Part II: Timing is Everything (Find Part I here)
Once the house plan is chosen, the lot, builder, contract and building permit are secured, the grading and clearing begin.
8. Site prep and planning. A temporary power pole, portable toilet, and permit box will be placed on the site and a temporary gravel driveway is prepared. The general contractor, designer and client will meet together to discuss scope and schedule. The builder will provide a list of selections to be made and allowances for these items. One of the main jobs of the builder is to help the client stay within their budget during the process. It can be tempting to upgrade often in this process and it's our job to help you stay focused when the options look so enticing! The construction should take approximately 6-8 months depending on weather, speed of client decisions, changes, etc.
9. Exterior design selections. As the building process gets started, a client may want to weigh in on choices for window and door style, roof shingle color/type, and stone/brick selections. These items will need to be ordered and ready when these initial installations will be done.
10. Foundation. A survey team comes to the site and marks the corners of the house. Earth moving equipment prepares the footing, or a basement is excavated. Masons arrive and pour footings, set block and the survey team comes back for more markings. Termite pre-treatment occurs. Inspections take place.
11. Framing. A framing crew arrives and lays the first floor. Inspections. Then the walls and roof are constructed. This is a good time for the client to arrive on site to walk through the house making sure it all feels right. Often we can move a wall or a doorway or make some other change in the field. We have even extended garages on site. Change orders will be signed. More inspections.
12. Roof, siding, decking, windows and doors. At this point, the building site is a beehive of activity. Carpenters, roofers and other sub-contractors are hard at work getting the house 'weathered in.'
13. Rough-ins. Electricians, plumbers and HVAC contractors will arrive to get their trades going on all the stuff behind the walls. Spools of wire, lengths of PVC piping and ductwork create a messy work space and prepare for the basic functionality of the home. The county inspector pays more visits.
14. Insulation. The Tuscan Group has been installing energy efficient spray foam insulation in our homes for years. This contractor will be in the home for a few days spraying the insides of exterior walls, creating a quiet and ambient space inside the home.
15. Sheetrock! In my opinion, this is one of the most exciting phases of construction. When the drywall goes up, you can really begin to imagine living in this home. Each room has a distinctive feel and sense of space. Installation and finishing of sheetrock is a dusty process and takes about 2 weeks.
16. Decisions again. At this point, we are about 8 weeks from completion if all interior design selections are made and all materials are available on time. The Tuscan Group offers design assistance to help you through the maze of options. We use specific vendors that are reliable sources of quality materials and supplies, and provide great service and delivery. Items that will need to be selected and ordered (according to the allowance sheet) include flooring (tile, hardwood, carpet, etc.), lighting, plumbing fixtures, countertops, and paint colors. By now cabinet selections should be made and ordered, along with their hardware.
17. Trim carpentry. At this point, the trim carpentry crew will be busy installing crown and base mouldings, stair details, and window/door casings. Any custom shelving in closets, mudroom and laundry areas will be up for discussion at this point, and the client is encouraged to make their requests known. Shoe shelves, anyone?
18. Paint. Once all color selections have been made, the painting crew will be busy with their sprayers, brushes and rollers on the inside and outside of the home.
19. Flooring, cabinets, countertops, interior stone, lighting, etc. All of the beautiful finishes that the client and builder have been working on together are now being delivered to and installed in the home. Shiny new appliances, plumbing fixtures, doorknobs, bathroom hardware, shower glass, and thermostats are installed.
20. Well, septic, propane, final grading, hardscaping, landscaping. In the final weeks of construction, the work returns to the outdoors. If your home will have a well and private septic system, these will be dug and installed at this time. In addition, a propane tank will be buried on site. Our concrete contractor will come and install the garage floor, parking pad/driveway, and sidewalk. The grading contractor will return to smooth out the lot, plant grass, and make it beautiful with bushes, trees, shrubs and flowers. Garage doors are installed.
21. Final inspections and CO. The county inspections department completes a final inspection. If we have any items that need a re-inspect, they are taken care of at this time. Once the inspections office issues a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) it is available for, well...occupancy!
22. Final cleaning. At this point the home is technically complete, but you may walk in and wonder because there is such a mess! We bring in a professional cleaning crew and in about 3 hours, the house is move-in ready. Sparkling windows and countertops, gleaming carpentry and floors, bright lights and the smell of a new home. We have a 'walk-through' with the new homeowner and address any last minute concerns.
23. Closing. At this point, the job is complete and all the closing documents are signed at the attorney's office. The general contractor is paid and the new homeowners move in. Congratulations!
I hope this Home Building Primer has been helpful to you in helping you decide if this is something you'd like to pursue. Please consider The Tuscan Group as you research building contractors. We love helping families realize their dream, and it is so satisfying to build a home for excited clients!