A Basic Description of the Homebuilding Process Main Idaho Real Estate Insights

Take a moment to envision a home that has everything you are looking for: The floor plan fits how your family lives. The design, amenities and finishes match your style. This is a home unlike any other because it’s yours—and you had the chance to personalize it exactly as you wanted. If you are building a new custom home, the more you know about the homebuilding process, the more enjoyable your experience is likely to be. 

If you are trying to decide on a particular house style or house type, tour homes in the area or view floorplans online. As you gather ideas for your own home, be sure to focus on individual design features like layouts and traffic patterns, bedroom sizes and locations, closet and storage space, window types, and any other individual components of the design that might fit your needs or wants.

Do Some Research Before You Build

The first step is to learn as much as possible about what you want. The clearer you can communicate what you want to an architect/ drafting designer, builder and interior designer the easier it will be and the happier you will be with your home.  A surprisingly large number of home buyers think that anyone can design and build the home of their dreams without first spending the time to thoroughly learn what is involved. This is all too often a recipe for disaster.

Designing and building a beautiful appealing, comfortable, safe and well-built structure that fits your needs and wants is not an easy task. For those who take the time to do their due diligence and familiarize themselves with the entire process, the construction of a new home can be a memorable and very gratifying experience. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you sure you want to build compared to buying an existing home?
    • What is your time frame?
    • How long do you plan to live there?
  • Do you understand the costs and can you finance it?
  • Where do you want to build?
    • Are there building lots available?
    • Are there covenants or restrictions that may interfere in getting what you want?
    • Do you have any special requirements?

In the early stages of your research, we highly recommend that you ask other people about their experiences. Almost everyone who has built a new home has a few stories, which they are more than happy to share with others. Building a new home should be part of the “American dream”, not a nightmare.


Part of this phase is selecting where you want to live and purchasing the perfect building lot. You will also need to determine if your home will fit on the lot. It has to be in a great neighborhood, close to where you work and where you want your children to attend school. Is the property served by public utilities or will you need to have a perc test performed and a well drilled? Is there an architectural review committee that will need to approve your house plans? What are the zoning restrictions, building setbacks? Be sure that you take the time to consider all of the related aspects of the property you are considering. 

You may also want to seriously consider consulting with one or more architects, builders or designers at this stage. A good architect may very well be able to help you save more money than they charge for their services by bringing them in earlier. After all, designing and overseeing the construction of buildings is their job. Depending upon your personal abilities and characteristics, your available time, your wants and needs, and your current circumstances, designing and building the home that you really want may very well require the knowledge and experience of a professional.

During the pre-construction phase, you will be making some of your most important decisions. Decisions that you may have to live with for the rest of your life.

Site Work

Now we are underway as excavators start moving dirt. This can be a very exciting time as you will finally get to see where your house will sit, how big it will be.

Building Foundation

The foundation is the structure on which the rest of your house is built. By now you have already determined if you wanted a basement, crawl space, pilings, or slab on grade. It needs to be strong and square and dry. This is not a good place to try to save money? Be sure the footings are properly sized and reinforced for the loads that will be carried. and invest in a waterproofing system that will protect areas below grade.

A house is only as good as the foundation on which it rests!


Most people consider the framing stage including trusses to be the most exciting part of the entire process. Framing will take anywhere from a week for a small house, to several months for a larger one. You will be able to watch the basic structure take shape very fast. Your home will suddenly have walls, a roof, and windows.

This is also the time when the first on-site changes will probably take place. Room sizes and layouts become much easier to see in 3 dimensions. Even the best architect frequently finds something that didn’t turn out quite the way it was envisioned on paper. It is always good on paper!

Rough Ins

As the individual trades converge on your house, a lot more work is actually being done on your house than you may realize as it is between walls and in the ceiling. Over the next several weeks or months, dozens of people will be installing the inner workings of your house including plumbing, electrical lines (for outlets, switches, and lighting & security systems) HVAC Systems, central vacuum hoses, cable, and computer and entertainment systems, exhaust fans, phone lines, and fireplaces.

This may not be an exciting time, but it is very important that everything and everybody is properly coordinated. When a builder takes the time to get things right at the rough-in stage, a lot of aggravation can be saved.

Interior Finishes

After everything has been roughed in properly, it is time to finish the walls, install the doors & trim, hang the cabinets, put down the hardwood flooring, install ceramic tile, and cover everything that doesn’t move with either paper, plastic, or paints. After the paint, the next things to be installed are the light fixtures, countertops, appliances, plumbing fixtures, mirrors, shower doors, security systems, doorknobs, towel bars, and toilet paper holders. 

Exterior Finishes

While work is progressing inside, there is much to be done outside!. Finishing the 'envelope' needs to be completed to keep out the elements and protect the main structure. The exterior finishes might be any combination of brick, stone, stucco, vinyl, aluminum, concrete, or wood. Before you make a final decision, you need to take into consideration the weather conditions in the area where you are building and how much time you will be able to spend on maintaining the outside of your house. In Idaho, exteriors vary greatly from desert to mountain conditions.


Landscaping is the finishing touch to the exterior of your home. This is also a way to not only make it pretty but also more comfortable. Properly placed trees can help keep your house cooler in the summer and protect it from cold winter winds.

The walkways, patios, pool, walls, ponds, and plantings that make up a landscape can easily represent a sizeable expense, yet they are very important in making a new house look and feel like a home. All too often, because this is one of the last phases of the job, people forget about the importance of blending the structure with the surrounding area. Be sure to make a reasonable budget for landscaping and try very hard not to spend it on something else.


Chances are that you still have a long way to go before we need to discuss what happens when your house is complete. Even when you think the project is just about complete, you will still have some of the most frustrating work ahead of you – the punchout work. Replacing those two broken tiles, hiding that bad drywall seam, fixing the squeaky floor in the dining room, or getting the plumber to come back and move the powder room faucet up to the master bath, where it belongs, just seems to take forever. Also, now you are meeting with someone to order window treatments and blinds. A new one probably also means that you are going to need some new furniture and other interior designs.

“Alright! Everything is finished. Now we can finally relax and enjoy our new home!”

Good luck with your project and have fun building! If you need help, just ask!

Trey Langford

Posted by tlangford at 9/27/2017 10:10:00 PM
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