In Part 1 of our Quick Guide to Your New Home Build , we discussed the process of selecting and buying a new home, but what happens next? How long will your new home take to be finished? When do you make your final selections for countertops, lighting fixtures, and flooring materials? When are building code inspections scheduled? Will you be able to personally inspect the property before taking possession?
So many questions!
We’ve got answers.
Your new home’s building process and its timing are influenced by the home’s size, the land, the general location, the applied building methods, the number of required inspections, the amount of available labour, and a myriad of other elements.
Below, we’ll shed some light on your home’s construction process so you’ll know what to expect from the moment your builder breaks ground right up until your final walkthrough.
Step One: Pre-Construction
Prior to any construction starting, the finalized plans for your property are sent to your local building license office for evaluation. Special permits or licenses could be necessary to perform certain building-related tasks like plumbing, electrical wiring, and septic tank or sewer setup.
Under the New Home Buyer Protection Act (NHBPA), as a new property owner in Alberta you’ll also be provided with a home warranty, which your builder will need to prove to your municipality before they are allowed construction permits. In addition, lot tests might be performed to inspect the ground’s water levels and weight capacity, which may alter the finalized engineering blueprints.
Step Two: Laying the Foundation
Your home’s layout is then marked in the land with stakes. At this time, the topsoil is often pulled up and gathered in piles to be filled back in later. Excavating work is completed, and the concrete foundation is poured and spread out. Utilities like electricity, water, cable, and internet services are often set up during this time as well.
The base walls are often built upright by pouring wet concrete into large wooden moulds. The foundation itself is insulated and waterproofed with drainage lines to prevent groundwater from entering the home. A city assessment of the foundation is performed prior to the outer perimeter being filled with concrete.
Your builder will likely request that you start making your choices regarding floor materials, cabinetry, etc. Although these things won’t be installed for another few weeks, they will order the materials early on to side-step any future holdups.
Step Three: Framework
All outer walls, indoor partitions, and the rooftop are then linked together to create a skeleton framework, which is then covered with exterior sheetrock, or similar material. When the home is completely framed, the doors and windows are put in as soon as possible to help seal the framework and protect it from the natural elements.
Next, the flooring in the basement is put down. Electrical and plumbing systems are installed, along with the ductwork for your HVAC system. During this stage, the city will most likely want to perform an inspection of the framework, electrical system, and plumbing to make sure the properties up to code.
Step Four: Indoor and Outdoor Construction
For the next few weeks, a lot of work will be performed both within and outside your home. The rooftop and outer walls are covered with insulation, and an air filtering system is installed. Your home may need an additional city inspection to make sure it’s been constructed properly before installing any drywall, HVAC systems, or fireplaces.
The ceilings and walls receive a fresh coat of paint, flooring is placed, and all of the bathroom and kitchen cabinetry are installed. Electrical and plumbing fixtures are set up, trimming is added, and the inside doors are mounted.
Outside, vinyl siding is placed on the home’s exterior, rain gutters are applied, and any decks or patios are built. The lot is graded, and driveways and walking paths are poured.
There may be a few extra city inspections necessary once the interior is finished to look at stairways, banisters, as well as other safety and health-related features. The electrical and plumbing systems will most likely need one last inspection, too. Your builder should keep you informed of the home’s development and finalize your chosen interior finishes.
Step Five: Finishing Touches and Possession
At this stage, the construction crew will perform the finishing touches and clean up any building debris. Then, you’ll do an inspection of the house with your builder, and any other final touchups will be completed. When the possession date arrives, you’ll receive the keys to your brand-new home.
You’ll also be able to rest soundly knowing your new home warranty will provide you protection for labour and material costs for one year, deliveries and circulatory systems for two years, framing work for five years, and key structural elements for ten years. Your builder will explain the details of your warranty to you on or around the time you take possession.
While your own home’s construction may occur in a slightly different order, the general building outline should be the same and take approximately 9-12 months. From pre-construction to possession, these steps are all equally necessary to ensure your home meets both the city’s and your own personal standards. A reputable builder will be sure to keep you informed every step of the way and be more than happy to answer any additional questions you might have.