The Building Process

Overview of The Phases: Design, Phases and Stages of How to Build Your Own Home

Without proper planning the process for building a house can take longer than anticipated because it is likely that you will overlook certain items that should have been considered in your original plan. However, even when you have a good plan for building your own home and you have determined the phases and stages of construction, you must understand that unexpected events will occur. Also developing a contingency plan for “what if” situations can be helpful in the event of emergency situations.

We found that one great way to plan the phases and stages of the process for building a house is to sit down with your designer/ architect and builder to go through each of the phases in as much detail as possible. Putting your thoughts, ideas, and quick sketches down onto paper is a great starting point. Communication through visual diagrams and illustrations can bridge communication with all members of your team and it will also give you and the designer a visual means of expression on how to build your home.

Be open to ideas and suggestions from the designer since they will have more experience and can have valuable insight into what will work with your environmental setting. Of course, be firm with your needs and wants as well since this is, after all, your project.

It was our experience that it is best to first find the architect you want to work with. Typically, it is the designer that helps you develop your vision and creative ideas, since they are experienced in translating imaginative thoughts onto paper. When selecting a designer, be sure to select one who has experience with projects that resemble/echo your ideas, or someone who at least has experience in designing the type of style you are envisioning.

Once you meet with the designer and develop your vision, you can bring your design to the builder to discuss practicalities. The builder will give you valuable perspective on how the designs can be built and often can recommend some ideas that can save you money and time during the process for building a house. We strongly recommend that you make it a priority to have a meeting with both the designer and builder together (earlier is better than later) since you are developing your team for your dream home.

When creating your plan on how to build your own house it is useful to place an estimate of the costs by each of the elements in your drawing/draft. This will give you a visual understanding of the overall costs, and you can also play around with items as you have more discussions with your design and building team. Once this phase is complete, you can move onto the construction phase. Let the building begin! And remember; try to enjoy this process as much as possible since this is your creation.

To help you understand the phases and stages of construction on how to build your own home we grouped the main stages under 3 larger “Phases.” For our more detailed stages:

Phase 1: Finances, Foundations and Framing - FFFs!

Phase 2: Doors, Windows, Heating, Electrical, Plumbing, and Insulation

Phase 3: Interior Finishes, Other Finishes and Landscaping

Based on our experience in building our house, we found that grouping the stages in this way was helpful. There are summary explanations of the stages under each of these 3 phases. If you want more detail for each of the stages, you can visit our other pages that talk about each of the stages in greater depth.