Home Building Checklist

The Home building Checklist
summarizes in quick bullets the home building process. Use the checklist to quickly reference information you need about your home construction project.


Page Topics :

  1. can you afford home construction
  2. what kind of house
  3. finding your building lot and location
  4. define your home construction specs
  5. find a home builder - negotiate contract
  6. arrange financing
  7. start the construction project
  8. inspect your project
  9. close on your home construction
  10. decorate your project - moving in
  11. download this checklist
  12. home building step map

Click a topic heading to toggle the display of its contents | hide all | show all

Can You Afford Home Construction

Good question

Building a Home Will Require Some Upfront Money

Home construction financing is a little more complicated than buying an existing home.

Besides getting approved for financing, you will need a slush fund for non-budgeted expenses such as cost overruns, missed deadlines, and construction upgrades.

Understand the numbers before your begin:
see our analysis guide for home construction planning


Define the Type of Construction

  1. Custom Home Construction:
    where the construction is based on a custom design and individually built for the home owner. This type of construction is a little more expensive and more owner involved. You will need to formulate the design that you would like.

  2. Production Home Construction:
    where the construction is based on 3-4 different "production" designs for a particular neighborhood. The homeowner may buy one of the plans from the builder and construct the house as specified. Some production plans allow for structural changes at additional cost.

top of page

What Kind of House

You need to decide on the style and architectural design of your home. Use our resource information for help:

top of page

Finding Your Building Lot and Location

Your home construction begins with the lot. Pick the right spot in the right area. There are 3 ways you can search for a lot:

  1. View Home Building Communities
    home builders will often have lots for sale in communities where home building plans are in place. You will be able to situate your home in an established development.

    look up home building communities

  2. Classified Ads
    many lots and raw land are posted via classified sections of the local paper

    link to search newspapers by state - community

  3. Hire an Agent - Lot Broker
    many real estate agents have access to communities and lots that are available for sale.

    find an agent - lot broker


We have resource information about location:
search location and neighborhood issues

Some home owners find and secure their lot prior to bidding their construction project. Often they use the lot as their down payment when seeking home construction financing.

Other home owners will look for a lot after they finalize their design based on contractor bids. They have a better idea what lot will work best for their home design.


Don't forget to appraise the value of your lot.

Complete a neighborhood comparison before you buy:

What's it worth?

order your personal
home valuation report

sample property reports:

  • complete property valuation
  • recent sales report
  • comparable sales
  • subject property report

    view sample reports: enter address-zip

top of page

Define Your Home Construction Specs

Designing the construction specs is the most important task that you will undertake

You need to be as detailed as possible. The construction specs defines how your home will be constructed and designed. You will also spec sheet to bid the project and obtain construction financing.

Basically, the construction specification plan details the number of rooms, type windows and doors, type flooring, type trimming, type heating and cooling, etc.


We can help with our step-by-step construction specification sheet and supporting content for every room in your plan.

  1. Step 1:
    start with a general floor plan for ideas on how your home will be designed:
    view house plans

  2. Step 2:
    develop the spec plan for each component and room in your new home:
    go to spec planning

  3. Step 3:
    have an architect design an architectural plan based on your spec plan (or have the architect revised an existing plan): find an architect

    FREE download.
    Use this sheet to note ideas for your home construction plan:
    construction specification planning

top of page

Find a Builder and Negotiate the Contract

The construction specs will be used to bid the construction project

  1. Take your spec plan and have it reviewed by an architect or other home designer.

    They will revise an existing house plan to fit your construction specs or custom design a house plan based upon your design.
    search professional architects

  2. Take the architectural plan and submit a bid request from building contractors.

    You will need your construction specs to detail your request.

    Make sure to work with a network of contractors that have been prescreened.
    search building contractors

  3. Understand how to negotiate your contract with a contractor —

    make sure you protect your interests
    contract negotiations

top of page

Arrange Financing

You can arrange financing once you have an acceptable construction bid.

The lender may approve your request for financing based on your specification plan, contractor bid, and qualifying ratios.


There are two parts to construction financing:

  1. construction line
  2. residential mortgage

We have more information:
link to our financing module for home construction financing

We have information on getting qualified:
see how to qualify for financing

top of page

Start Your Home Building Project

Now for some excitement.

Be prepared to manage and control your construction project

  • project start
  • project management
  • change management
  • problem resolution management
  • cost management
  • financial management

Understand what's needed:
see our home construction project planning guide

top of page

Inspect Your Home Construction

He who holds the money rules the process

As your construction move through building phases, get each phase of the project inspected before making payment.

Once payment leaves your hand, you lose control of getting things done right.

Information about inspections:
go to construction inspections

top of page

Close on Your Home Construction

Closing your home construction is similar to closing on an existing home sale

As your construction comes to a close, you will need to payoff your construction line with a residential mortgage loan.

Find a residential mortgage loan:

Notes on Home Closing and Settlement:
see closing and settlement

top of page

Decorate Your Project - Moving In

Your decorating budget may be tight, so shop wisely for best ideas and plans

Furniture, electronics, pictures, etc. — and that is just for the interior.

For the exterior, you have flowers, yard furniture, cooking grills, etc.

View ideas:
go to our home building gallery


Now Let's Move In

What's Needed:


Have You Sold Your Existing Home:

complete home selling guide with FREE tools and forms

go to our home selling center

top of page

What's in the News