Construction Stages of Building a House
You’ve gone through the process of visiting display homes, choosing the right design, and signed the contract – it’s finally time for your new home build. A new home build will require 6 – 12 months (subject to a range of factors) to complete, with a set sequence of stages that take place. Understanding the timeline will help you keep track of the progress and know what’s required of you throughout the construction.
1. New Home Build Site Preparation
Demolition – If you are going for a knock-down rebuild, you will obviously need to remove all existing structures on your site – foundation, footings, paving, etc. Not all volume home builders will arrange the demolition for you, but they will be able to recommend reputable companies who can. Through your demolition contractor, you will need to organise a demolition permit from the local council.
Paperwork – Before you start building, you will need to do a feature survey and soil test for your block of land. These services are usually covered as part of your building contract. The feature survey is a scale drawing of your home site showing the fall of the land, service connection points, easements, and any pre-existing features. Soil testing determines the ‘reactivity’ of your soil.
For a knock-down rebuild, you are required to do the soil test and feature survey before the demolition, and then again after. Upon completion, you will also need an independent, licenced asbestos assessor to verify that the site is free of asbestos, which you will be issued with an Asbestos Clearance Certificate.
Sitework – Prepare your land for site start based on your new home builder’s requirements, e.g. get the demolishers to remove all debris and rubble, cut down the grass and weeds. Then it all begins and your land will be excavated in preparation for the concrete slab to be poured. Your builder should send you a written notification that your new home build has commenced.
✓ Building Inspection #1 – Footings. Mandatory inspections are carried out at various stages of the construction period to prevent major issues that may arise in the future. At each stage, the building surveyor must legally sign off the work that has been done by the builder before the next stage can continue. At this point, the building surveyor will inspect the excavation work, boundary clearances, and reinforcements before placing your house’s footings.
2. Foundation/Base Stage
Initial works for underground power and plumbing are put in during this stage.
✓ Building Inspection #2 – Slab/Base. Inspection is conducted before the concrete base is poured and allowed to dry. Aspects of this stage include floor level check, termite treatment, etc.
The slab is then poured and will then need time to ‘cure’.
💰 First Progress Payment Due. Progress payments will be due upon completion of each building stage. Your first payment usually takes place when the base stage is completed. The percentage to be paid in each stage varies depending on the specific contract with your builder, check the payment schedule outlined in your building contract.
3. Frame Stage
The house starts taking shape as carpenters erect wall frames and roof trusses.
✓ Building Inspection #3 – Frame. Checking that the dimensions and placements of the frame conform to the approved plans, and ensure tie down straps to the slab are correctly installed.