The Essential Steps in Any Home Construction Project
When most people think of construction projects, they picture big machines on jobsites methodically erecting buildings. However, there’s much more to building a home than just that.
To get your project off to a strong start, the design professional and construction team need to understand your vision and objectives. This requires careful planning and coordination.
The first step of any home construction project is the design phase. Depending on the type of construction business you operate, your client may come to you with a rough design or you might work from a third-party’s home design. In either case, the design stage is crucial. You need to assess the design for constructability, and you also want to ensure that it’s within your client’s budget.
As a result, it’s important to take your time with the design stage and do everything you can to avoid costly mistakes or delays down the road. One way to do this is by establishing a solid line of communication with your client and providing them with accurate timeline estimates. Another is by hiring a reputable architect and building contractor who have experience in residential home design and can deliver high-quality results.
Another important aspect of the design phase is preparing detailed architectural drawings. These are essential to the homebuilding process, as they serve as the primary communication tool between the homeowner, architect, and construction team. This helps to eliminate confusion and reduce the risk of error during the construction phase.
At this stage, it’s also important to identifying potential subcontractors for your project. Having a list of subcontractors at this stage will allow you to prepare bid packages and get your project started faster.
The planning step is arguably the most important part of any construction project. It is when builders consider the project’s scope and budget, flesh out early details, determine what permits and inspections will be needed to complete the build and more. A crane rental company might also be something you need in the future for your home.
During the planning stage, builders also identify and confirm their timelines. This allows them to be confident that they can deliver a completed build within the deadline agreed upon with their clients.
This is when builders must answer questions like, “Where are the building materials going to come from?” and, “How much will they cost?” Getting answers to these types of questions and ordering the materials in advance will prevent delays later on during construction and save valuable time.
At this point, it is also essential for builders to have a list of subcontractors ready to take on the work required during the project. This will help them quickly address any issues that may arise during the project, such as a shipping delay or an unexpected client change request.
This is also the time when contractors must prepare their construction site and pour the foundation for the home. This requires clearing the lot of any rocks, debris and trees, building a temporary driveway, preparing a concrete pad and conducting a site survey. It is also when builders must obtain any necessary permits for the build, which can take a day, a few months or even years, depending on the scope of the project and where it’s located. Once the permit process is finished, the builder must complete any physical closeout tasks that include walkthroughs, adjustments and inspections with the client and close out all contractual and financial accounts with suppliers.
The budget is the foundation for effective cost control throughout a construction project. It outlines the expected inflows and outflows of funds, providing stakeholders with a clear financial roadmap that supports project completion and success.
It’s estimated that a new home is the single largest purchase that 99% of the population will make in their lifetime, and it’s not unusual for tensions to rise between builders + remodelers and homeowners over budget. It’s important to regularly review the project budget throughout the build to identify and address any areas where costs may go over or under. By identifying the root cause of these deviations, you can establish accountability and make necessary adjustments to reduce overages going forward.
When a builder identifies items that exceed the budget, they are typically able to engage in value engineering or scope change discussions with the client to resolve the issue. This process allows both parties to examine what materials, design elements or labor hours are being impacted and create a plan to keep the project on track.
Oftentimes, a builder can save money by identifying long-lead items like cabinets, windows, doors, tile and plumbing or electrical fixtures before they are ordered, so that they can place these items on an expedited schedule. This can allow the builder to deliver a finished product on time and within budget.
Having an easy-to-read, clear and comprehensive budget is a must for any builder or remodeler. By using a cloud-based software solution that integrates project estimates, actuals and purchase orders, builders + remodelers can streamline their budgeting process and have a clear understanding of what the budget should look like at any given point in time. Online tools, like Fluix’s CoConstruct, provide a visual and user-friendly way to organize project data, making it fast and simple to compare original vs revised and committed expenses and invoices. Automated alerts and reporting processes help flag any deviations from the planned budget to enable quick corrective actions, so that everyone can stay focused on delivering quality projects.
Whether it’s building a brand-new home or modifying an existing floor plan, the builder and the homeowner must agree on a contract. The contract spells out the project specifications, the payment methods and terms, and the rights of each party. A well-written contract can prevent many disagreements down the line.
The contract is a critical step because it establishes deadlines, milestones, and other important details of the construction process. For example, a contract can specify that certain phases of the build must be completed by a specific date or that any changes made to the design will be billed at a rate set in the contract.
It’s also a good idea to use contracts to define roles and responsibilities for everyone involved in the project. This can help avoid miscommunication and conflicts down the line, especially if one of the parties is not satisfied with the results or the quality of work. Using a tool like Cedreo can make this process easier by allowing stakeholders to collaborate inside of design files.
Before construction can begin, the project must secure a building permit. This can be a lengthy process that requires meetings with city planners, zoning officials, and homeowners’ association representatives. It’s best to have all of this information organized and documented before beginning the actual construction, so that no one is surprised or disappointed down the road.
In addition, the project must undergo a series of inspections during construction. This is typically done by a special inspection agency and can involve multiple visits and testing. It’s important to be aware of these requirements so that the contractor can schedule them appropriately. It’s also a good idea to read the fine print and watch out for contractor clauses that cover all risks of construction, as these may leave homeowners on the hook for any additional costs, even if the contractor is at fault.
If you have ever watched the construction of a new home, it can seem like a confusing black box of moving parts. But, if you break the process down into its essential steps, it becomes easier to understand and accomplish.
The first step is determining the project’s scope and budget. This will help you determine whether you can afford to construct a house or if you will need to look for funding. Once you have a solid budget in place, it’s time to start the actual construction process.
During this phase, crews will prepare the building site. They will clear the lot of rocks, debris and trees and grade the soil. Once the ground is ready, a foundation can be poured. Foundations are typically made from concrete and are reinforced with steel rods. This is a very important step, as it ensures that the house will not sink or crack over time.
After the foundation is poured, work will begin on the walls. This is when the home really starts to take shape. Once the studs are up, workers will put in sheetrock and insulation. Next, they will put in windows and doors. Once the structure is complete, it will be inspected by city inspectors to ensure that it meets all building codes and regulations.
During the construction phase, it is important to keep communication open between all parties involved in the project. This is especially important when a problem arises, as it will allow everyone to address the issue quickly and find a solution. It’s also a good idea to get multiple contractor bids, and to check references before hiring anyone. This will help you to find a builder who will be affordable and does quality work.