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Residential Construction Process

What to Expect Building Your Home

The journey to go through the process of having your own residence constructed can be intimidating but also is very rewarding. The final product being a result of decisions you make along every step of the construction process. There are many potential pitfalls and detours that can make the process frustrating. Therefore, the more you understand going into the process the better prepared you are for handling surprises (and there will be surprises) before the project is complete and you have moved in.

The beginning of the project deals with financing. You will need to set a preliminary budget number for what you want to spend for the new residence. Representative costs of the project will consist of the following and this is by no means an all-inclusive list;

  1. Lot costs.
  2. Financing costs.
  3. Real Estate Agent Costs.
  4. House Plans Costs and the associated costs to adapt the plans to your local jurisdiction Codes. This could include additional professional fees for the following;
    • House Designer or Architect. The typical phases that Designers and Architects will take you through are as follows;
      • I. Space Planning
      • II. Schematic Design
      • III. Design Development
      • IV. Construction Documents
      • V. Bidding
      • VI. Construction
        Note: Items i through iv are generally eliminated by purchasing house plans by Etruscan. You will need to have the plans altered to comply with your local jurisdictions Code and any other adjustments to the plans to meet your individual requirements. Items v and vi will be handled in conjunction with your Residential Builder.
    • Civil Engineering.
    • Structural Engineering.
    • Mechanical Engineering.
    • Electrical Engineering.
    • Landscape Engineering.
    • Specialty Designers, i.e. Kitchen Designers, Interior Designers, Lighting Designers, etc.
  5. Residential Constructions Costs. This will generally include the following;
    • Site Surveying and/or Building Location.
    • Residential Contractor Costs. These costs are partially based on the House Plans as approved by your local jurisdiction. The Residential Contractor will give you a bid to complete your house. Some of the costs include;
      • Lot Costs.
      • Miscellaneous Costs. i.e. Plan Costs (if not already paid by Owner), temporary utilities, permit costs, etc.
      • Shell Costs and Field Overhead. This is the costs of the residence through “Tape and Texture.”
      • Customer Preferences Costs. This would include items of preference by the Owner such as windows, masonry, interior finishes, woodwork, fireplace(s), appliances, special systems, landscaping, sprinklers and gutters, etc.
      • Allowances Costs. This will vary depending on Customer preferences.
      • Insurance Costs. This would include Builders Risk, Liability, Workman’s Compensation, Employee Health and Life, etc.
      • Profit and Administrative Costs.
    • Building, Planning and Zoning Permit Fees.

It is not unusual to work with a Real Estate Agent and a Residential Contractor in determining the previous preliminary costs. During this phase you will determine which House Plan and lot you want to purchase for your new home. The house plan and lot are critical to consider together to ensure the house can, indeed, be built on the lot of your choice. It is very possible to work with a set of house plans prior to ever working with a Real Estate Agent or a Residential Builder. In that case you would purchase the plans and then start working with a Designer or Architect to revise the plans to your preferences if needed and then determine the Lot to build on.
In general, new home Owners will start working with a Residential Builder to flow through the Construction Process. The general Construction Sequence can be outlined as follows;

  1. Lot determination and securing the Lot.
  2. Plans modifications.
  3. Permitting.
  4. Surveying.
  5. Existing Utilities location.
  6. Excavation and Backfill.
  7. Foundation Construction.
  8. Site Flatwork. i.e. Slab-on-Grade, Concrete Patios, Concrete walkways, Concrete Sidewalks.
  9. Framing.
  10. Structural Steel Construction (If required).
  11. Roof Truss Construction.
  12. Roofing Construction.
  13. Plumbing Rough-In.
  14. HVAC Rough-In.
  15. Electrical Rough-In
  16. Inspections at Various Intervals.
  17. Insulation Installation.
  18. Sheetrock Construction.
  19. Customer Preference Construction. i.e. Windows, Stucco, Masonry, Exterior Paint, Interior Paint, Carpet, Vinyl, Laminates, Tile, Millwork, Special Décor, Appliances, Fine Grade, Landscape, Sprinklers, Alarm Systems, Sound Systems, Permits, Impact Fees.
  20. Punch List.
  21. Obtain ALL Owners’ Manuals. Preferably all placed in a Binder for future reference.

The typical New Homeowner will take out a Construction Loan to pay the Residential Contractor on a monthly basis. After all the Construction is complete and the final construction costs are known, then the New Homeowner will take out Permanent Financing to pay off the Construction Loan. This Permanent Financing is the Home Mortgage and the meeting for completing this is called the Closing. The new Homeowner will get instructions at the Closing to take care of any outstanding issues to complete the Ownership transition i.e. converting all utilities into the Homeowner’s name, etc.