What Are the Steps in Building a House?

byron moore


Building a new home can be both exciting and stressful. Some things take longer than expected, weather can hold you up and plans can go wrong. But when it's all said and done, your new home is beautiful and built the way you wanted it to be. Assuming you have already purchased the land to build your house on, the first step would be submitting your house plans and getting a building permit. You will need a site plan that includes your well and septic system if there is not public water and a sewer already in place. In some states there is also a permit required for clearing the lot in preparation to build the house. These are all separate permits and there is a fee attached to each one. During the field work for the well and septic system, health inspectors will observe the work being done and then there will be a final inspection when all the work is finished. Many inspections will be done on the actual house during construction.

Clearing the Land and Laying the Foundation

If your lot is wooded, the trees will have to be cleared for the area of the house and the septic bed. When you have obtained all of your permits the foundation must be built. Depending on the type of foundation you plan to build, there will be one or two inspections. These inspections are done for your safety and to make sure the contractor is doing things correctly. The foundation requires a footing and either a block, slab or pillar foundation. This is one of the most important parts of the construction because it is this foundation the rest of your house will be built upon and it must be done correctly and it must be strong.

Framing, Windows and Doors and Exterior Walls

The next phase of the building is the framing. This is the skeleton of your home. This part of the project differs in various states. In some states a special engineer must be hired to draw the plans for the roof rafters and in other states it is just part of the framing. There will be inspections done in this phase also. Next, it's time to close the house in. This is when all the sheathing is put on the exterior and roof of the home. When the sheathing is in place, the windows and doors can be installed. When this section is done, the project becomes much more fun because many things can proceed at once.

Siding, Roofing, Plumbing and Electric

Once the shell is up for the house, the siding and roofing contractors can come in and get to work. There are many types of siding and roofing materials to choose from and you will want to hire a contractor that specializes in the type that you choose. Simultaneously the electric and plumbing contractors can get started. Both electric and plumbing will have more than one inspection. The wire and pipes are run through the interior walls, ceilings and floors and sometimes these contractors don't like to work at the same time as each other because they get in each other's way, but most of the time they just start at opposite ends of the house and work it out.

Interior Walls and Finishing Work

Now it's time to put up the interior walls. Sheet rock is the most common interior surface and it needs to be hung and taped so you can't see the seams between the boards. This is a science and the more experience your sheet rock installer has the better. Next, the bathrooms and kitchen have to be put in. Kitchens take a lot of work. The cabinets, countertops, sinks and hook-ups for appliances are installed. Bathrooms can vary from owner to owner depending on what type of tub or shower they install and how extravagant they want their bathroom to be.

Last is the painting and flooring. Painting is done first so no paint is accidentally spilled or sprayed on the flooring. The most common types of flooring are wood, vinyl, tile and carpet. Depending on the material, the flooring can be done very quickly or it can take a while. There are just a few small things left to do such as putting on switch plates and touching up paint. Normally the builder will give you a week or so to write up a list of things you find that you want them to take care of. Some builders include landscaping which can be done anytime after the heavy equipment stops coming on the property.

Photo Credits

  • byron moore