A new home building checklist, for the many decisions to be made when planning to build a home, will help guide prospective homeowners in all their home building decisions. Our checklist proceeds in order throughout construction, to illustrate each phase of construction and the many choices available for each. For more information on any item in our checklist download our free 98 page book on home planning and read our many articles on the subject. Feel free to use our site’s search engine to find various topics of interest.
New Home Building Checklist of Decisions
New Home Building Checklist: Rooms
Decide on approximate dimensions of each room you wish to include. Study standard sizes of furniture and cabinetry that you wish to include so that you can fit furniture into your home. Do not however, plan your home for specific furniture. Make sure you have room for a change of styles in the future.
o Great Room
o Dining Room
o Living Room
o Family Room
o Study or Home Office
o # of Bedrooms
o # of Baths
New Home Building Checklist: Square Footage
The trend is toward smaller houses. Try to avoid building too large, but make sure that you either have enough room or can add on later. If you plan to add on, choose a house plan that lends to building part now and part later.
o 500 to 750 Square Feet
o 750 to 1000 Square Feet
o 1000 to 1250 Square Feet
o 1250 to 1500 Square Feet
o 1500 to 2000 Square Feet
New Home Building Checklist: Foundation
Which foundation style you use, depends largely on the climate and soil of your area. Crawl spaces work best in clay soil. Slabs are not good in flood zones and are better in dry climates. Basements are required in Northern areas because the footings have to be placed below the frost line. In many states this depth approaches basement depths so building a basement is necessary. In areas with high water tables, basements are a lot more difficult to waterproof.
o Crawl Space
New Home Building Checklist: Construction Materials and Methods
There is a wide range of new materials that can be used to build energy efficient homes. Study each type and consider which would suit your climate. A few of the eco materials, such as adobe, and papercrete do not work well in wet climates.
o Stick Built
o Modular Stick Built
o Structural Insulated Panels
o Insulated Concrete Panels
o Insulated Concrete Forms
o Shotcrete over Polyurethane Panels
o Interlocking Logs
o Log Panels
o Rammed Earth
o Salvaged Materials
o Eclectic use of Materials
o Used Shipping Containers
New Home Building Checklist: Roof Slope Rise
Roof slope is not only determined by taste but also by climate, and especially snowfall and rainfall. Dry hot climates require very little roof slope, but northern climate require a significant slope to prevent snow from collapsing the roof. A roof can be built to any angle, short of 90 degrees, and need not be limited to the ones listed here.
o 3” every foot – Low slope
o 6” every foot – Moderate slope
o 12” every foot – for a 45 degree angle
New Home Building Checklist: Insulation
These are the top insulations on the market. Radiant barrier is only for attics so you will still have to choose another type of insulation for the walls. Fiberglass batting is no longer considered efficient enough for residential use in most areas.
o Closed Cell Blown Insulation
o Radiant Barrier Insulation
New Home Building Checklist: Flooring
Hardwood, Tile and Stone are permanent flooring. They are actually integral to the floor structure, and cannot be taken up easily. Carpet and vinyl are largely temporary floor coverings and can be changed at any time.
o Real or Faux Stone
o Traditional Hardwood Floors
o Vinyl Floor Coverings
New Home Building Checklist: Exterior Siding
Sometimes, the wall structure is actually the exterior siding as well. Logs are a good example of this. With concrete there is a choice of whether to use an exterior siding or allow the concrete to form the wall. Stick built construction always requires additional siding. Using insulated concrete walls that require no additional siding or drywall saves money.
o Vinyl Siding
o Brick Veneer
o Stone Veneer
o Timber Clad
o Stucco or Adobe
o Log or Log Siding
New Home Building Checklist: Exterior Doors
Choose doors based on R-value as well as beauty and price, for a more energy efficient home. Think of how many doors you would like, and how they would be placed in the home.
o Sliding Patio Glass Doors
o French Glass Doors
o Formal Entry Door with Side Lights
o Double Wooden Doors
o Double Metal Doors
o Single Metal Door
o Single Wooden Door
New Home Building Checklist: Windows
Consider window size, shape and placement. Check your local home improvement store, to learn the standard sizes of windows. Consider how each size would look in the home.
o Triple Glazed
o Dual Pane
o Floor to Ceiling
o Fixed Pane
o Tilt out
o Traditional Double Hung
o Other Shapes
There are many decisions in building a home. The above decisions are the most important ones but there are others, regarding colors and wood finishes. Counter tops and plumbing fixtures are also major decisions. Consider how important various features are and plan your budget accordingly. Cabinets and plumbing fixtures are the single most expensive interior element of the home. For more new home building checklists, download our free 98 page book, and see our many other articles.