Make sure to check out What To Expect When Building a New House Part 1 here first. There, we touched base on the first several steps which included choosing a builder, picking a lot, deciding on a home plan, determining costs, considering upgrades, and securing a construction loan. Now, we’re on to the next fun step… breaking ground!
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN BUILDING A NEW HOUSE
BREAK GROUND | Once everything is approved by the bank, you’ll close on the construction loan and sale of the land. From there, the builder can apply for permits and break ground in about two weeks after that. Woo hoo! This is an exciting day!
CHOOSE FINISHES | We had already begun this process while working out the home plans since we wanted to include as many upgrades as possible in the loan. But, you’ll be able to sit down with your builder and choose finishes even after you break ground. You can keep this super simple by utilizing the builder’s showroom and choosing from the several samples they have in-house, but you’ll likely want to visit each of the vendor’s showrooms to get a more customized look with finishes that are unique to your taste. Just keep in mind, you’ll likely end up spending more money with each and every vendor when presented with all your options!
MEET WITH VENDORS & TRADES | Some builders have an in-house designer that can help you design your new house. This wasn’t the case for us, but that was fine because I wanted to tackle the interior design on my own. Your builder will have vendors and suppliers that he typically works with. You’ll set up meetings with the sales person who handles your builder’s account. Next up is a list of vendors and suppliers that we met with.
Flooring & Tile | We chose the flooring throughout our home and also the tiling for our walk-in shower. It might save some time if you give your sales person some direction in advance and have them gather a few suggestions within your price range to get you started upon arrival.
Plumbing Supply | We picked out our faucets, shower heads and trim kits. We were enticed by shower body sprayers and other fancy shower add-ons but kept our upgrades simple in the end.
Building Supply | We picked out our countertops and cabinetry here. We added a garbage drawer in our island and pull-out shelves to our base cabinets in the kitchen. There are so many cool options you can add to your kitchen cabinetry!
Masonry & Fireplace Supply | We picked out the stone for the exterior of our house and also our fireplace stone here.
Paint | We went to Sherwin Williams to pick out paint and stain colors and emailed our choices to our builder.
Plumber | We did a walk-through with our plumber once the house was framed. We discussed all the plumbing and placement and added things like a garbage disposal, a water softener, and a bucket-height water spicket in the garage.
Mason | We will be meeting with our mason soon to discuss the design of the fireplace stone and hearth. We are providing a large barn beam that we purchased from a local farm.
Electrician | This is an area you really want to think about and get what you want in your new house. We added a bunch of outlets, recessed lighting, and Ethernet jacks. For example, I wanted outlets on both sides of my island, in the roofline of the covered back patio, and in my pantry. My husband wanted Ethernet and power ran to the garage so he can hang a TV in there. We also needed a floor outlet in the living room for our powered reclining couch and we added wiring for under-mount cabinet lights.
Builder | There are some things you’ll end up choosing directly with your builder. A few of the items we chose directly with our builder are doors, siding, roofing, trim, windows, and garage doors.
FULFILL ALLOWANCES | You’ll likely notice a few key finishes missing in the above, such as lighting! Lighting is my favorite! I asked for a whole list of allowances, which means the builder gives us a credit for what he budgeted in for those items and we go buy them and provide them on our own. I picked out all of our lighting and we also opted to purchase our vanities in both bathrooms, mirrors, kitchen faucet, appliances, door hardware, thermostat, a couple of doors, and a few other things. (We are building a sliding barn door for our master closet and we purchased and refurbished an old farmhouse door for our pantry.)
CHECK ON PROGRESS | Between my husband and I, one of us goes out to check on the house about 4-5 days a week. Yes, I know that’s a lot, but we are living right down the road, so it’s easy to stop by and check on the progress. AND it’s good to do so. We’ve caught a couple of mistakes or miscommunications so far, that were pretty easily fixed because things didn’t get too far ahead before we noticed them.
COMMUNICATE OFTEN | We speak directly with all of our vendors, suppliers, and builder often about our new house. It’s good to check in and reiterate what your choices are. I also try to summarize everything via email that we discuss so there is a paper trail. That way, I can always point back to the email for clarification if need be. It’s also just good practice to introduce yourself to the people that are working on your home. It feels more personal that way and I hope that they want to do an outstanding job for someone they know versus someone they’ve never met!
Hopefully, this helps give you a better idea of what to expect when building a new house!
I’d be happy to try and answer any questions you might have! Make sure to go back to What to Expect When Building a New House Part 1 for even more steps.
This post contains affiliate links.