In the USA there are more than 100 million home units, and the majority of them are “single family dwellings,” or houses. In cities, in the environs and in rural communities, houses are a very ordinary sight.
Have you ever wondered how a house is built? What holds up the ceiling and the walls? What keeps the rain out? What parts go into making a house? How many different people are involved when a house goes up? If you would like to know the answers to questions like these, or if you have simply been curious to know all the steps that go into making a new home, then read on. In this article, you’ll learn exactly how
So let’s start at the beginning. What is a house? According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, a house is “A structure serving as a dwelling for one or more persons, especially for a family.” You probably have a very specific mental image of the “typical house.” It is a structure on its own piece of land.
I can show you a hundred pictures of houses and they may all be completely different in their specifics, but they will all share those basic characteristics.
One of the incredible things about American homes is that the huge majority of them are built using completely standardized building practices. One reason for this consistency is a set of uniform building codes that apply across the country. Another reason is cost — the techniques used to build homes produce reliable housing quickly at a low cost (relatively speaking). If you ever watch any house being built, you will find that it goes through the following steps:
- Grading and site preparation
- Foundation construction
- Installation of windows and door
- Rough electrical
- Rough plumbing
- Rough HVAC
- Finish electrical
- Bathroom and kitchen counters and cabinets
- Finish plumbing
- Carpet and flooring
- Finish HVAC
- Hookup to water main, or well drilling
- Hookup to sewer or installation of a septic system
- Punch list
Many of these steps are performed by independent crews known as subcontractors. For example, the framing is generally done by one subcontractor specializing in framing, while the roofing is done by a completely different subcontractor specializing in roofing. Each subcontractor is an independent business. All of the subcontractors are coordinated by a contractor who oversees the job and is responsible for completing the house on time and on budget.
We will walk through these different stages so that you can see what is involved, understand all the steps and learn about the different materials used in the construction process. We will use a typical three-bedroom home as our example.