A Complete Construction Checklist for Building Your New Home

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Did you know there are over 100 steps to building a new home?

If you’ve never built your own home before, we urge you before taking that initial step to review our checklist of all the things you need to do. There’s a handy infographic to the left of all the stages you’ll go through, and individual tasks within those stages to complete before moving ahead. If you’re a list person, this will be helpful in printing and crossing off as steps get completed.

Whether it’s certain stages of construction, or tests and inspections that need to be completed, this is THE list. Of course, we are also going to urge you to consult with a real estate attorney to create or review any of your agreements along the way. After all, you are hiring contractors to build, aren’t you? Then you need a construction agreement!

Don’t let faulty purchase agreements, building agreements, subcontractor agreements, title insurance, or your construction loan documents halt this amazing project you’re embarking on. And besides, if you need a network from which to draw from of good people, we can help with that too!

Without further ado, the 100 steps to constructing your own home.

Stage 1: Buying Land

1. Frontage on County Road

2. Land Survey

3. Title Search

4. Title Insurance

5. Water Table for Well

6. Septic System Soil Test

7. Solar Heat

8. Land Easily Improved?

Stage 2: Before Closing

9. Review Loan Documents

10. Prepare Specifications Sheet

11. Prepare Complete Materials/Labor Cost Estimates (“Take Offs”)

12. Submit Loan Application

13. Sewer Tap (or Septic System Permit)

14. Building Permit

15. Construction Loan Closing

Stage 3: After Closing

16. Building License Required?

17. Compliance Bond Required?

18. Water Tap & Meter (or Contact Well Digger)

19. Order Temporary Services (Electricity/Water (If No Well))

20. Prepare Site Plan

Stage 4: Subcontractors

21. Check References

22. Are they Bonded?

23. Are they Licensed?

24. Guarantee Their Work?

25. If Guaranteed, How Long?

26. Liability Insurance

27. Workman’s Compensation Insurance

28. Who do Better Builders Use?

29. Get Written Estimates & Construction Contracts Signed

30. Check Low Bidder’s Quality

Stage 5: Buying Materials

31. Select Three Reputable Building Supply Firms

32. Submit Material Estimates to Each

33. Check Supply House Bid Against Original Estimates and Correct Difference

34. Select Building Supply Firm With Best Combination of Service, Terms and Price

Stage 6: Site & Foundation

35. Rough Grading

36. Cut Driveway

37. Put 4”-6” Gravel on the Driveway

38. Get Water Meter (or Dig Well)

39. Clear Home Site, Plus 10’ — 15’ Work Area

40. Install Temporary Power Pole

41. Crawl Space/Basement Batter Boards, Dig Foundation Footings, Pour Footings, Lay Block/Pour Walls

42. Pre-Treat for Termites

43. Waterproof/Backfill

44. Slab and Garage Form Boards, Plumbing, Miscellaneous Pipes, Gravel, Polyethylene Vapor Barrier Pre-Wire (landscape), Pour Concrete

45. Spot Foundation Survey

46. Gas, Sewer & Miscellaneous Utility Lines

Stage 7: Framing

47. Buy Building Level

48. Check Foundation Level/ Square

49. Check Level/ Square Again

50. Have Framing Materials Delivered

51. Maintain Materials Supply

52. “Cull” Materials

53. Basement Walls & Beams

54. Subfloor, 1st Floor

55. Set Special Tubs, 1st Floor

56. Walls/ Partitions, 1st Floor

57. Subfloor, 2nd Floor

58. Set Special Tub, 2nd Floor

59. Walls/Partitions, 2nd Floor

60. Wall Sheathing

61. Check Level, Square & Layout as Work Progresses

62. Ceiling Joists

63. Rafters & Trusses

64. Roof Sheathing and Felt

65. Framing Inspection

66. Install Doors/Windows

67. Measure Cabinets

Stage 8: Exterior Masonry/Miscellaneous Tasks

68. Schedule Delivery of Exterior Windows, Doors, Siding, Trim

69. Install Doors (If Not Done In Framing)

70. Install Windows (If Not Done In Framing)

71. Install Factory Built Fireplace

72. Miscellaneous Rough Frame and Deadwood

73. Install Brick/Stone (If Any Is Specified)

Stage 9: Roofing

74. Install Roofing As Soon As Possible

75. Check Horizontal Roof Shingle Lines

76. Align Shingles’ Vertical Splits

77. Four (4) Nails Per Shingle

78. Stagger Metal Flashing

Stage 10: Cornice & Siding

79. Check Siding Manufacturer’s Nailing Instructions

80. Check Siding As It’s Installed

81. Check installation of Flashing

82. Install Garage Doors

83. Exterior Paint/Stain

84. Clean Up

Stage 11: Plumbing Rough

85. Specify Plastic or Copper Pipe

86. Rough-In for Bath, Kitchen, etc.

87. Pay Only After Work Is Inspected

Stage 12: Heating & Cooling Rough

88. Take Floor Plan to Power Company for Size of System

89. Smaller Systems are Usually More Efficient

90. For Bigger House, Consider Using Multiple Systems

91. Rough-In Heating/ Cooling

92. Get Rough-In Approved by Building Inspector Before Making Payment

Stage 13: Electrical Rough

93. Make Sketches Of Furniture In Each Room, Showing Outlets and Switches

94. Get Approved For Proposed (Wiring Plan)

95. Get Power Company to Recommend How Much Amp Service Is Needed

96. Rough-In Wiring

97. Pay for Rough-In Only After Inspection

Step 14: Insulation

98. Get Power Company To Determine Amount Of R Value & Insulation Needed

99. With blow-in Insulation — Do Not Block Soffit Vents

Stage 15: Ceiling & Wall Coverings

100. If You Install Drywall Yourself, Let the Contractor Give It A Smooth Finish

101. ½” Drywall Is Recommended For 16” On-center Studs

102. Stipple Ceilings Before Painting Walls

103. Clean The Interior

Stage 16: Trim & Cabinets

104. Hire a Master Carpenter

105. Select Either Stain or Paint Grade Trim

106. Allow ½” Space Under Baseboard For Carpet

107. Install Interior Doors & Kitchen/ Bath, Cabinets

108. Recommend Caulking Around Window and Door Trim, Inside and Out

109. Finish the Fireplace

Stage 17: Interior Paint & Wallpaper

110. Paint Interior Walls & Trim

111. Over Drywall, Use One Coat Of Primer & Two Finish Coats.

112. Put Up Wallpaper

Stage 18: Final Finish & Trim

113. Call Back Plumbing, Electrical & Heating/Cooling Contractors for Final Work

114. After Final Inspection, Utilities Can Be Turned On (Power May Be Required Before Final Inspection)

115. Install Tile, Hardwood, Carpet & Vinyl

116. Install Mirrors & Bath Accessories

117. Install Gutters and Screens

118. Landscaping, Drives, Walks, Patio, etc.

119. Final Inspection

Stage 19: Final Clean Up

120. Fix Little Nicks, Touch Up Paint, Clean Windows, Floors, Etc.

121. Install Appliances

Step 20: Move-In

122. Move In & Enjoy Your New Home!

Whew! You made it! Now let us know if we need to add to the list, or comment below if you found this helpful.


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