If you plan to build, or have already started to build, you know that breaking ground on a new house is a pretty exciting stage. Breaking ground on a new house is that point exactly where all your planning has come into fruition, and you can see all your work taking shape. Before you start building a house though, there are several steps that need to be completed, including:
- purchasing a lot
- getting the house plan,
- getting all your permits
- coming up with a cost plan
- contractors that you trust
1. Purchase a lot
In between moving out of our second house, moving into our third house, and flipping a house, we also bought a piece of property for our forever home. We purchased a 30 acre property south of Ottawa, that is in the middle of nowhere and full of trees. Before you start any planning, make sure that you own the land and that you have clear title.
2. House Blueprints
We decided to build a 1650 square foot raised bungalow with an open concept layout. We designed the general layout of the house ourselves, and then hired an engineer to draw it up and stamp it. Before you start to break ground, you will need to have the detailed blueprints. These are very important for the site layout, as well as to get all your permits and quotes from contractors.
3. Get your permits
If you are going to act as your own general contractor, the permits are often your responsibility. You will need to contact your township office and fill out all the paperwork. If you live in the country, you may also need to get extra permits for septic and wells depending on your specific rules. This can be very tricky to navigate all the paperwork, but as long as you start early enough in the process your building project shouldn’t be delayed.
4. Come up with a budget
Another very important aspect of building a house is the budget. A brand new building house is great, unless you can’t afford it. Come up with your total maximum cost, then break it down into all the different areas. Often the most expensive parts of a house project are the finishes and they can make or break the budget. If you need to, choose less expensive finished to keep your budget on track. You can also use this spreadsheet to get a rough idea of what each line item will cost, and where you might be able to cut a few expenses.
5. Find contractors
And finally, if you are going to ask as your own general contractor you will need to find contractors that you know and trust. We had a friend of our that was our main contractor, they were there just about every day for the first part of the build. For our other contractors, we often went on referrals. And finally, if you don’t have a referral or a friend to guide you, get multiple quotes from different contractors. You will often get a feel for the right price for each contractor.
Breaking ground for a new house
When you finally have all your ducks in a row, and it’s officially time to break ground, you will be so happy you took the time with all your planning. We officially broke ground for our new house build on April 20, 2016, and that was a pretty exciting day. To see all the weekly progress, check out the links below.
How to build a house
- Breaking ground on a new house
- How to form and pour foundation footings
- Insulated concrete forms
- Pouring concrete for a new home foundation
- Framing a raised bungalow knee wall
- Installing steel beams and floor joists
- House framing and more house framing
- Trusses and tin roof
- Tin roof part two
- Interior framing and plumbing
- Basement concrete and in-floor heating
- Windows and front door
- Plumbing, electrical, & HVAC
- Soffit and fascia
- Concrete front step and garage floor
- Insulation for a new home
- Exterior stone
- Primer, paint, and hardwood floor
- Interior trim and doors
- Maple shaker kitchen cabinets
- Finished bathroom with subway tile shower
- Siding, parging, and a driveway
- Hardwood stairs and handrail
- Covered deck
- Final house tour