating a more comfortable, consistent indoor climate while significantly improving energy efficiency in the home. One of the most important qualities of insulation is its thermal performance (R-value), which indicates how well a material resists heat transfer. Most homes are insulated in all exterior walls.
- Primary & Final Coats of Paint Applied
- Exterior Finishes are Installed
- Doors, Window Sills, Decorative Trim Installed
- Cabinets, Vanities Installed
Interior doors, baseboards, door casings, window sills, mouldings, stair balusters and other decorative trim are installed. Cabinets, vanities and fireplace mantels are also installed. Painting gets finalised.
Generally, exterior driveways, walkways and patios are formed at this stage. Many contractors prefer to wait until the end of the project before pouring the driveway because heavy equipment can damage concrete.
Ceramic tile, vinyl and wood flooring are installed as well as countertops. Exterior finish grading is done to ensure proper drainage away from the home and prepare for landscaping. Light fixtures, outlets and switches are installed and the electrical panel is done.
Finally, mirrors, shower doors and carpeting are installed and final cleanup takes place. Trees, shrubs and grass are planted and other exterior landscaping completed.
5. Final Walkthrough
This is where you check for items that need to be corrected or adjusted.
Your contractor will walk you through your new home to introduce you to its features and the operation of the systems and components, and explain your responsibilities for maintenance and upkeep. It’s also an opportunity to spot items that need to be corrected or adjusted, so be attentive and observant. Check the surfaces of countertops, fixtures, floors and walls for possible damage.
Sometimes disputes arise because the homeowner discovers a gouge in a countertop after move-in and there’s no way to prove whether it was caused by the contractor or the homeowner’s movers.
6. Completion & Handover
The moment everyone has been waiting for!
Once everything is completed and all checks have been done and issues rectified, it’s time to take hold of your home keys and spend your first day in your new, dream home!
Throughout the process, you’ll also encounter a few inspections to ensure that all the construction that goes on is responsibly done, and built according to all safety regulations and standards. Remember, the home building process can vary and things can occur during the process that are simply out of everyone’s control. But this should have given you some sort of idea in terms of what to expect when you start you construction project.
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