The Main Steps to Building a House

The Main Steps to Building a House

The 10 steps to build a new home are: 

  1. Prepare construction site and pour foundation
  2. Construct rough framing
  3. Complete rough pluming, electrical and HVAC
  4. Install insulation
  5. Complete drywall and interior textures; start exterior finishes
  6. Finish interior trim; install exterior driveways and walkways
  7. Install hard-surface flooring and countertops, and complete exterior grading
  8. Finish mechanical trims; install bathroom fixtures
  9. Install mirrors, shower doors and finish flooring, and finish exterior landscaping
  10. Final walkthrough with builder

Often, site preparation and foundation work are performed by the same crew, but this may not be the case with a wooded lot. Using a backhoe and a bulldozer, the crew clears the site of rocks, debris and trees for the house and, if applicable, the septic system. The crew levels the site, puts up wooden forms to serve as a template for the foundation and digs the holes and trenches. Footings (structures where the house interfaces with the earth that supports it) are installed. If your home is going to have a well, it will be dug at this point.

When the curing process is complete, a city inspector visits the site to make sure foundation components are up to code and installed properly. This inspection may be repeated depending on the type of foundation (slab, crawl space or basement). Your builder will then remove the forms and begin coordinating step No. 2, the framing phase.

The floor systems, walls and roof systems are completed (collectively known as the shell or skeleton of the house). Plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) sheathing is applied to the exterior walls and roof and windows and exterior doors are installed. The sheathing is then covered with a protective barrier known as a house wrap; it prevents liquid water from infiltrating the structure, while allowing water vapor to escape. This reduces the likelihood of mold and wood rot.

Once the shell is finished, siding and roofing can be installed. At the same time, the electrical and plumbing contractors start running pipes and wires through the interior walls, ceilings and floors. Sewer lines and vents, as well as water supply lines for each fixture, are installed. Bathtubs and one-piece shower/tub units are put in place at this point because there’s more room to maneuver large, heavy objects.

Insulation plays a key role in creating a more comfortable, consistent indoor climate while significantly improving a home’s energy efficiency. One of the most important qualities of insulation is its thermal performance or R-value, which indicates how well the material resists heat transfer. Most homes are insulated in all exterior walls, as well as the attic and any floors that are located above unfinished basements or crawl spaces.

Where to Find a Good Builder

When you are planning a renovation project, or are looking to build onto your home, it is important that you choose a reliable builder to help you with the build project. There are likely to be technical skills which requires a professional builder to work on, rather than doing it all yourself. It also helps when trying to apply for the correct planning applications if you have a knowledgeable builder helping you!

There are lots of ways to find a good builder. One is simply by word of mouth – asking friends and family for recommendations is usually a good start, as people who have had good or bad experiences with builders will usually want to share their thoughts!

Another way is to look online. Asking for recommendations on social media sites like Facebook can be a good place to start, with local towns often having community groups which will allow you to ask your questions.  Local companies and builders will then be able to reply to your post and offer their services.

It is a good idea to check reviews for builders before you commit to working with one, as there are lots of things which could go wrong should you choose the wrong builder for you!

When You DON’T Need Planning Permission!

There are some scenarios when the dreaded planning permissions are not required. Permitted development rights are a national grant of planning permission which allow certain building works and changes of use to be carried out without having to make a planning application. Permitted development rights are subject to conditions and limitations to control impacts and to protect local amenity.

There is a range of exclusions which apply to permitted development rights in England. For instance, there are protected areas known as article 2(3) land, which cover:

  • conservation areas
  • Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • National Parks
  • the Broads
  • World Heritage Sites

There are other land areas known as article 2(4) land. Article 2(4) land covers land within a National Park, the Broads or certain land outside the boundaries of a National Park. Permitted development rights are subject to national conditions and limitations (for example limits on height, size or location etc). Some permitted development rights are also in place for a limited period of time; these are set out in the relevant Parts in Schedule 2 to the General Permitted Development Order.