the home building process

Most home buyers have a lot of questions about the construction of their home: How long will it take to build? What happens when? What does each step involve? When can we visit the site and see our home in progress? When do we have to make final decisions about cabinets, fixtures, flooring, and so on? When do building inspections take place? Will we have a chance to inspect it ourselves before we take possession?


Below is an outline of the typical construction process today. Bear in mind that this is a generalized description—we will tailor a process that works best with the design of your home and most of all one that works for your life and work schedule.  The process and schedule will also be affected by the size and style of the house; the lot; the construction techniques used; the amount of customization required; the number of municipal inspections; specifications of the home, and many other factors. Just remember that building a home is an experience that is both enjoyable and rewarding.  


Pre-construction activities


Before any construction begins, plans for your home are developed, finalized and submitted to the municipal building permit office for review. Permits are required for all or some of the following work: building, electrical, plumbing, septic system and sewer connection.  The starting point for all design work is the site survey for development permit. A number of site tests may also be conducted to examine the water table, the soil and the bearing capacity of the ground and other environmental tests. With this information, final engineering adjustments can be made to the plans.  


Pouring the Foundation


Your house is staked out and the land is prepared. Often, the topsoil is removed and piled elsewhere for later use, if your site has limited space and access we might remove all of the soil off site so we can execute more efficient construction techniques.  Excavation is done, and the footings (concrete slabs to support the foundation walls) are formed and poured.


The foundation walls are erected (may use poured concrete in temporary wooden forms or permanent insulated blocks, concrete blocks or preserved wood, for instance). The foundation is insulated and damp-proofed. Weeping tiles are installed to drain ground moisture away from the house. Inspections are conducted before the outside perimeter is backfilled.


Framing the Home


Exterior walls, interior partitions and the roof are assembled. This usually means erecting a framing skeleton and applying an exterior sheeting; or other framing technique may be used. Frames are built on the floor, one wall at a time and then lifted in place. Roof trusses are most often brought to the site ready for installation, and roofing is completed as quickly as possible to prevent accidental damage as work progresses on the lower parts of the home. Windows and doors are installed. Our aim is to get to "lock-up" as quickly as possible to protect the structure from the elements.  


Rough-ins for Electrical and Plumbing


The basement floor is installed. Electrical and plumbing services are roughed in, and ducting for heating, cooling and ventilation is put in place.  At this time, we do a full a structural inspection to ensure that the home is being built according to building code requirements. Electrical and plumbing inspections will likely be conducted as well.  An extra step that we do here is that we take pictures of the inside of the walls at this stage so we have documentation of where everything is positioned before we drywall.


Interior and Exterior work begins


For the next several weeks, a great deal of work will happen inside and out, much of it at the same time, or overlapping. Proper scheduling and having all the selected materials on hand is key to smooth progress. The exterior walls and the roof are insulated, and a vapour barrier is applied. Inspections take place to ensure this work has been done properly, before the drywall is installed. Heating and cooling systems are installed, including fireplaces. Walls and ceilings are painted, flooring is laid, and kitchen and bathroom cabinets are installed. Plumbing and electrical fixtures are put in, trim is applied, and interior doors are hung. Siding is applied on the outside, along with eavestroughing, and porches and decks are installed. Final lot grading is done, and the driveway and walkways are put in.


During this period, we will work very closely with you and the designers to update you on progress and to meet deadlines for selecting finishes to ensure materials are available when needed as well as other decisions you may need to make.


Flexibility Along the Way


From our past experience, we have found that custom home owners like to maintain as much flexibility as possible while building their dream home and as such we will gladly attempt to accommodate any changes or additions you want to make before construction of your home begins, or even when it is in progress.


From Near-Completion to Move-in


They last 10% of the project is always the most challenging, but also the most rewarding as this is where you visually inspect all the hard work that has gone into building the home.  While our crews are complete the final touches and cleaning up. We are doing final detail and quality inspections. You will do a couple of walk-throughs of your home alongside with us and we will address any last-minute touch-ups. When final inspections are done an occupancy permit is granted and  you will be able to move it!


Our Ongoing Service Commitment


Designing and building a new home is an exciting  an exciting process. We want to ensure that your excitement and enjoyment of the home remain for years ahead. For a period of 1 year after your move in we handle any warranty and repair issues related to the home, a service we provide to you free of charge.  Have comfort that we will always stay in touch and do another walk through with you on your one year anniversary. After that you are covered by our New Home Warranty Program