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Building a new home can be both incredibly exciting and stressful. Let me provide you with the benefits of my vast experience in new home construction. You need your own representation when purchasing new construction, contrary to what the on-site staff may say, why? Most builders use their own purchase contract, not the regulated form utilized or regulated by the real estate commission. You also may want to have an attorney examine the contract to protect your interests. These contracts are written for the benefit of the builder, and there are many good reasons for this. A thorough understanding of the contract from the beginning will help you know both your and the builder's responsibilities going forward. Building a home is a process. I will be there with you for each stage of construction and any inspections that may be required or desired. I also will assist you with the selection of many items needed for the completion of your new home. An understanding of the building stages will make the process go smoother and be more enjoyable.
Now let's see how a house gets built. Most builders welcome your participation in the building process and allow for site visitations. However, there are safety guidelines to follow and an appointment may be required.
Excavation & 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 (this should be reviewed prior to signing the contract so you know exactly where your home will be located on the site). Rough plumbing is installed and inspected and, finally, the foundation for the house, garage and porch is poured. During this stage there may be a foundation inspection.
Rough 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. Normally at this point there will be a “rough” or “frame” inspection with you and the builder. This is when you will go over all of the options that you selected for your home to make sure that nothing was missed. Most builders have definite cut-off dates for selections and it is important to adhere to these so as not to delay your home’s construction.
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 access. 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.
Drywall: The home is insulated and then the drywall or sheetrock is installed. This is one of the dirtier phases of the construction process with pieces of drywall strewn about and chalk-like particles everywhere.
Exterior and Interior Finish: 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. It is recommended that you do a walk-through inspection of your home with your builder 5-10 days before closing to allow time to fix any problems you find. A follow-up walk-through after repairs or fixes have been made to confirm that everything is as you want it. Once everything has cleared inspection, the home will be given a certificate of occupancy and you're ready to close.
By staying active and involved in the process mistakes can be avoided and your dream home built. Remember, “if it isn’t in writing it doesn’t exist”. Together we can make sure that all of your desires for your new home are addressed and acknowledged in writing so that everyone is on the same page. I have sold hundreds of new homes throughout my career and can assist you in making this experience a good one.