Building a new house is a complex process, and it involves many important details, each of which must be included in the planning and implementation. Failing to attend to even one of these items may seriously compromise the entire structure.
Generally, new home construction includes several standard stages. Certainly, all builders are different, and some builders may, in fact, approach construction differently than other builders. One builder might also complete the standard steps in a slightly different sequence than another builder. However, no matter the individual approach, the standard stages of new home construction remain essentially the same. Described below are the basic phases included in the typical construction of a new home.
This is the initial phase, during which the land is prepared for construction. Vegetation and other objects are removed to make way for the new structure that will eventually exist on a site. This excavation and grading process should be done in such a way that the soil, surface, and root system are left intact.
Laying the Foundation
After the initial planning and preparation phase, the foundation is laid on the prepared site. Wooden forms are positioned to create a template for the foundation itself. Footings between the future building and the ground are installed. Concrete is poured into the various trenches and holes prepared by the work crew.
After the foundation is laid, the framing begins. For most homes, lumber is used to frame the roof, walls, and floors. This exterior frame is then covered with a house wrap, which serves as protection. This is the time when beams, columns, and trusses are created and positioned. In addition, windows and doors may also be formed.
Roofing and Siding
Next, the roofing materials and siding are added to the frame. These items may be constructed relatively quickly, depending on the materials and scope of the project.
Plumbing, Electrical, and HVAC
The next step is to install the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems. This includes the wiring systems, such as electrical, cable, phone, and Ethernet wiring. These phases might be done in various steps that take place at different times throughout the remainder of the construction process. After the initial, or “rough,” phase of installing these systems, other stages of construction need to be completed before the electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems may be fully installed and operational.
Insulation and Drywall
The insulation also needs to be installed, followed by the drywall. At this point, the crew may also complete the interior finishes and exterior textures. Underlayment might also be placed where the flooring will ultimately go.
Interior Trim and Appliances
The interior trim is often the next step in the process and includes placing items such as the baseboards, door and window trims, and moldings. Mirrors, shower doors, and other fixtures may be positioned in the bathrooms, and kitchen fixtures may also be installed. The crew may also install cabinets and counters in the kitchen and bathrooms at this time. This is an opportune time to bring in any appliances that will be included in the new construction. During this stage, the flooring and carpets may be placed over the underlayment, as well.
Another important step is the installation of exterior features, such as patios, walkways, and driveways. Builders may vary with regard to which stage of construction they choose for laying driveways. Some builders do this when they lay the foundation, other builders do it when creating the other exterior trim features, and still others choose to lay the driveway at the very end of construction.
At this point in the project, the crew might paint the house. They may paint the exterior and interior at the same time or at different times.
Once the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems have been completed, the crew performs the hookup to the water main or well. They can also do the hookup to the sewer or install a septic system.
Finally, the contractor should go through a punch list before the project is considered complete. This list covers all of the many details that must not be overlooked. The punch list typically includes details such as checking to see that the telephone jacks are working, double-checking the doorbell for functionality, and ensuring that items such as toilets, air conditioners, and garage doors work properly. The punch list should be as thorough as possible.
All builders devise their plans according to their own vision and experience. However, certain stages of new home construction are standard and must be covered. Homes built by reputable contractors follow industry standards.