Spike's Calculators

Steps Involved in Building a House

Exterior Finishing

Spike VM

During this phase of construction, the Exterior and Interior can be worked on at the same time, we will show the steps of the Exterior first.

31. Overhead Doors (Garage Doors)

The garage doors can be installed before the garage floor has been poured but for a happier installer have the doors installed after the floor has been done. The drywall should be installed before the garage door but the same applies, the door can be installed before the drywall goes on but it makes it much harder for the installer.

  • When purchasing your Garage Doors you may want to consider getting insulated doors. Depending where the garage is located, it could save you a lot on your heating bill.
  • Note: Even if you do not want automatic doors, have the electrician install ceiling plugs, and run the needed wiring.

32. Brick Work

If you have chosen a plan with Brick Work or Rock Face on part of the house this is the time it should be done. Although the brick can be done after the stucco or siding it is usually better to have it done before the stucco or siding is applied. Stone veneers (cultured stone) are applied after a stucco scratch coat.

  • There are many styles and colors to choose from, it is best to take along a piece of the siding and trim to help you coordinate the colors.

33. Siding, Soffits & Gutters


Most Siding Companies will also install the soffits and gutters, but if not these will have to be done after the siding is on.

  • There are several different materials and styles available. In certain subdivisions, you may be restricted to what you may use. Find out beforehand. If you want a maintenance-free house, use vinyl siding and have all the wooden posts and exposed wood wrapped.
Siding Calculators: Fiber Cement/Engineered Wood Siding, Vinyl Siding, Board and Batten

34. Stucco


Stucco can be started weather permitting.

  • There are several steps involved. The first is putting building paper covered with webbed wiring on the house, once this is done a layer of scratch coat is put on. The final coat is put on with the desired colors.

35. Driveway & Garage Floor


You could start preparing the driveway, garage floor, and sidewalks as soon as your lot has been backfilled and graded. You should wait with finishing until all the heavy trucks and equipment are finished with their jobs.

Note: Except for certain situations make this one of your last projects. Especially when it is not done on the original soil.

Note: Your driveway should be reinforced with rebar. Using Rebar will strengthen the concrete and it will be less likely to crack although it is almost impossible to eliminate all cracks.

  • Caution: Ever noticed a large number of driveways showing cracks close to the foundation, usually on corners? Attaching the rebar to the foundation, in most situations, is a bad idea and will cause cracks to appear which would not happen if the slab was allowed to move up and down freely without being constricted by rebar attached to the foundation. By the same token, when the foundation wall is very rough and you pour your sidewalk right up against it you may end up with an ugly corner crack spidering away from the foundation corner. Consider leaving space between your sidewalk and the foundation wall.
  • There are different types of surfaces, plain concrete, exposed aggregate, stamped or any number of surfaces may be applied.

36. Decking

Ideally finishing a deck would be done after the stucco or siding is up. But if you are using vinyl decking it has to be done before the exterior finish of the home can be completed although it can be very painful to see clumsy people installing siding or stucco and working on your just installed vinyl deck. The vinyl needs to run up the wall for 6" underneath the siding and stucco. And it should also be placed underneath your door threshold. The door should be installed on top of the vinyl material. Much safer.

  • There are different ways to finish your deck such as Vinyl Decking, boarding that can be stained or painted just to mention a few.  If you want a low maintenance home certain types of decking last much longer then others.

37. Railing

Railing and Decking

If your deck is 24" or more off the ground it will require a railing.

  • There are different types of railing to choose from such as, Wooden, Aluminum, PVC, Tempered Glass, etc.. Again some railings last for years without any kind of up keep and others need constant care.

38. Landscaping


In most subdivisions, at the time of purchase, you must give a Performance Deposit. According to most Purchase Agreements this deposit will be returned after you have completed the exterior of the house according to agreement and this usually includes the front yard landscaping.

  • Most subdivisions have a time limit on when the landscaping must be done by.
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