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 in 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
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 caulk 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.