Building a House – Diary of 27 weeks to build a house from start to finish
In this article I’d like to share with you the time frame of my house construction from start to finish. It’s a four bedroom, single storey house on a new block of land.
Knowing what happens, when and the sequence of activities involved in building a house might help you in different ways with your project:
- planning the purchase of equipments for your house
- planning delivery and or installation of items you took care of, e.g. particular doors, bathtub, etc.
- organise delivery and installation of kitchen if you decide to go with another kitchen company than one proposed by your builder
- organise delivery and installation of bathroom vanities
- painting selection
- and more
Building a new house is comprised of the following main stages
Week 1 – Preparing the block of land
When the contract with builder has been signed the first thing he did for us was cleaning up the block of land, marking and preparing it for installation of the drains.
Week 2 – Footings and drains done
Weeks 3 to 6 – Preparing and pouring the concrete slab
Week 6 – Frame is up!
Viewing the frame up was certainly a wow moment for us all. This is the first time you get to see the house floor plan you were working on materializing before your eyes. You can see the rooms, the areas you spent hours designing, changing, and changing again. It’s thrilling experience.
Week 9 – Windows installed
Week 12 – Roof frame is up but rain can still get through
Our house was built in 2010. It was the wettest year in Canberra history. We were really looking forward to having the roof tiles up so we didn’t need to wipe the water “inundating” the concrete slab every weekend.
Week 12 – Rough plumbing done
I noticed plumbing was done at later stage on construction jobs around our suburb but in our case it was realised early. It took just one day for the team to complete rough connections.
Weeks 13 to 15 – Brick work
During this week concrete tiles were delivered.
Week 16 – Roof tiles installed, air extracting duct for kitchen rangehood installed
Week 17 – Installation of evaporative cooler and ducts, installation of insulation batts in walls before “sheeting”
Week 18 – Walls and ceiling sheeting
Week 19 – installation of internal doors
Week 20 – Painting starts, wet seal in showers, bathrooms, tiling in wet areas
This week was a busy one. Painting, tiling in wet areas had to be completed before delivery of kitchen and bathroom vanity units scheduled for the week after. It was a tight time frame but fortunately everything went smoothly. We didn’t have to reschedule delivery of the kitchen.
Week 21 – Delivery and installation of kitchen, bathroom vanity units and laundry
Definitely one of the highlights of our house construction. Although the kitchen bench and vanity tops were to be installed in a second time we were very pleased with the job.
You can see the final result of our kitchen at the end of this article
Note: if you have porcelain tiles on the wall I highly recommend that you mention it early to the contractor or kitchen company that will install your bathroom vanities.
Porcelain tiles are very hard to drill through and they would need to use special drill bits (those cost much more than ordinary masonry bits). Without the proper tool they run the risk of cracking or even breaking up the tiles.
Week 22 – Garage door and garage door opener installed, concrete driveway poured
Week 23 – Delivery of kitchen stone bench and bathroom vanity tops, installation of kitchen splashback, plumbing finishes
Week 24 – Mirror doors for wardrobes, shower screens delivered
Week 26 – Concrete around the house, installation of R4.0 insulating batts in ceiling
We have an area of 4m x 6m as an outdoor meal area we wanted concreted. The day concrete was poured for that area they also made a concreted footpath around the house.
Week 27 – Gate to backyard, finishing up light fittings installation
During this week electrician finished off installing the last light fittings
Including tiling in main areas (not in bedrooms) our house construction took 6 months. We were able to move in once plumbing and electrical inspections were completed.
The work left for us to do consisted of:
- putting laminate floor in bedrooms
- ordering and installing blinds
Building a house obviously takes more time and effort than buying an established one. However the experience was worth considering for us. It allowed us to have a brand new house that fits within our budget and met our requirements and lifestyle.