Spike's Calculators

Steps Involved in Building a House



During this stage of building, everything seems to go very quickly. It is essential to be organized and know when each trade is required and what they need to complete the job that they have to do. Have you chosen your light fixtures, closet organizers and flooring?

23. Framing

Framing a house

The materials needed for framing should be delivered by the lumber yard. If you are using an engineered flooring system, that should also be on-site when framing starts.

Calculate the number of studs, plates and sheathing material needed: Wall Material Calculator

  • Your trusses should have been ordered at this time and scheduled for delivery.
  • Once framing starts, establish when the windows and exterior doors should be delivered.
  • Apply for a gas meter, especially in wintertime. It could take a bit of time before they come to install it.
  • At this time, you should be sure of the layout of your house; discuss any changes with your Framer. Alterations, later on, can be messy and costly. Drop by at the end of the day's work. And do not forget that they are there to make a living. Make sure they can do their job by having the materials on-site when these are needed.
  • Be sure to discuss with your Framer the work and materials included in the quote he gave you. For example, supplying nails, framing up sidewalks and the driveway, back framing, etc.

24. Trusses


If trusses in your area are delivered without a boom truck and the framers are ready to place the trusses, you may have to arrange for a crane to be on site. If the plywood for the roof is not onsite, make sure it is here at this time. The crane can place it in a better location.

Note: Too many people working at the same time could create problems. Each trade needs space and time to do a proper job.

Note: Start rough-in plumbing before the Heating because they are more restricted. For instance, a bathtub or toilet drain will have to be precisely where they have to be, and you can be 100% sure that if the heating guy comes first, he will install heating ducts in a run right below one of those drains.

  • The cabinet salesperson should come down and mark out the layout of all the cabinets.
  • If possible, have large items, such as bathtubs and showers, brought in during framing. If this is impossible, some studs might have to be removed to create enough room for the items to fit through easily.

25. Heating & Plumbing


You should install roof vents before the roofers go to work.

Note: The Heating & Plumbing Trades have to know where the cabinets are located.

  • In general, heat ducting does not require inspections before framing inspection.
  • Do make sure after installation that they do not cause annoying squeaks. It is a good plan to find the squeaks now and have them fixed.
  • If you are getting a fireplace, don't get one that looks nice; make sure it is an efficient heating unit. Direct vented, glass sealed fireplaces are usually the best.
  • In a finished basement, if you are not installing it at this time, a rough-in with pipes and lines required for AC or heat pump is good to include.

26. Roofing


Once the Framers complete building the roof and all the plumbing vents have been installed, it is time for the Roofers to do their job.

  • Roofers will supply roof vents for the ventilation of your attic, and they will able to place them in the spots as required by code. If not, you hired the wrong Roofer!
Roofing Calculators: Asphalt Shingles, Gable Square Footage, Board and Batten

27. Electrical

Electricians start with their wiring.

Note: The Electrician must know where the cabinets are placed.

Note: Walk through the house with the Electrician and show them where you want all the outlets installed. Think of a place for a Christmas light plug with a switch inside.

  • Good quality stove and bathroom fans are a good investment and well worth the extra cost.
  • Electricians will install low voltage, cable and telephone wires. If not, contact your phone and cable company to install the necessary wires.
  • Even if you are not planning to purchase a satellite disk, running a wire at this time makes a lot of sense.
  • Consider pre-wiring for a speaker system.

28. Doors & Windows

Doors & Windows

After the exterior doors and window installations, you can lock up the house. This is the time you can request your first draw if you have a construction-type mortgage.

  • Make sure the window price includes screens, night locks, and liners if desired. It is very frustrating when you do not notice that the excellent price does not include these.
  • A very nice alternative to vinyl windows are wood windows. Very classy.
  • The exterior doors and windows are delivered at the time the framers are finishing with the roof.

29. Inspections

The trades will most likely call for their respective required inspections, and these should all be done and approved before you call for a framing inspection.

30. Framing Inspection

A building inspector from City Hall does this.

  • Although, at times, it may seem that the Inspector's only purpose is to create problems for you, do not ever forget that they are doing a job that concerns the safety and, to some extent, the quality of your home. You have to fix any infractions you get. You will almost always get some, but at least you know that they are doing their job. At times they will have suggestions, and with few exceptions, they will be most helpful.
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