The process of building a house is quite simple. The following information outlines the steps necessary to building a house:
Preconstruction Services – Building a house can be an enjoyable experience realized by all parties involved. Our preconstruction services will start you down the right path. Thad and Jonathan will happily meet you to discuss your ideas, dreams, plans, and cost feasibility at no charge. We love what we do, and even if you decide not to build, we will enjoy the opportunity to serve you with our vast knowledge of process, materials, and cost.
Site Analysis – Before you purchase your property, we will come out to any potential properties you’re interested in and provide you with an analysis of the site. We look at build-ability, unforeseen building costs, access, utility challenges, and exposure for passive solar gain. We can help you find the perfect property. Ask us how…
Construction Costs – We have extensive knowledge on what things cost. It is important to get a good idea of construction costs before you get too far along with the architect and engineer. We want nothing more than to build you a house you can afford. If you already have an architect in mind, we look forward to meeting and working closely with them to make sure the design fits your budget. If you don’t have an architect yet, we can refer you to one based on your style and budget.
Once we have a collaborative formed idea of your house, we can provide you with a preliminary estimate. This is usually done after the first sets of preliminary plans are presented. We understand that the plans will probably change, but it will you clearer picture of construction costs. The preliminary estimate also helps define the design and selections of the home. After review of the preliminary estimate, and with approval to continue, we will provide you with the final estimate. The final estimate is based on firm bids provided by suppliers and subcontractors. The bid will be broken down to include every item in the home. There will be two sub sections. The first sections will be building costs decided by Capstone. The second section will be allowance costs decided by you, the homeowner.
Austin Energy Green Building Rating System – Capstone Custom Homes will suggest multiple green options. Our goal is to build your house in a manner that it qualifies as a 5 star green home through Austin Energy’s green building rating system (AEGB). If you have ideas as to how to make your project more sustainable, please suggest them to us early in the preconstruction phase. When we have the final plans, we will go through AEGB to let you know how your house will be rated.
Selections – Selections are all the choices of finishes and materials that will be included in your. These items will be allowances and can change as you wish. They typically include plumbing fixtures, electric fixtures, appliances, roofing, windows and doors, floor coverings, cabinets, and countertops. Check out our Idea Center to stimulate your creative side, or set up a complimentary meeting with our in house interior designer.
Permitting Process – The city of Austin and its surrounding counties all require plan submittal for review. Once the plans have been reviewed, the appropriate jurisdiction will issue permits. We will handle all of this.
Environmental Building Systems Consulting – We are Austin’s premier green builder; we understand the value and longstanding importance of building sensitive to the environment including energy efficiency, resource conservation, and healthy indoor choices. We work closely with multiple green design professionals to include sustainable building practices in the design. Most green applications are blended with the architecture and design of the home. It is imperative that we nail down which green
designs we are going to implement at the design stage because most would be impossible or very costly to include after the design is complete.
Contract – We strive to provide a contract that works equally well for both parties. After the final estimate is complete, we will go through the plans room by room and make sure everything is just the way it should be. We offer a “Fixed Price” contract that is most commonly used, and a “Cost Plus” contract. The “Cost Plus” contract is typically reserved for remodels, additions, and unusually creative projects.
Interim Financing – Capstone Custom Homes maintains a strong relationship with multiple lenders. Depending on your particular needs, we can custom fit you with a pre-screened lender that will help make your dream come true.
Site Preparation and Foundation – Before the home is built, the site must be prepared for the construction process. First, we stake out the location of the house, driveway, and any other place the land will be cleared and leveled. Next, we trim and mulch all of the loose branches and overgrown trees.
Finally, we set forms. Forms are the boards that surround the exterior of the foundation location. A form survey is ordered and approved by the lender and architect. Then the forms are filled with base material that is cut into different beams. The concrete is poured into the beams with rebar or post tension cables according to the slab engineer specifications.
Framing – The frame is the shell of the house that provides the shape and stability of the structure. The conventional approach is to build the home from individual pieces of lumber, called stick-built construction. Alternatives to the stick-built approach include rammed earth, straw bale, modular, steel, adobe, concrete insulated forms, and structural insulated panels. Deciding what type of building approach to take on can be tough. The budget and design will usually help answer any uncertainty.
Exterior Finishes – This stage finishes the outside of the home and protects the inside from the elements. From the outside, at least, your home looks almost done. When selecting your façade and roof covering, consider the maintenance costs, neighborhood requirements, and how long the product will last. Remember that the cheapest product out of the box will not necessarily be the least expensive long term. Stone from local quarries, stucco, metal sheathing, and sustainably grown wood are all common choices.
Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing – Once the interior of the house is properly protected from the elements, the mechanical (HVAC), electrical, and plumbing roughs are installed. These are the guts of the house, and before we install insulation, it is important to get a third party inspection. The inspection is necessary both for warranty and peace of mind.
Insulation – Insulation ensures your home will stay comfortable in any temperature. The most common insulation products used today are Spray foam, cellulose, fiberglass, cotton, and foam. Spray foam costs a bit more, but you end up with a completely sealed house. No direct exchange of inside and outside air temperatures leads to a more efficient and economical house. Fiberglass insulation comes in rolls and fits between your studs. Cellulose insulation is blown in through a large hopper and is used mostly in the attic. Cotton is usually made from recycled blue jeans and is typically considered healthier than
Interior Finishes – Once everything behind the walls is complete drywall is installed. This usually takes one to two weeks. Then the floors, trim, paint, cabinets, and all other interior details are finished. This is the longest phase, for good reason. Unlike the mechanical rough-in step, subcontractors in the interior finish steps usually cannot do work at the same time. This is the step when you really see everything come together. You have the option of selecting whatever it is you want to select. If you decide you
don’t want the hassle of making so many decisions, our in house interior designer can help you make those decisions.
Landscaping – This step can occur any time after the exterior finishes are complete, but it’s usually done concurrently with interior finishes. When landscaping, select native planets that do not require much water, and make sure that there are plenty of trees to act as a wind break and to shade the home in the summer.
Walk-Through – Finally, we are finished! But wait, you still see things that need attention. We will do a final walk-through before the closing to ensure that everything is completed to your liking. If you see any issues that need to be addressed, we will have them fixed before you sign the final paperwork. We will also explain how your home operates, so listen closely, and ask lots of questions. If you happen to run across something after you move in, don’t worry, we will be here for many more years to come, and we demand 100% satisfaction from our clients.