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06 July . 2018

Your Complete Guide to the New Construction Home Buying Process

Some homebuyers prefer to select a new home that’s already completed and ready to move into. That’s great if you have a short time frame for moving, or if you happen to find a completed home that fits your needs perfectly.

For buyers who have the luxury of time, building a new home from the ground up offers many rewards, including selecting your favorite home plan and homesite. Have you always dreamed of living in the middle of cul-de-sac, or having a homesite that looks out onto a greenbelt or water feature? You can do that when you build from scratch.

Most builders offer buyers the ability to customize their floor plans. Some have a list of preset options, such as building a flex room as an extra bedroom or a study with French doors, extending a patio, or choosing between a third garage bay or an extra room. Others allow buyers to make more extensive changes, including moving walls and changing the perimeter of the plan.

Building also gives you the opportunity to make personal selections for all interior and exterior finishes, including exterior brick colors, flooring choices, cabinetry, plumbing and lighting fixtures, and more.

Homebuyers work closely with their builder throughout the building process, from the day the slab is poured, to the final walkthrough. The building process varies from builder to builder, but in general there are 10 steps in the construction of a new home. Some of these involve setting an appointment and meeting with the sales consultant, the building superintendent, or a Design Center representative. Other steps are simply milestones along the way to completion.

Here are the 10 basic steps of building a new home, according to

  1. Preparing the construction site and pouring the foundation
  2. Completing the rough framing
  3. Completing the rough plumbing, electrical and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems
  4. Installing insulation
  5. Completing interior drywall and starting exterior finishes
  6. Finishing interior trim; installing exterior driveways and sidewalks
  7. Installing hard-surface flooring and countertops; finishing exterior grading
  8. Finishing mechanical trims; installing bathroom fixtures
  9. Installing mirrors, shower doors and soft-surface flooring such as carpet; finishing exterior landscaping
  10. Final walkthrough and orientation with builder

In all, building a new home from the day the contract is signed until you get the keys at closing takes anywhere from four to six months, depending on the builder, the size and complexity of the home and any upgrades and changes, and weather conditions. During rainy weather, for example, it can be difficult to pour the slab.

Rachael St. Godard, a sales consultant with CastleRock Communities in Rancho Sienna, offers this description of her company’s building process, to provide a general idea of what homebuyers can expect.

“We try to make homebuilding a simple, low-stress process. Once a contract is signed, we typically start 45 days later. As soon as the slab is poured, the home will be completed in approximately four to six months,” she said.

“During the beginning stages, the buyer will go to the Design Center to choose finishes and features, and to Home-Pro to choose their wiring preferences. At the beginning, we all meet with our superintendent and discuss the project,” she continued.

“Before the drywall goes up, we will have another meeting, to discuss the next phase. When the home is completed, we will have a final walkthrough and orientation just before closing,” she adds. “All throughout this process, I give frequent updates to our buyers on the status of their new home."

See all new home plans available to build in Rancho Sienna from our leading homebuilders.