We get asked this question a lot. So I thought that I'd answer it for you in a blog post. Of course you can always call, text or stop by and see us to ask all of your questions. We're here to help you feel completely comfortable working with us.
The following list contains the major tasks in order of what needs to begin first when having a custom home built. This gives a rough idea of what and when. Keep in mind that every schedule will vary based on several factors. The length of time listed below will also vary depending on circumstances, subcontractor availability, weather, etc.
Pre-Construction: Several weeks to several months
Pick or design your floorplan and have them turned into construction ready blueprints complete with Washington State energy codes and building requirements. Go through the permitting process. Clear your lot and make it construction ready. Submit your house plans to any existing homeowners association for approval. Depending on your location, you may need to seek out and secure a soils engineer to test the ground. The foundation engineer will need this information for the design. If the lot needs a septic system, you may use this time to get that installed. But be mindful that you should not drive over the leach field after installation. Because of that, in some situations we recommend waiting until after trusses are delivered to do the installation. Truss trucks are heavy and they may need to drive where your leach field is in order to deliver the trusses. Woopsy if you've already installed your leach field. Don't worry! We will guide you through every step of this process and we also fill out your permit paperwork to submit to the county.
Foundation: Week 1 to 4
Using the engineered foundation plans, the footings and foundation will be poured.
Framing Floors, Walls & Roof: Week 5 to 8
Depending on how tight the crawlspace is, the plumber will install the underfloor plumbing after the floor joists are installed. Then you'll call for an inspection. Once the floors, walls and roof have been framed in and inspected, it is time to install the exterior finishes, like windows, exterior doors, roof vents and roofing, house wrap and siding. This will protect the interior from the elements. Sometimes the garage slab is poured at this time so that the framer can finish any utility rooms going in the garage but make sure and cover the slab. You don't want your pretty new garage floor scratched and dirty.
Major Components and Drywall: Week 9 to 12
Now the fun begins. The electrician, plumber and HVAC companies come in to install their critical components. Once the systems are compliant with all regulations, the install of the insulation starts. This is also when the plumber will set your bathtubs and shower pans if they are the type that connect to the studs directly. Then the drywall is completed to finish this phase and your house starts to look like someplace you could live in.
Interior Finishes: Week 13 to 17
Your kitchen cabinets are installed and then flooring. Here comes the interior doors, trim, molding and any other interior finishes you've chosen. Installation of your toilets, vanities, fixtures, etc. and then caulk and paint everything that needs it.
Week 18 to 20
Install light fixtures, kitchen appliances, counter tops, plus all the outlets with their plate covers. Then complete the final electrical and plumbing work. Simultaneously, be working on the landscaping and any other exterior work that needs to be completed. Schedule a final inspection, receive your occupancy permit and MOVE-IN!
This schedule is set with the understanding that no hiccups have happened along the way. However, we allot for 24 weeks (6 months) from foundation pour to occupancy permit simply because sometimes circumstances beyond our control, like the weather in Washington State, and availability of contractors, may play a factor in the project completion. But for the most part, our job is done by week 20 and you have a beautiful home.
If you're having a custom home built in Cowlitz County, Lewis County or parts of Wahkiakum County, please schedule a meeting and let's talk. Our program provides an opportunity for people to get a custom home built without having to pay an arm and a leg for one.