Custom Home Building Checklist – Build Your Own Home

A Custom Home Building Checklist

As a home building expert in Edmonton Alberta, we find it very important to have a drawn out list of tasks that need to be completed throughout the construction of a home. By simply overlooking or missing one of these items, you as a builder can find yourself stuck in a costly procedure to fix the issue while leaving the new homeowner unhappy. 

When building custom homes in Edmonton Alberta, regardless if it is a starter home, luxury home, or an energy efficient one, it is important that both the builder and the homeowner have a detailed list of the tasks and procedures that take place.  

steps to building a house
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Purchase The Land

The first step to building your custom home is to have the appropriate lot to build your home. When buying a lot, make sure you

1. Check the city of Edmonton’s land use bylaws to make sure you can build the house of your desire.

2. Check to verify that there are no restrictive convenances on the purchased lot.

3. You have the appropriate funds to build the house of your desire (verify you can get a mortgage).

Start Creating Architectural House Plans

Once you have purchased the lot, you will now have the opportunity to choose a custom home builder or an architect to work with and design your home.

This step is very important. A skilled builder or draftsman will be able to offer suggestions for how you can maximize space and avoid potential mistakes with the plans. 

A great place to find home builders or architects can be on websites such as Houzz, various construction magazines, or by inquiring about the builders who have built previous homes you like.

Obtain Permits

Once you have finalized the plans for the home, you will now have to send the plans off the the city to obtain permits. Whether you are a luxury home builder in Edmonton or specialize in simple homes, this step takes on average 9 weeks if no problems are found in the plans. However, if an issue does arise, an architect will have to address problem, fix it, and send back to the city for re-approval. 

Start Getting Your New Services In Order Before The Build Starts

This typically will take 6 weeks from the time of application until the services are installed.  Make sure you contact a gas provider, water and sewer, storm, and electrical. In Canada, Atco GasEpcor and Enmax are the predominant service providers.

Demolition and Excavate

If you are building an infill, you must apply for a demolition permit from your municipailty before building a custom home. If this is attained, removing the old home will take roughly 1 to 2 days dependent on the size. Make sure you get the lot surveyed once the old home is removed to mark out the exterior of the new home.  Once all of the debris is removed, an excavation company (usually the demolition crew) will dig down to the appropriate depth of the footing and foundation walls (1 day).

Footing and Foundations

The footing and foundations are very straightforward for a custom home build. Typically it will be the same contractor to do both. The footings will completed roughly 2 days before the foundations are started. 

Order Your Framing Package and Windows - Start Framing

Before the footings and foundations are complete, line up a framing company to build your home. You will have to buy your own wood and windows, and will get the framers to install it according to the plans. If you live in Alberta, you can contact Mission Building Supplies or Rona to provide you with a quote for the lumber.  This will usually include engineered trusses and joists, as well as decks if applicable. 

For the windows, Lux, All Weather, and Dura-Built are excellent choices. Doors are usually included with the window quote.

Roofing and Siding

Plan ahead to get your roofing and siding company lined up to start as soon as the house is framed. This will allow you seal the exterior so rain won’t damage the interior. As custom home builders in Edmonton, doing this will make sure that non-pressure treated wood isn’t exposed to the environment. As this step takes time, the plumbers and electricians can be working on the inside while this feat is being completed. This will allow insulation and drywall to be started at the earliest time possible. 

Hire a Plumber and Electrician

When building a new or luxury custom home, you will have to pick out the plumbing and electrical fixtures to your desire (don’t forget air conditioning). This will allow these contractors to provide you with an accurate quote. 

Plumbing costs are typically the largest in a custom home build. Electrical costs may also be higher than expected. Remember, don’t be afraid of the highest quote. A professional and highly reputable company could potentially save you from headache and trouble in the future.

Drywall and Insulation

The costs of drywall and insulation can vary considerably. Dependent on the level of finish, rounded corners, and for example, coffered ceilings, can create fluctuations in pricing. Installing a sound barrier insulation product can add cost as well. Make sure you get quotes from a few companies. Read reviews, ask around, and make sure they have experience with all variations of drywalling. You will be surrounded by their finished product whenever your are living in your home (make sure the drywall contractor is good)!

Painting, Cabinets, Countertops, and Trim

Once drywall is complete, you can begin painting the home. Dependent on your painter, once the kitchen, bathrooms, and the closets are complete (or close to), you can also start installing cabinets and counters at the same time. A good idea is to coordinate with you trim, painting, and cabinet contractors to determine how you will complete these steps. At Poetry Homes, this is how we maximize time efficiency.

Finishing - Appliances, Lighting, and Plumbing Fixtures - Miscellaneous Items As Well

Contact your plumbing, electrical, and appliance contractors to install their final fixtures. Lights, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, and all of the appliances will be installed at this time.  A great place to find appliances in Edmonton are Home Depot, Lowes, Trail Appliances (especially if using a luxury custom home builder).

Landscaping and Driveways

Once the home is finished,  you are now ready to landscape. If you are building a custom home of high value, spend the extra money to get it properly designed by a landscape designer. A great curb appeal will add great satisfaction when living in the home and increase the value when time comes to sell. You can read this article if would like more information when it comes to landscaping your home.