The construction phase of the home-building process is when all your dreams and plans come to fruition. It often is the easiest, most gratifying and most enjoyable part of the process. Successful execution of your plan requires a joint effort by the builder, the subcontractors, the suppliers, the building department officials, the lenders and you.
The methods and materials used to build a home vary from region to region, but the following basic tasks must be completed for most newly built homes:
- Site work, which may include clearing trees from the lot, cutting a rough unfinished driveway, placing stakes to mark where the house will be situated on the lot and hooking up temporary electricity service.
- Excavation and foundation, which may include digging a hole for the foundation, setting and pouring the foundation, installing plumbing pipes, pouring the concrete floor of the home, digging trenches for utility lines, waterproofing the basement walls and grading.
- Framing, which may include installing steel beams, erecting a wood structure and installing windows and exterior doors.
- Roofing and exterior work, which may include applying roofing materials and installing siding, an outdoor deck, rain gutters and a garage door.
- Mechanicals, which may include installing plumbing, electrical and heating/cooling systems, pre-wiring the home for a security system, running wiring for telephones, cable television and an intercom and placing pipes for a central vacuum.
- Interior finish work, which may include installing insulation, installing and finishing drywall, painting and staining, and installing cabinets, countertops, hard surface floor coverings, baseboards and built-in appliances.
- Trim, which may include hanging interior doors, attaching window trims, installing fireplaces and mantles, setting plumbing fixtures, installing light switches and electrical outlets, hanging electrical fixtures, setting heating registers, thermostats and heating/cooling unit and installing faceplates for the central vacuum, intercom, cable television and telephone outlets.
- Final work, which may include installing carpet padding and carpets, cleaning the exterior and interior of the home, finishing the driveway and landscaping and completing any miscellaneous fix-up work on the entire home.
It’s important to understand that home construction varies dramatically from place to place. For example, in some parts of the country, homes have basements. In other places, basements are unheard of. In some parts of the country, homes are built to withstand hurricanes, earthquakes and other types of natural disasters. In other places, disasters are less of a factor in home construction. Ask the builder to educate you about home construction requirements and practices in your region of the country.
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