Our pledge to every client is that throughout the home building process, we will be their trusted advisor and advocate – listening to their questions, concerns, and creative ideas – and helping them to make the best choices along the way. The first step in fulfilling this promise is to keep clients informed of what to expect throughout the new home construction process.
In this blog, we provide a detailed overview of the major elements of the home construction process. We find that many homeowners have questions – or simply want to know more about our home building process – as it provides them with some degree of comfort and confidence. However, please know that it’s our job to serve as the construction experts as you build your home, so there won’t be a test on all of this at the end!
Excavation, Foundation & Backfill
Site excavation for a custom home we built in Wildwood, Missouri.
Having a well-built, durable foundation will save you many headaches down the road. It is absolutely imperative that your home’s foundation is properly planned, designed, and poured.
Before excavation a property, we will work with you to discuss what trees and other lot features should remain or be removed. We will then work to determine the best placement of the new home. As we work to excavate a new home, we ensure that we are planning for the correct depth
As we work to excavate a new home, we will clear necessary trees to prepare the ground for excavation. Next, as we work to prepare for excavation, we will determine the proper depth for the dig in order to ensure the home sits at the appropriate depth to meet building codes and to ensure the structural integrity of the build.
After excavation, we dig, form, and pour your foundation footings. Once we pout these footings, your home’s footprint is clearly visible – an exciting moment for homeowners. Foundation walls are poured next, followed by a quality control inspect.
To prevent water and structural damage, we take many steps to protect your foundation. After pouring the foundation, we:
- Backfill and grade around your foundation walls to provide proper drainage,
- Install drainage systems where they are needed, and
- Use high-performance building materials on the walls and under your slab.
The materials we use and the steps we take work together to keep your foundation dry and solid, making your home more durable, and more comfortable. This also works to prevent moisture and mold development, which will help to give your home better indoor air quality.
Rough Framing, Plumbing & Electrical
Framing at a South St. Louis custom home construction project.
Once foundation work is complete, we frame your home and get it under roof. While the studs are going up and the roof is framed, we determine the basic structure and layout of the major systems of your home.
We take a holistic approach to the building process, planning each component of your home’s operational systems to work together. Using advanced building science and techniques, we balance the materials, systems, and design of your home so it operates with the highest levels of efficiency and durability, and offers superior indoor air quality.
While framing is in full swing, we determine plumbing and appliance needs for your
kitchen and bathrooms to create a plumbing plan. Your plumbing system is determined by the
shower, sink, and drainage placement in your plans. We walk through with the plumber to determine shower head heights, locations of control valves, etc. We request your finalized plumbing fixture and appliance selections early in the process so we can accommodate plumbing, ventilation, and other systems during framing and avoid costly modifications.
The electrician will draw up a suggested plan for you to review and approve. We ask that
you consider furniture arrangements, how you will be using the different spaces in the house, and
make notes. When framing draws to a close, we schedule a walk-through during which we discuss
your notes and finalize the plans. If you are using your own Interior Designer or lighting consultant,
we invite you to bring them to this meeting. The electrician will lead the walk through, marking
outlets, lighting, phones, and communication lines per your suggestions and building codes. This is
your chance to add, delete, or move your outlets.
After finalizing electrical and plumbing systems, we begin roughing in the systems and connecting
your home to utilities. This is also when we begin installing your gas lines, HVAC components, and
fireplaces. We will schedule a walk-through to inspect the systems, and verify performance before
moving on to insulation.
Insulation & HVAC
Insulation and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems have, by far, the biggest
impact on your home’s efficiency and durability. Properly sized, designed, and installed insulation
and HVAC systems improve your home’s air quality, lower utility costs, and reduce maintenance.
We use high-performance insulation to keep your home comfortable and reduce the load on
your HVAC system. We also use a thorough caulk and seal package to close gaps between
construction materials, further insulating your home.
Heating & Air Conditioning
A system that is the proper size for your home uses the least amount of power to provide
the most comfort. Zoned HVAC, geothermal heating and cooling, and Energy STAR rated
systems are just some of the high-performance systems our clients have chosen for
Heating and air conditioning get a lot of attention, but your ventilation mechanism is
essential to controlling air and moisture transfer. Proper ventilation prevents mold problems
and brings in fresh air, which contributes to superior indoor air quality.
is a certified RESNET and Energy STAR builder, which means we test and score nearly
every home we build using the Home Energy Rating System (HERS). The HERS Index measures your
home’s energy efficiency and performance and scores it according to other high-performance homes
and conventionally built homes. Your HERS rating demonstrates that, with proper operation and
maintenance, your home is more efficient and durable than a comparable, standard home.
Drywall & Finishes Installation
After the major systems are in place and inspected, it is time to hang the drywall and install your
finishes inside and out. This is when your house begins feeling like a home as the details of your
home finally take shape.
Outside, we finish the masonry and siding. You’ll see your mailbox go up, and your landscaping plan
takes shape. Many municipalities in St Louis County require complete landscaping before they grant
an occupancy permit. So grass, shrubbery, and flowers are planted outside, while interior finishes are finalized inside.
Inside, flooring and carpentry work begins after we complete the drywall inspection. The hard
surface flooring (wood and tile) are put down, and we begin installing fireplace mantles, staircases,
cabinetry, closet systems, doors, and trim. In the kitchen, countertop templates are created, and
appliances are delivered. Our painters work on the walls, while lighting, plumbing fixtures, showers,
and sinks are installed. Every step of the way, our team makes sure your selections are coming
together, and are just right.
While the finishing touches are made on the house, final inspections are completed and certification
lists are checked. We inspect everything from the fireplace to the outlets to make sure your home is in proper working order before the cleaning crew arrives, and we hand over the keys.
As construction winds down, we schedule a walk-thru one week before your scheduled move-in date. This is when you get to know your new home, and allows us to identify any last-minute adjustments needed before you move in.
During the walk-thru we focus on:
•Completing a detailed closing checklist list to ensure everything is up to our precise
standards and meets your expectations,
•Operation and maintenance for appliances, products, and mechanical systems in your
•Reviewing the Limited Warranty Agreement for your home’s construction, and any
Your move-in date will be set after the drywall phase. While our team works hard to meet that date, there may be circumstances outside of our control that may affect it.
Once you’ve made it through this process, you’re almost there! Just a few more days and your dream house becomes your home.