The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to the Home Building Process
To build a new home it is important to understand the whole process. Here is a step-by-step guide with details regarding the building process.
Building a home is an extremely exciting process. The following list states the steps your builder will follow while building your house. A walk through these steps will help you understand the process better. Before getting into the details of the steps it is advisable to ask your builder his policies and methods as it differs from builders to builders.
1. Preparing the Construction Site and Laying Down a Foundation
• Apply for and acquire permits
• Construction crew levels site
• Putting up wooden forms for temporary foundation
• Footings are installed
Before the builder starts working on the project they need to acquire permit not just for design, zoning and grading but also for septic systems, home construction, and electrical work along with plumbing as well. The permits must be acquired from the local government. After receiving the permit the builder can start the physical construction.
Mostly site preparation and foundation work are conducted by the same crew though it is not the case for wooded lot. By making use of backhoe and bulldozer the crew tries to clearly the area of debris, rock and trees and even the septic system if required. After which the site is leveled by the crew and they then put wooden frames to act like templates for the foundation followed by which they dig holes and trenches. Footing, which are structures where the house interfaces with the earth supporting it, are installed. If you intend to have a well in the house then this is the time for it to be done.
In case of a full basement in the home, the hole is dug; the footings along with the formation walls are formed and poured. In case of slab-on-grade, the footings are dug, formed and poured; after leveling the area it is fitted with utility runs after which slab is poured.
After pouring the concrete into the holes and trenches it must be given enough time to cure. It is important to perform any activity in the area.
After the curing of concrete, a waterproof membrane is applied to the foundation walls. Installation of water taps, drains and sewer or any other plumbing that needs to be fixed in the basement floor is completed during this stage. The backfills excavated dirt into the hole around the foundation wall.
2. Completion of Rough Framing
At this stage the shell or skeleton of the house must be completed that includes the floor systems, walls and roof systems. Application of plywood or even OSB, i.e, Oriented Strand Board sheathing to the exterior walls, roof and windows along with it exterior doors are also installed. A house wrap is used to protect the sheathing; this allows water vapour to escape and infiltrates liquid water from infiltrating.
3. Focus on Complete Rough Plumbing and Electrical HVAC
What are installed during this stage?- Pipes and wires, sewer lines and vents, water supply lines, bathtubs, shower units, Ductwork for HVAC system and HVAC vent pipes.
After completion of the shell, siding and roofing can be installed. During this very time the electric and plumbing contractor starts running wires and pipes through the inner walls, ceiling and floor. Sewer lines and vents along with the water supply lines are installed. This is also the time when heavy and large objects such as bathing tubs are put in place as it comes easier to maneuver.
The installation of Ductwork is for heating, ventilation, air conditioning as well even furnace. The HVAC vent pipes are usually installed through the roof whereas insulation is installed in the floors, walls and ceiling.
4. Installation of Insulation
Common types of home insulation- fiberglass, cellulose, foam mineral wool, concrete blocks, insulation concrete forms, spray foam, structural insulated panels, foam board or ridged foam.
Insulation helps in providing a more consistent indoor climate along with it also improves the energy efficiency of the home. One of the most important qualities is its thermal performance, indicating how well the material transfers heat. Most homes are insulated in the exterior walls as well the attic and floor above basement floor.
In new home construction it is typical to use blanket insulation, which comes in batts and rolls. Loose-fill and blown-in insulation are also used commonly, it is made of fiberglass, cellulose or mineral-wool particles. The other type of insulation option is liquid foam, which can be sprayed, foamed-in-place, injected or poured. Even though batt insulation is a cheaper option, liquid foam provides twice the R-value per inch. It can also fill the smallest cavities which creates an effective air barrier.
In the side walls, attics, floors, crawl spaces, cathedral ceilings and basements fiberglass and mineral-wool batts and rolls are installed. To act as a vapor barrier and/or air barrier kraft paper or foil-kraft paper are often attached by the manufacturers. In areas where insulation is left exposed for example the basement walls, a special flame-resistant facing is provides by batts at times.
5. Completion of Drywall and Interior Fixtures, Start with Exterior Finishes
To avoid the visibility of the seams between boards drywall is hung and taped. Texturing of the drywall is also completed during this stage if it is applicable. Application of a primary coat of paint after taping is completed. Exterior finishes such as brick, stucco, stone and siding are installed.
6. Completion of Interior Trim, Installation of Exterior Walkways and Drveway
In this stage installation of interior doors, baseboards, door casings, window sills, moldings, stair balusters along with other decorative trims takes place. The installation of cabinets, vanities and fireplace mantels also takes place. A finish coat of paint is applied on the walls and wallpaper is applied where required.
The building on exterior driveways, patios and walkways takes place at this stage. Due to the chance of passage of heavy equipment a number of builders prefer pouring the driveway at the very end to avoid damaging the concrete. While some other builders prefer pouring the driveway at his stage so that the homeowners can easily visit the construction site without getting mud on their shoes.
7. Installation of Hard Surface Flooring and Countertops; Completion of Exterior Grading
Along with countertops, ceramic tile, vinyl and wood flooring added. At this stage completion of exterior finish grading should take place to ensure proper drainage from the home.
8. Finish Mechanical Trims; Installation of Bathroom Fixtures
Electrical panel is completed and switch boards are installed. Light fixtures are also completed. HVAC equipment is installed and registered. Sinks, toilets and faucets are fixed as well.
9. Installation of Mirror and Shower Doors; Completion of Flooring and Exterior Landscaping
Installation of mirrors, shower doors and carpeting takes place. Final cleanup is performed at this stage. Exterior landscaping takes place with the addition of trees, shrubs and grass.
10. Final Walk-Through
This is also referred to as pre-settlement walk. This is the stage when your builder will walk you through your house and you can take a good look at what has been constructed. If you wish to make any adjustment or corrections this is when you can talk about. Your builder will also explain to you how to maintain the house and other details regarding warranty will also be discussed at this stage.
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