Am I Ready to Build a New Home? The Essential Checklist

Building a new home can prove a better option to buying in the current hot real estate market. Besides the financial benefits, building a new home presents unlimited design possibilities. You can customize the house to suit your unique needs. However, note that the construction process begins even before the foundation is laid. Below is a home building checklist that comes in handy for anyone building a new home.

1. Determine Your Budget

Creating a budget and evaluating if you can afford a new home is the first in the building a house checklist. You should have a realistic idea of the approximate cost of the building and the amount you can afford. This step primarily involves balancing your unique needs and the realistic assessment of your financial status. Unless you have saved or recently sold your previous home, chances are you will need a mortgage or construction loan. If so, you should start applying for pre-approval to find out how much mortgage you qualify for. Lenders check monthly income, financial obligation, debt-to-income ratio, and other determinants before approving applicants for a mortgage. Your budget should also include the cost of different elements in the house. For instance, you should budget for the land, designer, architect, general contractor, interior design, construction materials, and more. Budgeting is time-consuming and should be done months or years before the actual construction begins.

2. Choose Your Lot

Choosing the lot is the second in the building a new house checklist. Unless you have already purchased land for building your new home, you shouldn’t skip this step. You should consider several factors before choosing where to build your new home. Most people prioritize location, cost, and access to basic amenities. Land costs significantly differ based on the local real estate market. Nonetheless, you should find a lot before selecting the floor plan and other construction details. Though often ignored, you should also investigate soil conditions, zoning, building codes, and drainage before buying the land. Expect the building costs to increase if you should customize the house design to fit the land.

3. Choose a House Plan

Finding the right house plan for your new home can prove challenging. However, you can get ideas from building professionals, architects, and designers. You shouldn’t necessarily stick to the original idea. Instead, work with the designer to make slight adjustments for specific details, such as window styles, room size, and more. Custom homes are increasingly becoming popular for new homeowners. Here, you should consult professional custom-home designers or licensed architects who can evaluate your needs and develop accurate plans that meet your individual and family needs. home building checklist

4. Hire a General Contractor

While an architect can handle the design elements, a general contractor is responsible for making the drawings a reality. General contractors take control of the building, making it necessary to ensure that you hire experts in the industry. Homeowners should research extensively, evaluate various requirements, interview, and use customer testimonials and feedback before settling on a contractor. They should be licensed, insured, and have a good reputation to guarantee good results.

5. Prepare the Construction Site

With the above steps completed, you can start preparing your lot to begin construction. This involves applying for building permits, demolishing structures on-site, and mapping the area for plumbing and other installations. Some local authorities approve building permits faster, while others take a few days, weeks, or months before issuing permits. Your general contractor can make arrangements for the necessary permits.

6. Building the House

With all the above preparations in place, you can then proceed to build the house. While your general contractor will handle most activities in this phase, homeowners should be wary of various specific issues. For instance, you should proactively demand to evaluate the sub-contractors hired by general contractors. You should also follow up on specific construction phases. The construction process begins with the construction of the foundation, framing, then roofing. Ensure that the subcontractor engaged follows these steps without taking shortcuts. Electrical installations, plumbing, insulation, and HVAC should be installed by experts. The same applies to cabinets, paint, flooring, and landscaping.


Deciding to build a home requires time, money, and patience. While there is a lot to learn to make the project successful, this checklist for building a home can help you get started. It is a huge investment, and you should ensure that you hire the right people for every task. Get in touch with us if you have any questions about home building.