Here’s what to expect when it’s time to break ground on your new home.

So, the permits are back, everything is cleared and ready to go, and it’s time to lay the foundation. What will this next phase of your new construction home buying journey look like?

First, you’ll have the pre-construction meeting. (The builder will most likely clear the lot beforehand so you can have this meeting onsite). They’ll walk you through the basic layout of the house, letting you know where and how the front porch, driveway, patio, garage, etc. will be configured. They’ll also have you walk the entire lot so you get a clear idea of your property’s exact lot lines. If there’s anything you’re unsure about at this point in the process, it’s imperative you ask the builder—when it comes to your dream home, there are no stupid questions. 

The builder will give you a timeline of the next stages of construction so you’ll know what’ll be happening soon. As is the case for everything else in life, the most important part of your home is its foundation. Fair warning: During this phase of construction, it won’t seem to you like the builder’s team is doing much; as a new buyer, you’ll be tempted to drive around every few days to monitor the progress, but the process usually takes three weeks to a month—for most of that time, it’ll just appear like a bunch of guys playing around in the dirt. 

Don’t worry; you’ll be preoccupied with some work of your own during this time. If you’re working with a production builder, you’ll probably have one meeting at their design center lasting anywhere from two to three hours. You’ll pick paint colors, your trim package, some hardware, shutters, and flooring type (e.g., carpet versus wood or laminate). 

“The process usually takes three weeks to a month, and for most of that time, it’ll just appear like a bunch of guys playing around in the dirt.”

On the other hand, if you’re working with a custom builder, you can expect two to four separate meetings at various design centers, the first of which will focus on selecting trim packages and hardware. With a custom build, there will be tons of different woods and plastics to choose from, so be prepared! You may have another meeting to choose granite type, then another to choose brick or stone (and what color it will be), and another still to discuss landscaping options (e.g., grass type, tree species, bushes, etc.). These meetings will take a lot of time, and they’re usually where a lot of buyers tend to blow their budget. There are just so many things to choose from at these design centers, and it’s easy to feel like a kid on Christmas morning. 

Thankfully, a good agent will be there to give you a stern nod, reminding you of your budget. Once you’ve made your selections at the design center, you’re more or less locked into them when working with a production builder. If you are able to make a change at all, you can expect a charge of $500 or more. When working with a custom builder, you do have a little more leeway concerning changes so long as you notify them far enough in advance. 

With designs selected, it’s time to sit back and let the builder lay the foundation. (Remember, checking up on the progress every other day may not be the best use of your time). 

As always, I hope this message was helpful. If you have questions about this specific phase of the new construction process or anything else pertaining to real estate, feel free to give us a call or send an email. We’re delighted to be a resource for you!