There are many steps to building a house in Florida. There are so many that it might seem overwhelming. Each individual stage, from finding local custom home builders to putting the finishing touches on your home, is achievable. When you just look at the next step you have to do and get it done, suddenly you find yourself blazing through your list!
- Pre-qualify for a Loan
This gives you an idea of what kind of budget you’ll have to work with. You don’t want to either aim too high or shortchange yourself simply because you’re taking the first few steps without a realistic budget in mind.
- Choose Your Land
Make sure your land and house plans work together. If you find an ideal piece of land, its unique features may mean that you make adjustments to the kind of home you want. This step may include an evaluation of the lot, if a builder hasn’t already done so.
- Choose Your Home Builder
This may be done in conjunction with finding the land, as home builders own many lots. They may be able to help you narrow down your choices or make recommendations. Local custom home builders will be familiar with local regulations and will have connections to contractors they trust to work on your home.
- Select or Design Your Home Plan
You may be working with a pre-existing home plan, or you have hired an architect to work with you to design one. This home plan needs to be finished before the next step.
- Get the Loan
You’ve already gone through the pre-qualification process, so you should have your documentation together by now. The bank will appraise your home plan in order to determine the final amount of the loan. Because finishes, fixtures, hardware, appliances, and other elements can impact the final cost, you should have even these details outlined in the home plan.
Funding won’t come all at once, but will be given to the builder as they meet certain steps.
- Get Your Permit
Your custom home builder will need to obtain a permit. This involves giving the county a site plan and getting approval on it. The county may need to run a test or two in order to verify your plans, and based on the results, it may ask you to adjust them.
- Walk the Property
Before any building begins, walk the property. You may spy an additional tree that you’d like taken down, for example, and it will help you get a good idea of where certain utilities will be placed. It’s easiest to make changes to the property itself before building starts in earnest.
- The Home is Built
This is a quick rundown of the broad steps the builders will go through as they construct your home. Assume that at most steps, there will be a county inspection to ensure proper construction.
Before the foundation is constructed, the plumbing will be roughed in. After an inspection, the foundation is poured.
The house will then be framed. It’s at this point that plumbing construction continues throughout the home, as well as electrical, air conditioning, and various other elements are put into place. These various systems are inspected and tested while the inside of the walls are still accessible.
The frame will then be closed, providing the frame itself and interior of the home protection from weather, heat, and moisture. The exterior will be finished at this point.
Next, it’s time to insulate the home and seal the insulation in. The interior walls are finished. At this point, painting, trim, cabinetry, tiling, and fixture installation can begin. This might go at different rates in different areas of the home so that one area can be efficiently completed before moving to the next.
A final paint is generally done after the other work to ensure that any construction effects are cleaned up. Flooring such as carpet can be installed at this point.
If applicable, elements such as a well or septic are then installed. These wait until last so that workers and machinery don’t have to worry about falling down holes while so much other construction is going on.
This involves those details that really complete a home. The driveway will be laid. Any final adjustments will take place. Your landscapers can get to work. Any inspections that still need to take place will get done.
- Move in!
At that point, it’s time for you to move in!
These ten steps to building a house in Florida encompass other work, but they break down what would otherwise seem like an overwhelming process. Remember that everyone you work with along the way is there to answer questions and simplify the process and decisions you make.