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A Quick Guide to Residential Construction

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The median cost of an existing home in the US was close to $300,000 in 2020. Building a home instead may seem like the easier, and potentially cheaper, option.

While building a home sounds like a dream scenario, there are a lot of factors involved in the process that make it more complex than you might imagine.

Are you thinking of building your own home? Construction services don’t come cheap, so you want to make sure that you understand the process before you make that decision.

Keep reading to learn how residential construction works before you choose to hire a construction team.

Hiring a Contractor

It’s best to hire a licensed general contractor for this job rather than doing it yourself.

A lot of states will allow you to act as a contractor for the home, but you should consider how qualified you are for the job. Since you want to be sure that this home is high-quality, it would be easier to hire someone with experience to manage the project, schedule the orders, and know the building codes.

If you still want to help out with the build, you can still save some money with sweat equity. This is done by completing some of the smaller projects, such as building walkways, planting grass, or painting the house.

Prepare Your New Home’s Site

You’ll need to get the land cleared of any brush or debris where the home will be built, but also at least 25 feet around the perimeter. A land surveyor can help you with this.

During this part of the process, you need to get a dumpster for refuse, portable toilets for the workers, and a temporary utility order so the workers can use their tools. You’ll also need to get an electrician to hook up a temporary electrical panel.

Pour the Concrete

A contractor will dig trenches for frost footings and pour the concrete after inspection. Footing drains are constructed to drain water away from footers. The contractor will build foundation walls that rest on the footings with poured concrete (or cinder blocks), and they will waterproof the foundation to the finished grade level.

Next, the contractor is going to install (in this order):

  • Slab foam board
  • Gravel base
  • Plastic vapor barrier
  • Wire mesh reinforcement
  • Concrete slab

Framing, Siding, and Roofing

Framing carpenters will come to add a framework for floors, ceilings, and walls. They will also help with sheathing, siding, and roofing. This creates a shell that includes outlines for windows and doors that can be installed.

This is also the stage of residential construction services where the siding is installed over the sheathing and roofers can come in to complete roof application.

Install Plumbing, Electrical, and Insulation

If you pour a concrete slab, you will want to consult with plumbers and electricians to “rough-in” some of those services, such as pipes and electrical lines.

HVAC specialists, plumbers, masons (if you need a chimney), and electricians will arrive to help with the necessary tasks within the home. You’ll need to arrange for the right permits and inspections with the help of your contractor.

Insulation is also installed at this stage in the walls and attic.

Hang Drywall and Establish Trim

Your home is starting to look like a home at this stage! Drywall gets added to the walls and ceilings here.

You will prime the walls with spraying equipment before installing trim moldings and hanging cabinets.

Finishing Touches

Now is the time to paint the ceilings and walls, install countertops, and finish hooking up electrical or plumbing fixtures. While you can do some of this yourself, any electrical or plumbing requirements need to be completed by a very skilled professional to meet code requirements.

Laying down the flooring comes next, and then it’s time to clean up the worksite by putting any admissible debris into the dumpster.

Step-by-Step Residential Construction

Residential construction services truly are just a bunch of steps stacked on top of each other in the perfect order to build your home. The residential construction crew can help you along the way to make sure that everything is going to plan (and is up to code).

Did you find this content helpful? If so, check out the rest of our website for more.

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