Five simple steps to building a home

One hundred thousand parts go together in just 5 easy steps.

Stage 1 - Foundation
Before the foundation is poured, there is a lot of work to do. The site must be graded and excavated and the foundation laid out according to the plot map. Rough plumbing is installed and inspected and, finally, the foundation for the house, garage, and porch is poured.

As with all aspects of construction, weather can play a part in foundation delays. Improper grading and drainage can undermine a foundation from the beginning. Be sure to have the foundation thoroughly checked by your own inspector.

2 - Framing
This is when your house starts looking like a house. During this phase, all of the home's interior and exterior walls and the stairs are framed. Now it's time to keep the weather out by installing the sheathing, roof, shingles, exterior doors and windows. The quicker this phase is completed, the fewer weather-related delays you'll experience while finishing the interior of the house.

Stage 3 - Plumbing, Mechanical, Electrical
The work that happens during this phase has to be done right, because once sheetrock is put over it, everything will be harder and more expensive to get to. Water, waste piping, water heater, HVAC system, ductwork and rough electrical wiring -- the guts of your new home -- are installed during this stage. All of these systems require inspection to assure you can safely move on to the next phase.

Stage 4 - Insulation and Drywall
First the walls are insulated and then the drywall or sheetrock is installed over them. By now, you and your builder should have discussed details about sheetrock thickness, how it will be fastened to the studs (nails or screws) and what type of texture or paint you have the budget to finish with.

Stage 5 - Exterior and Interior Finish
In this phase, all the final details are taken care of, including installation and testing of electrical, mechanical, HVAC and plumbing systems and the installation of ceilings, doors, baseboards, window sills, floor coverings, countertops, cabinets, tiles, appliances, mirrors, lights, faucets and showerheads. Everything gets a covering of paint or wallpaper and the driveway and sidewalks are poured. Final inspections, both municipal and with your inspector, are performed now and landscaping is done.

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