Home Build Order of Operations

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home build order of operations

How can knowing the 50 Step Home Build Order Of Operations save you time and money on your home improvement projects? Let me explain.

There is a home build order of operations that goes in to new home builds, remodels and home improvement projects. This is often called the construction sequence. It is important to know about this when updating your home. I will be talking mostly about home improvement projects today.

If your home improvement projects are not done in the right order, you can end up needing to re-do what you have already done. For example: If you want to get a new kitchen backsplash because it is the part of the kitchen upgrade that you can afford at the time. Wait. Take a look at your end goal, look the construction sequence and make a game plan. If you plan on re-doing your counters in the foreseeable future, know that this must be done before a backsplash. Be patient and save that backsplash money and do it at the same time as counters. If you were to jump the gun, once you pull the trigger on those new granite counters, you would have to re-do [at least] part of your recently installed backsplash. Another example is if your older home’s electrical is not grounded and you want to update the wiring, do this before you spend money on that beautiful custom wainscot. The order of operations must be followed or it will likely come back to haunt you by requiring even more time and money. The key is patience, which when it comes to projects I have little of.

PickYour Project Wisely

When picking home improvement projects, do not think “What needs it most?” or “What can we afford?”. As described, this is not the best approach. Instead, take a look at the list going from 1-50 below and put a check by the ones that you want to do. Make a master plan to do them chronologically. This will save you from any re-do’s.

Another unwise approach in picking your project is the “Let’s do this for now.” mentality. A friend told me, if you are going to spend time and money, do it exactly the way you want it. Don’t just use the tile that you found on clearance because it is better than what you have. This has proven to be sound advice because when you use something you don’t love, you will always want to change it. Chances are you have already invested in it and you likely wont get around to it again anytime soon [if ever].

Personal Experiences

Unfortunately, we have done a lot of things backwards in attempts to save either time or money on our projects. I want to tell you our experiences so that you don’t make the same mistakes that we have made.

Our personal example: We only had a week for repairs on out older rambler home before we were scheduled to move in. We sorely misused that precious time with no furniture in the house. Had we been paying attention to the construction sequence, we might have chosen better use of our time.

Painting walls is just about the last thing in a home build before you can move in. Just before moving in we did some quick painting of a few rooms, fixed some trim and painted of all the trim. Our mindset was that the wood paneled rooms needed paint and had been told that a home can look as good as new with a fresh coat of paint on the trim. So we did those things. Problem is, just a year later, we want to take out the paneling and then sheet rock and texture them like the rest of the house. Once we rip out the paneling, days of painting and money go to the dump.

There were some bigger ticket items, like tile removal and carpeting the downstairs, that we put on the back burner to save money but oh how much easier it would have been to do those things when the house was empty. Wouldn’t you know it, some of the trim that we installed will have to be removed when we replace the basement tile with carpet. More time and money wasted.

After we had been in the home for a while, we started to notice things that we didn’t notice before. We decided that the texture on the walls is very DIY looking and not in a good way. Heavy glob, and goopy drippy sections began to scream, “update me”. I felt/still feel pretty silly and snotty  about being dissatisfied with the texture of our walls. When it comes down to it, I am just grateful to have walls! I am thrilled to have a place of our own. I battle myself thinking, “This is ridiculous, be grateful!’. However, after talking to friends and pondering, I realized that I AM grateful and I want to have pride in where we live by making it the best that it can be. I also want to prepare for the future and get the house a little more sell-able for a future buyer when the Lord calls us in a new direction. So here we are. Wanting to re-texture the house now. No small task. Why did we not do this while the house was empty?

It is finally starting to click right? Patience. We love our hardwood floors, but they have been used and abused. We would love to refinish them eventually. Wood floor sand and finish is #46 in the list (the last indoor step before move-in). With our plans for the walls, updating windows, and constant moving furniture, we now know to do the floor refinish very last. We won’t even think of it before all of the other things that we want to do are done so that the new floor finish doesn’t get damaged.

Home Build Order of Operations: Construction Sequence

When you are taking on a home improvement project, take a look at this list to make sure that you are in suit with the construction sequence. Common home improvement steps are colored blue. Select your next project by the order it appears in this list. The following constructions list is adapted from the useful BuldingAnswers.com website.

  1. STAKE LOT
  2. TEMPORARY UTILITIES
  3. CLEAR AND ROUGH GRADE
  4. WELL
  5. EXCAVATE
  6. FOOTINGS
  7. FOUNDATION
  8. WATERPROOF AND FOUNDATION DRAIN
  9. SEWER AND WATER TAPS
  10. BACKFILL
  11. SLAB PLUMBING
  12. SLAB OR BASEMENT FLOOR
  13. FRAMING, WINDOWS, AND EXT DOORS
  14. EXTERIOR SIDING AND TRIM
  15. GARAGE DOOR AND EXTERIOR LOCKS
  16. BACK-OUT FRAMING
  17. FIREPLACE AND CHIMNEY
  18. STAIRS
  19. PRELIMINARY HVAC
  20. PRELIMINARY PLUMBING’
  21. ROOFING
  22. ROUGH ELECTRICAL
  23. ELECTRIC & GAS METER SET
  24. ‘GUTTERS AND DOWNSPOUTS
  25. EXTERIOR PAINT
  26. INSULATION
  27. TEMPORARY HEAT
  28. DRYWALL
  29. CABINETS
  30. INTERIOR DOORS AND TRIM
  31. PAINT AND WALLPAPER
  32. INSTALL WOOD FLOORS
  33. COUNTER TOPS
  34. VINYL AND CERAMIC TILE including backsplash
  35. SAND AND FINISH WOOD FLOORS
  36. APPLIANCES & SPECIAL EQUIPM’T
  37. FINAL ELECTRICAL
  38. FINAL PLUMBING
  39. FINAL HVAC & FINAL HEAT WORK
  40. SHOWER DOORS AND MIRRORS
  41. CARPET
  42. HARDWARE AND SCREENS
  43. DRYWALL REPAIRS
  44. CLEAN
  45. FINAL PAINT
  46. FINAL WOOD FLOOR FINISH (This is the point where you can move in!)
  47. RETAINING WALLS
  48. WALKS, DRIVES, AND PATIOS
  49. SEPTIC TANK AND DRAIN FIELD
  50. FINISH GRADING & LANDSCAPING

Note that some of these do not apply, for example, you could add a patio before deciding to update anything inside because it is outside and will not affect the inside order of operations. Use this list to assist your common sense.

Am I missing anything from the home build order of operations list found above? Please comment.

Have you had any whoops experiences by not following the home build order of operations?

 

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