How Builders Build a Home

Preparing Construction Site and Pouring Foundation

The first step in building a home is to file any necessary permits required by the local city or county. Permits will be needed for everything from the grading of the lot to the electrical work that will be added to the home. Once permits have been received, the land can be prepared for the construction of the home. This includes removing any necessary trees and vegetation and grading the land to create a level surface. Once the lot has been graded, wooden forms will be added to prepare for the footings and foundation. Next, the footings and foundation will be poured to create a solid base on which to build the home. Once the concrete has cured, plumbing will be installed and it will be waterproofed. The first inspection will occur by the city to ensure that all foundation components have been properly installed and meet code standards. These first steps could take up to a month to complete.

Rough Framing

The next step is to create the shell of the home through rough framing. This includes completing the flooring system, walls, and roof system. After the framing has been finished, plywood will be added to the exterior walls and the roof. House wrap is then added to the plywood to protect the home from rain and other weather conditions. House wrap prevents water from entering the home and reduces the likelihood of rot or mold occurring. This step can take anywhere from 1-2 months to complete. 

Rough Plumbing, Electrical, and HVAC

Rough Plumbing, Electrical, and HVAC

Now that the shell of the home is complete, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC can be installed. At the same time as these items, siding and roofing will be added. The addition of siding and roofing makes the home “dried in”, and therefore safe for electrical to be installed. An electrician will install receptacles for outlets, lights, and switches and then run wiring from the breaker panel to each of the receptacles. A plumber will run pipes through the walls, install sewer lines and vents, and add water supply connections to each of the fixtures. An HVAC professional will install ductwork for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Multiple inspections will occur throughout this step to ensure that plumbing, electrical, and HVAC have all been properly installed. This step will take between 2 and 4 weeks to complete.

Install Insulation

The next step is to install insulation in the home. Insulation is important for making the home comfortable and energy-efficient. Exterior walls, attic space, and floors above an unfinished basement will all be insulated. Most newly built homes use foam, fiberglass, or cellulose insulation. Another popular option is spray foam insulation. This option is more expensive but is twice as effective in insulating a home. A paper and foil barrier will also be installed to act as a moisture and air barrier. This step will take up to 2 weeks to complete.

Complete Drywall and Interior Finishes

Drywall will now be installed on all of the interior walls. Once all drywall has been hung, the seams will be taped to create a finished look. The primer coat of paint will then be applied to all of the newly finished walls. While this progress is occurring inside, finishes will begin to be added to the exterior of the home. Any necessary brick, stucco, and stone that needs to be added to the home will be installed. This step can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to complete depending on the size and complexity of the home.

Finish Interior Trim

Now that the walls have been completed, interior finishes can be added. Doors, moldings, windowsills, and baseboards will be installed during this step. Cabinets in the kitchen and the bathrooms will also be added to the home. If the home has a fireplace, it and the mantle will be installed now. After all of these finishes have been installed, the final coat of paint will be applied to the home. On the exterior of the home, all concrete will be added during this step. The driveway, sidewalk, and patios will be poured to allow for easier access to the home. This step will take between 1 and 2 months to complete.

Install Flooring, Countertops, and Mechanical Trims

The home is now ready for finishes such as flooring and countertops to be installed. Any wood, tile, and vinyl floorings for the home will first be installed. Then, countertops will be added to the kitchen, bathrooms, and any other necessary areas. Mechanical trims such as switches and light fixtures will be installed. Toilets, sink, and faucets will be put into the bathrooms. To finish the HVAC system, any missing equipment and registers will be installed. On the outside of the home, exterior grading will occur to create proper draining and prepare for landscaping. This step will take a few weeks to complete.

Final Finishings

This step includes adding any final finishing necessary to complete the home. In the bathrooms, mirrors and shower doors will be installed. If any areas of the home will be carpeted, the carpet will now be added. The carpet should not be installed until this step so that the carpet is not damaged by construction. The exterior landscaping will also be added to the home. The final inspection will now occur by the city. If the house passes the inspection, a certificate of occupancy will be issued. This step will take around a week to complete.

Final Walk-Through

The final step in building a home is the final walk-through. The final walk-through is when the builder and the owners meet at the property to discuss any topics and changes that need to be addressed before closing. The builder will show the owners how to operate any features and systems of the home. Any maintenance necessary for the upkeep of the home will also be relayed to the owners so that they are prepared to maintain the home after they move in. The owners will also inspect the home during the walk-through. They will check for any damage or areas that will need to be corrected by the builder for closing. The walk-through and any necessary repairs will take around a week to complete.

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