Building a custom home is a dream for many people, but it’s a long process. Once the design stage is done, the construction phase begins. Custom home construction happens in many stages, and it’s important for clients to understand each stage and what to expect. Here is a quick breakdown of the main stages of custom home construction!
Prep and Pour
After the design is finalized and the government gives the go-ahead, construction officially starts. The first stage of any construction is to prep the lot, which could mean leveling the ground, digging trenches, clearing trees, or more. How long site prep takes depends on your lot, but your custom home builder should give you an estimate after they analyze it.
Once the ground is ready, it’s time for the home’s foundation and footings to be poured. Footings are the things beneath the foundation that keeps it from sinking into the ground. What type of foundation and footings you have depends on your home design, geographical location, local codes, lot type, and personal preference.
Framing is one of our favorite stages because this is the stage in which our clients can really start to envision their custom home. Framing is often thought of as the skeleton or shell stage, and this is when things start to get vertical. The walls, floors, and roof will start to take shape.
Framing is essentially the bones of your home. It can still be a little hard to visualize the final product during this stage, but you should get a rough idea of where walls, windows, and major features will go. If you’re looking to make any major layout changes, it’s best to do so at this stage as it becomes more complicated and expensive to do so later.
Once the roof and walls are up, we consider the house “dried in”, which means the interior is protected enough for tradespeople to come in and begin installing utilities. Utilities include things such as plumbing, electrical, and HVAC. Each of these will require an inspector to sign off on it. It’s incredibly important to know the placement of key things like the stove, showers, lights, and more already figured out by this stage.
Once your utilities are in place, the next step is to fill in the walls with insulation. Insulation is what keeps your home warm during the winter and cool during the summer. It essentially is responsible for regulating the temperature of your house. Insulation can be fiberglass, cellulose, or foam, and can be sprayed in, blown-in, or rolled in. There are pros and cons to each type, and so discuss these with your home builder. Insulation will not only go in your walls, but also basements, crawl spaces, and attics.
The drywall phase is when most homeowners really start to get excited. This is when the final product begins to take form. Drywall will go up on all walls and ceilings. The seams are then taped and mudded, and any texture finish is applied. Once the drywall is up, it will be primed so that it’s ready for paint.
Once the drywall is up things start to move quickly. With the walls up, your builder will move onto interior finishes. This is when things such as interior trim, door casings, and stair balusters are installed. Your kitchens and bathrooms will also start to take form with kitchen cabinets and countertops going in, as well as bathtubs, shower tiles, and vanities. Some flooring may go in at this stage, such as tile vinyl and laminate. This is also the stage when most of the painting is completed, though final touch-ups will happen later.
It’s not just your interior that will be taking form. Your exterior will also start to get pulled together at this stage. Now that heavy construction vehicles aren’t needed, your landscapers will begin. Driveways, walkways, and patios will be poured. Final grading will ensure water runs away from your home. Final landscaping such as grass, plants, flower, and more will also happen at this step, though some people like to hold off on this until later.
Once the major interior finishes are in, tradespeople will come in for a final time. This is the stage when all the little finishes get put in. Toilets, faucets, hot water heaters, light switches, outlets, and more will get installed. Inspectors will have to sign off again at this stage.
Once heavy construction foot traffic is done, the crew will move on to installing carpet and hardwood. While some flooring is done during the interior finishes’ stages, hardwood and carpet are more prone to damage, so it’s typically left until everything else is done. Hardwood takes some time to cure, so check with your builder before stopping by to tour the house at this step.
Everything should be mostly done at this point! The local building office will stop by for a final inspection. Once that happens you should walk through with your custom home builder and make note of any small thing such as paint chips, missing light bulbs, and more. Your custom home builder will then make these final fixed before passing the home over to you.
After the final walkthrough, if everything is to your liking, you’ll be able to officially move in! You’ll finish any final paperwork and payments with your home builder, then get the keys. Moving in is the best part of the whole process for everyone. Custom home builders love to see the excitement in their client’s faces as they pass off the keys.
If you’re ready to make your dream custom home a reality, contact us today!