Home Building 101: Major Phases of Construction Part IV

We’ve spent the last few weeks walking you through the process of home building, from foundation to the final inspection, if you haven’t read our blog posts from the previous weeks, you can find them here: Part I, Part II, and Part III.

Mechanical Trims Finished & Bathroom Fixtures Installation

After your flooring is installed, your contractor will finish the mechanical trims and complete installation of the light fixtures, power outlets, light switches, and if the electrical panel hasn’t already been installed, it will be installed now.  Equipment for the HVAC is installed and faucets, sinks, and toilets in the kitchen and bathrooms are installed as well.

Miscellaneous Installation & Flooring

Shower doors and mirrors are installed next, they are installed at this point in the construction phase in order to keep them from being damaged during the actual construction and painting of the house.  Carpet is also installed now for the same reason and the house is cleaned of all debris and construction material leftovers.

Exterior Landscaping

At this point, the exterior of the house is also cleaned up and shrubs, grass, and trees are planted as well as any other exterior items that are left.

Final Inspection

An official will come to do the final inspection to check that everything follows your area’s building code.  If any issues come up during inspection that need to be addressed, the building-code official will have to conduct a follow-up inspection to ensure these have been addressed.  When everything has successfully passed inspection, the official will then issue a certificate of occupancy (C.O.) which means that you can legally live in the domicile.

Final Walkthrough/Pre-Settlement Walkthrough

Now that everything has successfully passed inspection, your builder will walk through the entire house with you to show off all of the house’s features, explain how to best maintain your home.  This is the time for you to look for any problems, mistakes, or areas requiring adjustment.  Your builder will be able to help you decide how to handle or fix these areas, she or he should also help you look for them but it’s important to be observant yourself.  Some areas to watch out for are: floors, walls, countertops, fixtures, and any glass such as mirrors, windows, etc. these parts are more prone to damage from construction.  It’s imperative to point these things out before you move in because after you move in there’s no way to prove that the damage was pre-existing before the movers came through.

That’s it!  Your home is built and ready to move-in!  Do you have any questions or comments about the process of building a home from the ground up?  If so, drop us a line below!

Home Building 101: Major Phases of Construction Part III

For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been walking you through what building a home entails, from the initial pouring, to explaining all of the inspections that take place, we’ve put it all together for you to quickly understand.  Today, we’ll continue to talk about this topic, here’s you can find part one and part two.

Drywall & Interior Textures

After the insulation is installed, the drywall and interior textures are begun.  After this is completed, the interior can be painted with primer to prepare it for the interior paint.

Exterior Textures

The exterior of the house will begin to be installed, this includes finished such as stucco, stone, brick, and siding.

Interior Trim & Paint

The decorative trim for interior doors, window sills, moldings, baseboards, and stair balusters are next installed as well as bathroom vanities, cabinets, fireplace surrounds and mantels.  Interior walls will then be painted or wallpapered.

Exterior Work

At this stage, any walkways, patios, and driveways that you have planned will be poured, though some contractors will wait until the house is completed to pour the driveway.

Floor, Counter tops, Exterior Grading

All vinyl, hardwood, and ceramic tile flooring is now installed along with kitchen and bathroom counter tops (we have a post comparing Corian and granite counter tops which might be helpful to you).  Any carpeting will be installed later in order to prevent any damage.  Not sure which kind of flooring to choose for your home?  You might want read our posts comparing hardwood and carpet, hardwood and laminate, as well as some general information on bamboo flooring.  Exterior grading is complete to make sure that water drains properly away from the home to prevent any foundation issues.

We hope that you’re enjoying reading this series of posts as much as we’re enjoying writing them.  If you’re looking for some home building ideas, it might be helpful to visit our post about luxuries to consider for your custom home, or how to build an energy efficient home on a budget.  Any suggestions?  Drop us a comment below.  See you next week when we wrap up this topic.

Hardwood Floors VS Carpet

The struggle over the choice of flooring for your dream home is an age-old problem.  Hardwood floors speak of quality and will last much longer than carpeted interiors but carpet is cheaper to lay down and so the upfront cost is much lower.  Your custom home builder can answer a lot of your questions about what is the best option for your home, but here’s a bit of general information to get you started.

Benefits of Carpet

As mentioned above, carpet is both easier and cheaper to install, prices can range from $0.50 up to $8.50 per square meter while hardwood flooring prices (depending on the type of wood) can range from $2.75 to $200 per square foot.  Proper carpet installation is much quicker than installing hardwood floors because hardwood flooring requires precision and any small mistake can quickly become an expensive problem.  Sometimes improper installation of hardwood can lead to your floor being more prone to water damage.

Carpet, though it requires much more rigorous and regular maintenance, can be replaced easily and cheaply while a hardwood replacement is going to cost quite a bit more.  Carpet also has a wide range of color, design, and texture options available and is a good insulator for heat and sound.

Benefits of Hardwood

Hardwood flooring is known for its durability; if maintained and treated properly, it can last up to 100 years and will get more beautiful with usage and age (not really an option for carpet).  Carpets have a comparatively short lifespan with the top quality carpets lasting about 15 years.  On average, a carpet will only last about 6 years as they can quickly begin to look worn from collecting dust and stains.  When your hardwood floor begins to look worn, your first response isn’t necessarily replacing it.  Most hardwood floors will need refinishing about every 20 years and you can also just repair portions of it by pulling up the damaged boards and replacing it with matching wood.  Cleaning is also far easier and hardwood won’t trap allergens and dust as carpet does and therefore the air inside your home will be cleaner.

As a homeowner, you should always consider the resale value of your home.  Hardwood flooring is an elegant addition to any home and it is generally viewed very favorably by home buyers therefore the resale value is usually increased when hardwood flooring is present.

If you want to read more about types of hardwood flooring, we recommend our post about bamboo flooring.