Who’s Who on Your Construction Team

Meet the people who will build your house

Brick and stone home.
It takes a team of talented professionals to make this possible.

Building a new home is literally making a dream come true. Yours.
It’s an exciting but also detail-filled process consisting of many steps, each of which happens in a well-planned sequence.

Creating your new home requires a team of trained professionals focused on your needs. A specialized contractor will finish one stage of your home, and then transfer the work to the next contractor; All under the direction of the construction superintendent of your builder or construction company. The superintendent will handle these transfers, ensure the quality of the work, and ensure that all parties involved adhere to the schedule.
Key members of this team will work closely with each other and with you to handle construction at every step of the way to create your new home.

Let’s take a look at who does what in the construction process. In this case, we have assumed that your home is being built in a typical planned community, a new large residential development. The process actually began when the new residential community was planned by… Yes, you guessed it:

The developer

Everything that has to do with building your new home starts with the land. Real estate developers are constantly looking for available land (or properties that have not yet been placed on the market) that is suitable for a new residential neighborhood. It can be an open field, a wooded terrain or a mountainous area with spectacular views.

A developer can invest years, and large amounts of money, to patiently acquire individual parcels of land from many owners, assembling the final construction site for a large, new residential community.

The developer creates an overall plan for the community that includes the type of buyers of the homes that will be targeted by the development, and therefore, the types of new homes that will be built. Based on this information, the developer selects the builders of the new community, and creates a detailed master plan that identifies the size, type, and price range of the new homes to be built.

The developer will then prepare the site for construction. In many cases, the first step is to obtain permits, i.e. the necessary approval from the government to build on the property. The site may require rezoning for single-family and/or multifamily homes. And since new housing attracts a flood of new students, the local school board may need to sign off on the project.

Once the neighborhood master plan has been approved, the developer will level the land to ensure proper drainage and erosion control and install the community’s roads and underground infrastructure, such as water, sewer, and utilities. Then, it is the turn of the streets, sidewalks, street lighting, signs and fire hydrants; All the important details that create a community, everything that builders, and ultimately homeowners, will share and depend on.

The developer can also provide services for the community, such as a clubhouse, swimming pool, gym, walking trails, playgrounds and even dog parks.

When all of these steps have been completed, the developer sells so-called finished lots to home builders who are approved to build in the community.

One of the builder’s first tasks in a planned new community is to finalize a library of plans for the new homes to be built. These plans are based on the buyers the project is targeting, the agreed price range, the region of the country (home styles change dramatically from Phoenix to Boston, for example), and the topography of the land. Therefore, one of the first decisions of the builder after agreeing to build in a certain new residential community is what types of homes to build there. Which brings us to…

The architect

Once builders purchase the finished lots, they work closely with an architect, who can work directly for the builder or for an architectural firm that the builder selects. In any case, the architect will design the plans of the new homes (or adapt existing plans) to work well on these lots.

Today’s new homes are designed with features that most buyers want, such as open kitchens, higher ceilings, larger master bedrooms and bathrooms, larger closets, and plenty of storage space throughout the home.

The result is a series of attractive home plans (also known as floor plans) with features like those mentioned above, which are within the predetermined ranges of the community in terms of square footage and price.

You can choose from this library of plans when buying a new home in that community. When designing each house, the architect will take into consideration the location of the lot, the topography, the direction it faces, its relationship to other lots, and environmental and climatic factors.

The architect will also design each house to be in harmony with the other homes in the neighborhood, so that each house complements and adds value to the other neighboring homes. Once the plans of the houses are finished, let’s see the main functions in the firm that will build your house.

Your construction firm

Choosing the company that will build your home is a key decision. This firm is responsible for all phases of the design and construction of your new home.
Your construction company and its main staff (more details below) select and manage the teams of specialized contractors who will build each component or system of your home. They will also closely monitor and manage the process and quality of your home at every step of construction and in general.

The sales consultant of the construction company

The process usually starts with you, the home buyer, working alongside the builder’s highly skilled on-site sales team, to select the best floor plan and lot that suits your needs.

No one is more adept at the main details than your sales consultant. This person has detailed knowledge about the new residential community and its surroundings (including nearby shops, schools, and restaurants, among others). Your sales consultant will have answers to your questions regarding the builder, the home plans offered, the lots available, the builder’s unique approach to construction and energy efficiency, what features are standard, what options and improvements they offer, and much more.

Your sales consultant will guide you through the entire process of selecting your new home. In many cases, builders make one or more model homes that you can visit and tour to see firsthand how your new home will look and feel and how each room will relate to the other parts of the house. Many builders decorate and furnish model homes to help you better visualize your new home.

In addition to model homes, many builders invest in renderings, computer animations, and even 3D or interactive plans that help you visualize the main details of your new home.

The builder’s sales team will help you choose your floor plan and model of house, an elevation (the look of the fa├žade of your house) and a lot (the specific plot of land) on which your new home will be built.

The Design Center Consultant

Once you’ve selected the options above and signed a purchase contract, you’ll typically work with the design center consultant.

This member of the construction team handles what is commonly referred to as the option selection process. That’s builder jargon for one of the best parts of building a new home: selecting the style, color, and types of many of the key components of your new home to suit your personal taste and style.

Your design consultant will help you make important design decisions, such as flooring (tile, wood, vinyl and carpet), shelving and countertops. In addition to this, you’ll probably choose appliances, lighting and plumbing fixtures, and even wiring options such as home automation and security systems. Many builders offer a whole range of structural changes. These range from large windows, to garages for three vehicles, or even an additional room that can be built as a bedroom, study or additional multimedia room.

The design center consultant will take note of all your product and design decisions and send them to the construction company’s purchasing department and construction superintendent (more details on this lead role later). Now, everything is ready to start building your new home.

The Construction Superintendent

Although job titles may vary somewhat from construction company to build, the company you select to build your home will appoint a key member of its staff as the general project manager for your new home. Some companies call this person a construction manager or a field manager. Other companies use the title “builder” for this key function or role. This means that Pedro Perez can be your builder (i.e., your construction superintendent) and also an employee of Adams Homes.

Regardless of the name given to the position, your construction manager or builder is a highly qualified project manager with experience in every phase of building your new home. He or she typically has extensive experience in construction science and techniques. The construction superintendent will personally perform a number of critical tasks and coordinate the work with other members of the construction team described in this article. Typically, the superintendent will:

  • Work closely with specialty contractors, construction product suppliers and core employees of the construction company.
  • Help coordinate tasks such as purchasing building materials and scheduling their delivery.
  • Schedule the work of specialized contractors in sequential order as construction progresses.
  • Ensure that each specialty contractor’s team completes their task on time and delivers a completed, quality construction phase to the next contractor team in the process. Handling these deliveries is a critical part of the construction process.
  • Schedule inspections, ensure quality control, and make sure everyone sticks to the architect’s construction plans.

Since this person is responsible for managing and managing the entire process of delivering a high-quality home on schedule, it’s fair to think of the building superintendent as the conductor of an orchestra that manages to harmonize all aspects: the right people, the right building materials, and the right processes and inspections in a carefully planned sequence to build your new home.

The building superintendent will likely be your point of contact to visit your home during construction. Many builders offer predetermined times to make tours of the house during key moments of construction, such as a tour during the assembly of the structure or stage prior to the placement of drywall or drywall. This is a good time to ask the superintendent about what’s behind the walls, such as insulation, wiring and plumbing, and other measures that add comfort and energy efficiency to your home.

Major Specialty Contractors

Every new home has several major systems and components that are built by experienced contractors. Although the following list is not exhaustive, it includes specialized contractors who play an important role in the construction of any new home. Specialized contractors will normally perform the following tasks:

  • Preparation and leveling of the land.
  • Foundation: If your home has a basement, the contractor will take care of this as well.
  • Frame or structure: These contractors build the exterior walls, roof, and skeleton or structure of interior walls. They also install exterior windows and doors.
  • Exterior cladding, stucco or bricks.
  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning, commonly known as HVAC or H-Vac: This specialty also installs insulation.
  • Electrical installations in thick and finished work.
  • Plumbing in thick and finished work.
  • Drywall or plaster sheets: When this part of the work is finished you will have real walls and ceilings in your house.
  • Painting.
  • Interior accessories and cabinets.
  • Stops or countertops.
  • Floors and carpets.
  • Access roads and roads.

Inspectors

During the construction process, at least two sets of inspections will be carried out. One of them occurs just before the wall and ceiling panels are placed and the second is done before you move into your home.

Your builder will have its own inspectors to ensure that each home is built in accordance with the company’s quality standards. Additionally, city or county building inspectors will verify that your different housing systems comply with local building codes. Codes vary by location, but typically include the following:

  • The foundations, foundation work and water and sewer pipes before the pouring of the concrete.
  • Inspections of the structure and mechanical systems (electrical, plumbing and HVAC).
  • The building envelope, which includes the roof, windows, doors and exterior coverings, such as cladding, stucco and bricks.
  • Isolation.
  • A final inspection that must be performed before the certificate of occupancy is issued.

Your house is finished!

Congratulations! Your new home is ready. Moving is a special time. Yes, there’s the inevitable hustle and bustle of packing and unpacking, but this is also your chance to see all the design options you’ve selected, and to enjoy the reward of all the planning when you walk into your home for the first time as a homeowner.

From the developer to the architect, to the design consultant, the construction superintendent, and the various specialty contractors and inspectors, all the professionals involved in building your new home share the same goal: Deliver a new home that is pristine and high quality and completely finished and ready for you to move into.

The result? You will enjoy a completely new house, a house that you customized according to your style and taste. Your home offers the latest in energy efficiency, open floor plans tailored to the way we live today, and is ready to offer you years of enjoyment.

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By Catharine Bwana