Now that you have chosen all your all your options, it is time to head into the construction phase. Once this starts, there is not much you will need to do, except wait. It will seem like nothing much is happening, but it most assuredly is. Permits must be applied for with the city or county, floorplans and blueprints are sent to the various trades. Materials will be ordered and the land will be prepared for construction. Most builders will not invite you to the construction site (except for planned meetings) due to safety concerns. You might be required to wear a hardhat during the meeting depending on the stage of construction.
Typically a builder will meet with you just prior to construction start to go over the color and option selection to make sure everything is correct. Then there is a pre-drywall meeting so you can see what is going to be behind the walls, and there will be a pre-closing meeting. It is a good idea to take pictures of your home in progress. You can ask the on-site sales agent, or the construction superintendent to do this for you. Having these pictures for later will be fun for memories, but will also help you remember where water lines and electrical lines run.
Once the lot is prepared, the foundation will be the first thing built. All the infrastructure (water & sewer lines, etc) will be installed depending on the type of foundation you have, slab, raised slab, crawlspace, or raised construction. When the framing begins, you will see the shape and form of your home and how it sits on the lot. Roof trusses and flooring systems come next. After the walls go up, the protctive sheathing (barrier) goes on the studs. The entire house is wrapped and the roof is dried in. There will be various inspections required by the municipal inspectors between certain phases to insure everything meets codes.
After the studs are up, things seem to drag again in terms of progress, but this is when the details come together. Plumbers, electricians and HVAC contractors begin to install their systems. Insulation and drywall are installed. Toilets, sinks, bathtubs and showers are all placed in the home and are connected to the plumbing system. When mechanicals are at the proper state, the building inspector will inspect and give the builder the go ahead to move to the next phase. If for some reason, the inspection fails, the builder must make the correction and get it re-inspected before they can move forward.
Your home is starting to look more like a home than a construction site. The builder should be in contact with you periodically to let you know what is happening. You should always feel that you can call the builder, or your agent, to express any concerns or questions you may have. You should be getting very excited, and there is much more to come.
Next week: Final Phase and Closing - part 5