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Basic Steps for Building a House

Basic Steps for Building a House

Exterior renovationsBasic Steps for Building a House

Building a house is often the project of a lifetime. Who can say they never dreamed of owning a custom-built home, one in which the kitchen is perfectly sized, the bathroom is on the right floor, and every detail is executed flawlessly? 

Having your house built is often the best option if you can’t find anything on the market that suits your preferences and are lacking the time and energy to invest in a renovation project. 

So, what should you know before building a new house? What are the different steps involved in such a construction project? Find the answers to both queries below. 

What is the construction process of a single-detached house?

Building a single-detached house is a complex project that calls for meticulous planning and rigorous monitoring. Here are the building steps for ensuring the whole process is executed without a hitch.   

Structural Building Stages

House construction

Source: Canva

Construction Site Preparation

Preparing the land is, without a doubt, the initial step of any worksite. Earthworks consist of preparing the to-be-built land by relocating the materials found (stone, earth, clay, debris). The land must be impeccable prior to the work’s start date. Note that earthworks refer to several preparatory steps, as detailed below: 

  • Staking means delimiting the land on which you’re building to adhere to the house’s construction plans;

  • Draining the water consists of installing a water drainage system for periods of humidity;

  • Levelling is meant to remove an organic layer in the hopes of flattening the lot;

  • Backfilling allows for preparing and modelling the land to facilitate the new construction and further ensure its stability.

Foundation and Underpinning

A stable foundation is a non-negotiable to build a solid and balanced structure. The foundation is the house’s base and is a crucial factor in ensuring proper load distribution at ground level. To bypass any unfortunate circumstances during the foundation-building process, it’s best to carry out a land study. Based on the soil’s specificities, the contractor will be able to determine at what depth to dig to later pour the foundation.

The underpinning is the structure’s lower wall section, resting on the foundation. It can either remain a crawl space or be finished into a basement, given that the ground was dug deep enough to accommodate a lower level, sitting beneath the house’s ground floor.

If you decide on a crawl space, it might be because the land on which you’re building has a significant slope or because of flooding risks. Lastly, moving forward with a rubble foundation can be done if the house is built directly on the ground.

The Slab and Framing Stage

A slab is a thick, large, and flat piece of material that will stabilize the house. The slab is an essential component of the house’s overall structure. Note that the slab’s material will have an impact on the home’s overall thermal comfort and soundproofing. 

Similarly, the materials you select to build the walls of your home will also affect your comfort. Note that your home’s energy efficiency is dependent on its building materials, and walls made of wood, brick, or concrete don't all have the same thermal performance. 

Building the Roof of a House

After having erected the bottom portion of the house, the next step details that of the roof structure. Often made of wood, the latter is built on-site, prior to installing the roofing. Slate, zinc, or roofing tiles, selecting the right roofing means assessing your preferences based on the architectural look of your neighbourhood.

Critical System Installation Steps

Exterior Siding, Drywall, and Insulation

Once the house is framed in its entirety, you can now start focusing on its details, such as its exterior siding, which will be dependent on your neighbourhood’s urban planning regulations. 

Insulation is a crucial factor to consider when building a house. Your comfort as well as the money you spend on heating and cooling your home depends on it. 

Lastly, there’s the drywall installation step, which mandates a mason or plasterer to erect the walls that will divide the house into separate spaces. This step is often done simultaneously with the electrical wiring to conceal all apparent cables and wires in the walls. 

Plumbing, Heating, and Electricity

Carrying out such work means the house’s building process is well underway and closer to the finish line. Electricity-related work entails installing the electrical system, such as the electric panel, cables, and electrical outlets.

Once installed, an HVAC technician will come in and install baseboard heaters and a boiler. As for the plumber, they will work on the house’s piping, water drainage, and faucets, amongst other things.

Finishing Stage: Tiling, Painting, and Landscaping

Whether working inside or outside the house, a flooring expert will lay the flooring of your choosing. Whether it’s made of ceramic tiles, wood, or concrete; there’s a plethora of flooring to choose from. 

Next, choose the paint or wall covering that will coat the inside of your dwelling as well as the one that will make your house an eye-catching vision from the outside. The remaining step involves choosing your lighting, landscaping, and interior finishes for a custom-designed home, one that’s built according to your preferences and needs.

The Administrative Steps of a Construction Project

framework contractor

Source: Canva

Building Permit

Prior to carrying out any of the construction steps, the hired contractor will need to apply for a building permit with your local authorities. Note that the conditions for obtaining said permit may vary from one municipality to the next. In any case, note that the building permit must be posted somewhere visible on your worksite throughout the building process. An inspector may drop by to monitor the work’s compliance at any time. 

Accessing Local Utilities

Building a house also means having to plan for accessing essential utilities, such as:

  • water;

  • sewer; and

  • electricity.

Make sure to contact local utilities companies and other public services well ahead of time to avoid any delays in your construction project. You will need to include such connection fees in your budget. 

Pre-Delivery Inspection

Article 2117 of the Civil Code of Quebec authorizes you to inspect your home’s construction site, granted you don’t disrupt the ongoing work, to monitor the following:

  • Work progress

  • Quality of the materials and work carried out

  • Expenses incurred

During the inspections, being accompanied by a qualified professional to spot potential construction defects is recommended. The RBQ (Régie du bâtiment du Québec) has an online checklist to help buyers keep track of everything during worksite visits, ensuring nothing is overlooked. At least one of the many inspections must be done in the company of a builder. To learn more about the various administrative steps, check out our article on the subject matter. (French only)

Two Pointers for Building a House, Start to Finish

House in construction 

Source: Canva

It’s completely normal to be reluctant at the idea of building a house, especially since, with this type of project, doubts and questions aren’t far behind. Rest assured, building a house is a construction project not unlike any other; it's just one that requires preparation beforehand but still has all the likelihood in the world of materializing accordingly with the right advice and decent organization. 

Hiring an Architect for the Blueprints

After purchasing your lot, start picturing where your new house will stand and how it'll be partitioned. However, you first have to put everything in black and white by designing your house plans. If you’re skilled with pen and paper, consider drawing up the plans yourself with the help of architectural design software.

However, we have to agree on the fact that said unbuilt home is the project of a lifetime, and all its components must be well-thought-out. For such a reason, it’s best to hire an architect to design the blueprints. They will be able to suggest ideas based on your needs, all the while complying with the various construction standards. 

Choosing the Right Contractor to Bring Your Project to Life

Once you have the blueprints in hand, your next step will be finding a general contractor to bring your project to life. Take the necessary amount of time to select the right person, as the building project’s outcome entirely depends on said person’s skills and capabilities. 

As you may have gathered by now, building a house is a time-consuming and lengthy process that requires a certain level of experience to manage all the different teams of skilled professionals and any unforeseen circumstances that may occur during the project’s course. Given the latter, working with a contractor who is in good standing with local building authorities is mandatory to bring your project to fruition. 

Therefore, inquire with the right authorities, request quotes, and check contractor references as well as permits. Once you select your contractor of choice, the latter will apply for a building permit with the right authorities prior to jumpstarting the project.

Here’s a rundown of the steps involved in building a house:

  1. Land preparation and earthworks

  2. Foundation and underpinning

  3. Pouring the slab and framing

  4. Building the roof

  5. Installing exterior siding, drywall, and insulation

  6. Plumbing, electricity, and heating

  7. Final steps: tiling, painting, and landscaping

For some insight into the costs involved, check out our Home Renovation Price Guide.

Get 3 quotes for your house-building project can help you get quotes from a general contractor. By submitting your project, we’ll put you in contact with top-rated contractors. Fill in the form on the homepage (it only takes a few minutes) and get estimates from trusted professionals.

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Last modified 2024-05-24

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