Buying a home has always been a big part of the “American Dream,” but building your ideal home to fit your exact wants and needs? Living in a beautiful house that you helped design from the ground up? That just brings the entire homeownership experience to the next level.
You’ve undoubtedly heard stories, though, about people being stressed out during the home build process. I’ve found that often happens not because it’s actually that stressful — but because these individuals just don’t have enough information going into the project, or there’s no one to help them move through all the stages.
They have Pinterest boards filled with ideas and have taken field trips to Home Depot about a million times, but they don’t know what to focus on and when. This lack of focus and understanding results in delay after delay, and the move-in date and budget are constantly in question.
As an experienced interior designer, part of my job is helping my clients stay organized and on schedule. I believe that the more they know, the more fun they’re going to have with the home build process
Yes, I said fun!
If you’re getting ready to build a new home, the first way to help yourself is to ensure you have a solid understanding of the timeline for how decisions get made. By understanding where you are currently and anticipating what’s coming next, you’ll be able to stay on top of decisions and keep your build on track.
The Order of Decisions During the Home Build Process
When you’re building a new home, you’re relying on a group of seasoned professionals — your architect, builder, interior designer, and more — to lead the charge and bring your dreams to life. At the end of the day, though, it’s going to be your home. And you play an important role in the home build process by answering questions and making decisions in a timely fashion.
Here’s a brief overview of the order in which those decisions will need to be made:
1. Blueprint creation, editing, and approval
The blueprint is what your builder is going to work off of to make your dream home a reality, so your architect is going to really dial into your vision during this step. You’ll be making decisions about the home’s style (are you looking for something ultra-modern? A classic Cape Cod?), how many bedrooms and bathrooms you want, and other important rooms or features. The architect will edit and tweak the blueprints according to your feedback, so the sooner you can provide that feedback and approve the blueprints, the sooner your house can start coming to life.
2. Framing of the actual house
The frame is basically your new home’s skeleton. It includes the floor, walls, and roof systems. Be ready to make decisions if the layout seems to be “off” in some way, because this is the time to make sure it’s 100% right. You’ll also be picking windows and exterior doors during this time.
At this point, it’s time to start running pipes throughout your home; vents, sewer lines, and water supply lines for every fixture that will be installed. Be ready to choose your bathtub and/or shower, toilet, sinks, and other fixtures that will connect to the plumbing.
Before the drywall goes up to enclose the walls, the next step will be to wire the house for electricity. You may have to make decisions about where outlets will be placed throughout the house and know where cabinets will be as well. You’ll want to know what kind of lighting you want in each room and where you’ll need cable and telephone wires.
Once the drywall is up in your house, it’s finally going to start looking like a place you can picture yourself living in. During this phase in the home build process, start making decisions on paint colors, any decorative trim or moldings, baseboards, inside doors, fireplace mantels, and other unique touches you want in your home.
Do you want hardwood flooring throughout your entire home? Maybe you’re considering hardwood in the main rooms, but carpet in the bedrooms. What about vinyl flooring? Have you thought about heated flooring in your bathrooms? These are decisions that you’ll need to make regarding the floors in your new build.
If you’re going to want any kind of tiling in your home, now is the time when you need to start thinking about that. Decide which rooms, most likely the bathrooms and kitchen, what kind of tile, tile size, and exact placement of the tiles.
You may have started brainstorming and making some decisions about cosmetics when the drywall went up, but now is the time to make final choices. This point in the home build process is when the trim gets painted and actual design elements happen — and it’s a lot of fun. This is your time to really put your unique mark on your new home.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of all the different decisions you’ll have to make when your home is under construction. Things pop up along the way and you may need to make some quick choices to keep the process moving. Stay as organized as you can, but keep an open mind at the same time.
Thankfully, I can be there every step of the way to make sure you have a smooth, enjoyable home build process. I’ll keep you organized, let you know when you need to start making decisions about something and give my professional opinion when necessary.
After all, there’s no need for you to waste your time worrying about doorknob designs if you’re currently tasked with choosing lighting features! We’ll go step-by-step and in the end, you’ll wonder why you ever believed building a new house would be anything but fulfilling and exciting.
Ready to start mentally planning for your new home build? Download The Blueprint Solution, and take a deeper dive into the many decisions you’ll make during the home build process.