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The Construction Process

Most new-build home buyers end up having have a lot of questions about the construction of their home, questions like:

  • How long will it take to build?
  • What happens when…. ?
  • Can we visit the site and see the progress?
  • When and how do we have to make final decisions about cabinets, fixtures, flooring and so on?
  • When and how do building inspections take place?
  • Will we have a chance to inspect it ourselves before we take possession?
     We will now go through a typical construction process, keeping in mind it is a general outline and that each builder will use a different approach. The Construction Process is affected by the a plethora of items - size and style of the house, the lot, the construction techniques, customization required, the number of municipal inspections, is the house in a large or small development, availability of labour and many other factors.

Phase One: Pre-construction
      Before any construction begins, plans for your home are developed, finalized and submitted to the municipal building permit office for review. Permits may be required for all or some of the following work: building, electrical, plumbing, septic system and sewer connection.

Phase Two: Foundation Construction
      Your house outline is staked out. The topsoil is removed and generally piled elsewhere for later use. The foundation hole is done, and the footings (concrete slabs to support the foundation walls) are formed and poured. Water, electricity, telephone and cable services may be brought in at this time.
      The foundation walls are erected using poured concrete in temporary wooden forms or permanent insulating blocks, concrete blocks or preserved wood. The foundation is insulated and damp-proofed. Weeping tiles are installed to drain ground moisture away from the house. A municipal inspection of the foundation may be conducted before the outside perimeter is backfilled.
      In order to prevent delays later, the builder may ask you to begin making your selections, at this time—deciding on flooring, tiles, cabinets, etc.

Phase Three: Framing
      Exterior walls, interior partitions and the roof are now assembled. First the framing skeleton is done and an exterior sheeting applied. Frames are usually built on the floor, one wall at a time and then lifted in place. Roof trusses are most often built off site by a specialty company and brought to the site ready for installation. Roofing is then completed as quickly as possible, to prevent damage as work progresses on the lower parts of the home. Windows and doors are installed. The builder's aim is to get to a "lock-up" stage as quickly as possible to protect the structure from the elements.
      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, the municipality will probably require a structural, electrical and plumbing inspections to ensure that the home is being built according to code.

Phase Four: Interior and Exterior Completion

      The next step is to complete the inside and outside. A lot of things happen in a short period of time.

  • The exterior walls and the roof are insulated, and a vapour barrier is applied.
  • Another inspection may take place to ensure this work has been done properly
  • The drywall is installed
  • Heating and cooling systems are installed, including fireplaces
  • Walls and ceilings are painted
  • Flooring is laid
  • 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
  • Porches and decks are installed
  • Final lot grading is done, and the driveway and walkways are put in.  

     Several additional municipal inspections may occur. For instance, after completion of the interior to check stairs, handrails and other health and safety related items, and final plumbing and electrical work.
      Your builder should stay in regular contact with you, during this process to keep you updated on progress.  

Phase Five: From near-completion to hand-over
      As the house nears completion and final hand over, the builder will be busy completing the small things and cleaning up. At some point, you will be asked to do a walk-through inspection of your home with the builder. This is your opportunity to identify any deficiencies you may see, and get them corrected. Large items will fall under the New Home Warranty Program.

      Then, on closing day, you will be handed the keys. And the house is now yours!

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