Construction Of Your Dream Home Starts With Site Preparation

Ground Breaking:

Yep! That’s right, you will need to do a little bit of earth moving in order to prepare your building site.

This is another of those items that will probably require a professional unless of course, it’s something you already have experience with and have the equipment necessary to complete the job.

If you have land in the country, you will first need to put in a driveway back to the building site.

In our county, the Road Commissioner took care of putting in our culvert for the entrance. We had to supply the culvert but they put it in to be sure it was in compliance with county requlations. Besides, the culvert is really on the county right-of-way at the beginning of our property.

We hired a local man to prepare our driveway roadbed, spread the gravel and level our building site. If you plan to build your house back off the road a good distance, be prepared to pay a lot for your driveway. Don’t cut corners on the amount of gravel you put down, you will pay for it later when the trucks bringing in your concrete and building materials get stuck and you have to call out the big tow trucks to pull them out.

This I learned by watching our concrete contractor. He was so anxious to pour the concrete that he ordered the trucks out before the ground had dried up enough to hold them. Before the day was over, we had big cement mixer trucks stuck all over the place. He kept sending one after the other in to pull the first one out. They all got stuck and had to be pulled out by a big tow truck with a monster wench.

He ended up pouring our garage slab on New Years eve by hauling cement in a front end loader from the cement truck to the garage. He also had to come back out on New Years morning to finish the slab before the concrete set up.

I was sure glad that we were not responsible for ordering those trucks out. Believe me, it was a real mess. We had 2 ft deep ruts all over our property and it took a lot of effort to return the area to the original condition.

So, are you ready to put in Foundation!


 A Solid Foundation:

This part will be short and sweet!

Whether you plan to pour a slab or use pier and beam construction (see pictures of log home foundation), I once again suggest hiring a professional unless you have previous experience and are well qualified.

This is probably the most important part of the entire project. If your foundation is not solid, your structure above will be not be safe and sound. This is another area where you do NOT cut corners. Before your concrete man can pour cement, you should be sure your plumber has roughed in all plumbing.

About this point in your project, you need to have a temporary electric pole installed to supply electricity to the building site. Most of your sub-contractors will need electricity to run their power tools and air compressor for their nail guns.

Alright!  Now lets see some walls going up!

Raising The Walls - Getting It In The Dry!

As the general contractor on your job, it is your responsibility to line up all of your sub-contractors in the order they are needed. This is a major effort as each of these contractors has many jobs to complete and yours will not be their top priority (trust me!).

You did get bids from each of them, didn’t you?

You will also need a materials list to distribute to several (at least 3) lumber yards or building supply companies for bids. When you decide on which company you will use, make this company one of your best friends as you will be asking for special favors more often than you think.

Okay! So, are you going to do the framing or do you hire a sub-contractor to do the rough work. Depending on the size of your house, you may be able to hire a few additional hands, take a week or so off from work and get the framing done yourself.

If you’ve never built a playhouse for your kids, a garage for yourself, or a simple storage building, I suggest a sub-contractor might be the best bet. Also, you might want to purchase a book or two on carpentry or construction in order to have a good idea about what your subcontractor is or is not doing

Hey!! Are we in the dry yet?

No! Let me guess, the framing contractor is having trouble with part of his crew and hasn’t been to the site in a couple of days. Oh well! Keep calling him but don’t pay him until his job is complete no matter what he tells you. Don’t get frustrated yet, you’ve just begun this project.

Have you got your windows and doors on site yet?

How about a roofing contractor – do you have one lined up?

Don’t forget to keep your siding under some kind of cover so it doesn’t get rained on before it’s installed. As soon as the house is in the dry, you can start on the interior.

Have you gotten bids from all of your sub-contractors on their part of the job? If so, don’t give in when they tell you they forgot to figure ______ in and they need an extra $500 to cover their cost.

Is your electrician all lined up to wire your house? Be sure he’s licensed – this is an important phase of your construction. A poor job wiring a house may result in a fire while you and your precious children are asleep? Enough said!

Good - now on to other things. This is the fun part - Finishing the job!


Lumber Liquidators

Fauxwood Blinds Under $55!

Finishing The Interior - Completing Your Dream Home

Let’s see, we’re in the dry, roof is on, windows and doors are in place, house has been wired, so, I guess the next thing is to start on some of the finish work inside.

The first thing should be installation of your insulation on all outside walls and in the attic.

From this point there are so many variations that I’m not sure what will be next and there are many efforts that can be worked at the same time.

Your central heat/air should be installed as soon as the area is framed.

Depending on your bath fixtures, you may want some of them delivered and placed inside before your interior walls are completed.

Don’t make changes to any of your load bearing walls without consulting a professional.

Kitchen cabinets can be installed as soon as your walls are completed on the inside.

If you plan to do the interior yourself, start at one end of the house and work yourself through one room at a time.

Hanging sheetrock will normally require two people unless you have a handy little piece of equipment that holds the sheetrock against the ceiling while you nail it in place.

If you intend to paint your walls, it will be easier if you paint them before installing your trim around the doors and windows. Cover any windows and use an airless sprayer to save time and effort. Remember to have plenty of ventilation so you aren’t overcome by paint fumes.

If you are going to hang wallpaper or cover some of your walls with fabric, wait until all painting is completed in the other rooms.

Do you think we’re getting close?

How are you doing on time?

Interim financing is usually for a 6 month period only – are you going to be finished in time?

Have you installed your light fixtures and your appliances?

Flooring is the last thing to be installed. Everything needs to be complete before laying your carpet.

A general cleaning and your house should be ready for occupancy.


Punch! Home Design Software



Last updated: Monday, 11 May 2009
Site Owner: Ellen Mayo
URL: Building Your Dream Home
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