SWFL Custom Homes Blog
What to Expect During Home Building Process
Building your own custom home in South Florida can be an exciting journey. However, it's also a process that can often be a bit confusing if you’re unfamiliar with the basic steps. Of course, on a project this big, feeling lost is the last thing you want! That’s why it’s critical to get a clear understanding of what to expect before any work begins.
We'll walk you through the standard phases of the custom home building process, why they matter, and what you as a homeowner need to know to make informed decisions. We’ll also explain how these phases are carried out in our company’s approach, helping you understand the Capitol Homes difference.
Three Key Project Phases
At Capitol Homes, our builds are executed through three distinct project phases:
- Phase I: Preconstruction
- Phase II: Construction
- Phase III: Project Handover
Each of these phases covers a broad spectrum of tasks, all geared toward ensuring every detail is accounted for. It’s important to note that the entire journey can take about 18-24 months. If there are any last-minute design changes or labor or material delays, it could be longer.
Phase I: Preconstruction
Not all contractors engage in an extensive preconstruction phase, but at Capitol Homes, we believe it is essential for achieving a successful build.
Preconstruction is all about preparation, gathering information and making plans. This work helps our team develop an organized strategy that will prevent complications and keep progress rolling.
- Consultation: At the start, you'll sit down with us for an initial consultation. This is your opportunity to share your vision, ideas, and “must-haves.” We’ll then offer guidance on which of our floor plans and customizations are most compatible with your requirements. If you have already purchased a lot to build on, we’ll need to examine its documentation to determine what floorplans can be accommodated on the site.
- Lot Selection: If you have yet to choose a lot to build on, we’ll pair you with a real estate agent who can help you pick a property that can support the floorplan you want. When a lot has been chosen, our team will assess its features, soil conditions, and any potential constraints.
- Construction Agreement: Once your lot and design are chosen, you’ll need to sign a construction agreement for work to commence. Your deposit must be paid after signing.
- Surveying: Your lot will need to be examined in further detail to make sure the construction is planned correctly. This will be done via a three-part survey (boundary, topographical, tree). The preliminary floor plan is then sent for your approval.
- Detail Selection: Around a month into the process, you'll visit our Design Center to select colors, fixtures, and other personal touches to your home’s look. At this point, you'll also review your construction plans.
- Construction Plans: A site engineer, truss engineer, structural engineer, and drafstman create their final plans regarding your home’s placement and construction. You’ll be consulted at a few points along the way to review and approve their plans and the final construction drawings.
- Energy Calculations: To maximize your home’s energy efficiency, a specialist will calculate energy usage and HVAC load size for your home. This helps us choose the appropriate insulation and AC unit size.
- Final Touches: The draftsman completes the final touches to your plans, including a customized electrical plan and a foundation plan that matches your site plan elevations.
- Construction Permitting: After an engineer approves your final construction plans, we apply for a permit to commence construction. Several county departments will review your home’s application, a process that can take up to 4 months.
Phase II: Construction
At this point, building can finally begin! Our team will manage all of the specialists who contribute to the construction, ensuring every part of your home is built in line with your chosen design. You will be able to visit the site at key points to review construction progress.
- Lot Preparation: Your property is cleared, graded, and prepared for construction. This includes the removal of any obstructing trees or vegetation, and installing necessary utilities.
- Foundation Selection & Installation: Depending on site conditions, either a slab or a stem wall (hybrid) foundation will be chosen for your home. After the concrete is poured, it will cure for up to 48 hours, at which point it will be ready to be walked and built upon. The concrete will continue to cure for up to 28 days.
- Masonry Walls: Due to Florida's hurricane-prone climate, masonry walls, which offer durability, strength, and sound insulation, are a necessity for all new homes. These will be constructed to form the exterior frame.
- Truss Placement & Interior Framing: Trusses and interior framing are set to support the weight of your home’s roof, walls, and ceiling. Wood framing defines the interior rooms and makes room for plumbing, electrical, and ventilation installations.
- Roof Dry-in: The moisture barrier of the roof is installed early to prevent water damage during construction, allowing indoor work to start sooner.
- Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing Rough-In: The main infrastructure needed for the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems is installed throughout your home. A rough-in inspection is then conducted to guarantee sound work.
- Windows and Exterior Door Installation: Windows and exterior doors are installed, then sealed to keep out drafts and water.
- Insulation: The home is insulated for energy efficiency and noise reduction, including sprayed-in roof insulation.
- Drywall and Exterior Stucco: You’ll be asked to walk through the home and confirm the placement of electrical outlets, switches, and recessed lighting. Drywall is then installed throughout the home, and a textured stucco finish is applied to the exterior walls.
- Interior and Other Finishes: All interior finishes are installed, including flooring, countertops, paint, fixtures, and cabinet hardware. The last details of electrical, plumbing and HVAC installations are finished.
- Landscaping: The exterior of the property is finished up through final grading, then the installation of topsoil and sod. The driveway is also poured at this point.
- Final Home Walk Through: We give you a personal tour of your new home, reviewing all of its features and any operational instructions.
Phase III: Project Handover
Your home may now be ready to move in, but that doesn’t mean you’re on your own. Our team offers extensive support to get you settled into your home and monitor the build through its first year.
- Handover: You’ll receive both your keys and a packet with all of your important documentation. We will also assist with transferring your home's utilities into your name.
- Follow-Up: Our team keeps in touch to verify that you’re satisfied with your build and everything is working as it should. Official check-ins are done after 30 days and 11 months. Any corrections that need to be made will be honored through our one-year warranty covering your new home's materials and workmanship.
Managing Your Expectations
Having this comprehensive overview of the steps involved will help you understand what’s going on at all times during your project. As expert custom home builders, we do everything we can to keep you in the loop and up to date. But there’s also something critical to acknowledge: your own participation and organization will make a big difference!
It’s essential to be available for meetings, design reviews, and site visits as your project unfolds. Being there for these sessions will ensure you’re apprised of progress, and can communicate your preferences. Moreover, you should have a firm idea of what features and finishes you want by the time those selections need to be made. All of this will help you get the results you expect, in a home that checks every one of your boxes.
If you’re ready to discuss your vision and get the ball rolling on your custom home build, contact us today. We’re happy to sit down and talk through your options!