Building your dream home: Part I - Foundation, Framing & Roof

Feb 16, 2017

You’ve finally found it, that perfect lot to build your dream home. You’ve budgeted, drafted and applied and you’ve got the financing and plans to make something happen.

 Now the real work begins – building the actual house. A custom build involves a lot of moving pieces, but here are the basic steps to getting the foundation, frame and roof set up.

Laying the foundation.

Out with the old, in with the new. If there are existing structures on your lot, then you’ll need a separate demolition permit and public notice of proposed work to be completed. Once any existing structures are cleared, excavation, or the readying of the land, can begin in order to lay the foundation for the new home. Depending on the condition of the prior foundation, your builder may be able to build on the existing foundation.

When the foundation is completed, a foundation inspection is done by the city or county and the title insurance company - if financing is involved.  The inspection applies to all foundations regardless of who performs the foundation work.  Any subsequent work cannot proceed until the inspection is completed, as the foundation will be covered up so inspection would be difficult.

Photo of foundation of house

Framing the “shell” of the home.

After the foundation is completed, framing begins to build the “shell” of your new home. When framing is completed the city or county does another inspection. Any subsequent work cannot proceed without the completed inspection.

Photo of a framed house

Adding the walls.

Wall sheathing made of plywood or other laminates or fiberboards are attached to the shell and framework of the new home. 
Photo of framed house

Raise the roof.

The construction of the roof follows the framing of the home. The underlying support and pitch of the roof will depend on the type of roofing materials used. The pitch is the angle at which the roof rises from its lowest to highest point.  Some roofing material (stone, concrete, etc.) requires more structural support than composition or cedar shake roofing material. The pitch and type of material is partly dependent upon style, cost and practical considerations - such as amount of rain or snowfall. 

Roofing materials are applied on top of the vapor barrier or underlayment and framework of the roof.  

Photo of roofing

Wrap it up.

The exterior frame of a home is wrapped with a synthetic material used to protect buildings.  The exterior wrap functions as a barrier to resist inclement weather and prevents rain from getting into the wall assembly, while still allowing water vapor to pass to the exterior. If moisture from either direction is allowed to build up within stud or cavity walls, mold and rot can set in and fiberglass or interior insulation will lose its R-value due to the buildup of moisture.
Photo of wrapped walls

Flooring’s installed.

Interior subflooring is then installed; this allows contractors access to the interior of the home and future installation of finished flooring. 

Photo of flooring being installed

What comes next? Check out “Building your dream home: Part II – Windows, Plumbing, Electricity & Insulation.”   

If you’re thinking about building a custom home, we’re here to help. We’ve been specializing in custom construction financing for over 100 years. To find out more about, contact one of our neighborhood branch managers or call us at 800-324-9375.