A Step-By-Step Guide To Building Your Own Home

Building Your Own Home has always been a time-consuming activity. After all, bringing everything together to make something out of mere materials is bound to waste time. And that’s just for a simple pet project. What more if it’s as big as building an entire house?

Considering its size, building a house will take more than a year to make it happen, regardless if it’s a bungalow or a three-story building. Therefore, you can imagine the amount of planning poured into it to make it happen. And since it’s where you’ll live for the better part of your life, ensuring it’s safe and secure should be your top priority. However, can you still retain that if you build it yourself?

Building Your Own Home
Building Your Own Home – Framing

Naturally, constructing a house takes a lot of hands-on board. After all, having one person handle everything will only take far longer than you’d like. But admittedly, deciding to build your own home as its owner might turn out cathartic since doing so is a lot like any DIY project you’ve done before, except it’s massive. Whatever you have in mind can be brought to existence with you taking the entire building process into your own hands from start to finish.

However, not everyone is familiar with construction projects. Nor do they have any experience of getting their hands dirty. Now you’re planning on dealing with a massive project such as building a house. Everything you have to do will most likely leave you overwhelmed. Therefore, with the assistance of home construction professionals from modernvalleyconstruction.com and other companies, learning the steps of building your own home will do you a world of good as a guide.

1. Plan Ahead

Home construction is different from a simple wood furniture project or building a deck on the weekends. You can’t decide on a whim and suddenly think of building your own home. Resources and time are huge factors when it comes to home construction. After all, hiring people to help build a house and obtaining materials to construct it can’t happen at the drop of a hat. Therefore, you must create a solid plan that oversees the entire construction timeline.

Gathering construction quotes plays a crucial part in planning. Because considering how often the economy fluctuates, who knows how much a box of nails costs nowadays? Since every penny counts in this project, you must gather as many quotes as possible from different suppliers. That way, you can list down a rough yet accurate scope of how much the materials are.

Once you’ve handled that, it’s on finding the right people for the job. Ideally, it’s better to ask people you know if they have any recommendations. After all, they have first-hand experience of how those professionals handle a project. Therefore, if they think they did a decent job, you could trust their judgment and start building your list of potential contractors since there’s no harm in having more options.

Now you’ve obtained the rough draft of your expenses, it’s time to go to the bank to get a loan. Naturally, there might be a program that’s specifically made for home builders in mind. So, be sure to go through everything with the bank and pour through every detail before taking anything, whether it’s a loan or a program. 

2. Obtain Documents

With the financial side of planning over and dealt with, what you need to handle next is the documents. After all, what you’re building isn’t as small as a dog house. Every single part of your house must obtain a permit to construct. Otherwise, professionals won’t be able to tell if what you’ve built passes the regulations.

Since you’re building a house from scratch, you’ll need a building permit to proceed with the construction project. However, before they do that, your building plans will undergo assessment. From analyzing if it adheres to local zoning to construction regulations, getting approved for a building permit means your construction plan is safe and secure.

Meanwhile, a grading permit should come right after the building permit. Considering your construction site will be set down on the ground, you’ll need a foundation to ensure the surface is stable. Otherwise, the entire structure might collapse before you can even give it the finishing touches. A grading permit allows you to change the property’s foundation around to accommodate the construction.

Now that you have the construction of the house itself taken care of, what you need to manage next are the permits for the details. Moving and demolition permits are required to have the go-ahead when ushering several vehicles on the street for some time and removing any old buildings where you’re supposed to construct a home. As for plumbing and electrical systems, they must be given a permit to ensure you’re located somewhere that allows you to install them into your house.

3. Prepare The Site – Building Your Own Home

Once you’ve handled all the paperwork—and after double-checking that everything’s in order—you can begin preparing the site. Unfortunately, preparation for Building Your Own Home is not as simple as clearing the place of dirt or fallen leaves. Here, what you have to do first is level the ground. After all, it’s impossible to build a sturdy house if it’s not stable.

Since this project will take months to see the finished results, you’re bound to encounter all sorts of weather during the entire period. From sunny days to stormy ones, the weather is often unpredictable, so all you have to do is adapt. Therefore, once you’ve assessed the ground’s level, see if its layout has canals or waterways already carved out. This waterway will direct any accumulated water away from the site, which is crucial considering its next step.

Concrete is a base material when creating a sturdy foundation. However, before you dive straight into pouring concrete everywhere, you still need to set down a temporary foundation. Because it’s only made out of wood, you’d want a stable footing on your initial foundation to get to one place after another without struggling too much. But before you build one, be sure you pour cement into any holes or trenches. Otherwise, they’d compromise the foundation.

Once the temporary foundation has been set in place, it’s time to start pouring concrete all over. Since it’s completely different from a wooden frame, concrete has specific requirements to ensure it stays durable and clean. To do this, curing is a process that’s highly recommended when dealing with newly poured concrete.

When it comes to concrete, it’s a common misconception to pour it in the middle of the day and leave it alone to dry. Little did they know, that’s a one-way ticket to ruining a bag of cement. So instead of leaving it to dry, curing keeps the new concrete moist. This way, the moisture content thoroughly restrains the concrete from quickly drying off. Because once that happens, the dried concrete will only crack and collapse afterward, forcing you to pour fresh concrete again. 

Normally, the curing process takes a week to complete. After all, controlling the concrete’s moisture content is a demanding task. However, for the sake of structural integrity, it‘s better to keep it soaked with water by trapping the wet cement in a concrete curing insulating blanket. Remember to check on it regularly by removing and covering it once more after hosing it down five to 10 times each day.

Although, if this is too much work for a handful of people, consider applying a curing compound instead. It is manufactured to form a protective film once you spray it across the new concrete’s surface. Using the film traps water inside to keep the moisture content from evaporating, even if it’s in the middle of a hot summer day.

However, even though it seems low maintenance, you must read the manufacturer’s labels first before purchasing the first curing compound you see. After all, there are different cement mixes available in the market. Therefore, knowing these differences will be crucial since you can find out how much moisture content they hold. Once you check this information, look for the best curing compound that accommodates its needs.

While that’s curing, make sure to have a disposal plan prepared. Dumpsters are an excellent solution for handling debris and spare parts during the project. Therefore, it’s best to have them nearby to ensure the site remains clean while they work.

4. Set Up Frames

Now that you have the foundation set in place for Building Your Own Home, proceed with installing the rough framing of the house. Since this is where the house begins coming together, the flooring, walls, and the roof system are included in the framing. However, protecting the frame is still necessary despite having a roof system. Otherwise, you’ll see mold and wood rot setting in before the house even comes together. 

The sheathing is applied to the exterior walls to prevent the elements from ruining the frame. This way, it protects the frame from the rain while reinforcing it to keep its structure (depending on your choices). Although that might seem enough, it’s best to stay safe and cover it in house wrap. Since it’s plastic, it keeps the water out of the structure. And with the sheathing’s assistance, the rough framing will be able to stand regardless of how strong the weather is. 

5. Install Rough Systems

With the structure taken care of, get started with your typical energy sources: electricity and water. After all, you can’t haul in any furniture or equipment if there are no energy sources nearby that can do the job for you. Although water supply lines, wiring, and HVAC vent pipes are some of the essential parts of a house, ensure that the circuit panel gets installed first. Otherwise, the electrician won’t be able to connect the house’s wiring and have it all connected into the panel for convenience.  

6. Add Insulation

With the interior of the house protected by sheathing and the house wrap, you’re good to proceed with insulation. After all, ensuring you’re comfortable the entire time you’re inside is a must for the homeowner. And it doesn’t hurt that the right amount of insulation could keep the monthly bills down. However, considering how many insulation options are available, it’s up to you if you want insulated panels or fiberglass inside your home. 

7. Get Started With Interior And Exterior Features

Now that you have the rough features of a house already pinned down, you can begin with the interior and exterior sides of the house for Building Your Own Home. First things first, this is where the furniture pieces come in. Cabinets, vanities, fireplace mantles—any piece of furniture can already be arranged, considering you’ve already taken care of the foundation and the frame. Besides furniture pieces, you can also install doors, window sills, flooring, and countertops. Apply the primer coat of paint while you’re inside.

Building Your Own Home - Interior
Building Your Own Home – Interior

As for exterior features, you can start pouring the driveway or walkway when the construction’s almost at its end or after making the foundation earlier while preparing the site. But if you choose the latter, ensure that the driveway or walkway is completely done. Otherwise, vehicles or builders might trample all over it despite their best efforts to avoid it. Once you’re stuck in a waiting phase, go back inside to check on the paint and add its final coat to top it off.  

8. Install Fixtures – Building Your Own Home

The construction phase is about to end. Therefore, with the house already coming together, all that’s left for you to do should either be polishing or adding smaller details. But because they’re small details, these tend to be much more tedious; fixtures are one of them. Because of this, you must have a list prepared beforehand, containing how many switches, lights, faucets, toilets, and other fixtures the house needs to be more convenient when installing.

9. Polishing Off

Now that your house resembles the one in your dreams, get to work polishing off the rest of the structure. Install shower doors in the right places. Remove the dumpsters full of trash and debris. Try your hand at landscaping if you want to add more life to your yard. 

10. Do A Walk-Through

Without checking it first, you can’t hastily stamp ‘success’ on a project. After all, you might miss something that might be a pain to deal with in the future. Therefore, while it’s nice to focus on the home design alone, you must familiarize yourself with how things work. From operating the installed systems to learning their maintenance, you must thoroughly check the entire building to make the necessary adjustments earlier. 

Takeaway

Being a homeowner is an excellent milestone for any adult. However, getting to build your own home is an achievement on a whole other level. After all, constructing something as massive as a house is no easy feat. Therefore, even though you have the guidance of professionals by your side, it’s best to know the process behind this project to bring your dream house to life properly.