The Process of Building a New Home

The process of building a new homeTo avoid confusion and the possibility of costly change orders during the process of building a new home, it is essential to confirm as many specification details as possible before you sign the building contract. Time spent doing this will be well worth the effort.

I have spent over forty years in the residential construction industry building new homes. Much of that time was spent working with homebuyers to confirm construction details and specifications after they signed a contract. I have seen even the most seasoned new homebuyer; using most knowledgeable real estate professional and working with the most organized homebuilder have their expectations frustrated by communication breakdowns that could have ben avoided.

The homebuilding process goes much more smoothly for the buyer, and the builder, when everyone is on the same page as far as the specifications go. The responsibility for “getting what you (thought you) paid for” rests on the homebuyer’s shoulders.

Many buyers will tweak the layout of the new home by reviewing the floor plans and/or walking through a model home. Concentrating on creating a layout that will work for your lifestyle is important, but so is understanding what will be used to put that home together, how it will be built. All too often, the only specifications you, as a homebuyer, see is a page or two of specification “high-lights” the homebuilder wants to draw your attention to.

Some homebuilders will not allow you to change the construction specifications. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as those specs are acceptable to you. Other builders will allow you to change any detail you want…you just need to tell them what you want. That is easier said than done because, after all, they are the experts not you.

The articles in this section are intended help you to better understand the homebuilding process by systematically drilling down into construction details and specifications. Each section is cross-referenced to related articles providing useful information that will help you make informed choices. You will be able to better communicate your needs to your builder before you sign a contract.

About Paul Baldwin

At the time this home was built, Paul was Operations Manager for Heritage Homes in Syracuse, NY. He is former Director of Construction at Housing Visions, a Syracuse NY based not-for-profit affordable housing developer. Paul is presently Editor of You can contact Paul at: Paul AT WikiHomebuilding DOT com

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