The Stages of a New Home Build

In this article, we’re going to talk about the construction stages of a new home build. The stages we will discuss will basically be exactly or at least very similar to the stages you would see in your building contract for progress payments. Below you will see each stage title and an explanation of what should be happening during that stage. The stages discussed in this article are the construction stages of the project which would be after you have signed final contracts with your builder. This article is also written based on new homes built on a concrete slab.

Stage 1: Base Stage

This is the very first stage of your new home build and is where the foundations will be laid. It is at this stage that your site will be ‘scraped’, this refers to your block being excavated/flattened ready for the slab to be laid.

Once the site has been scraped to the correct level, your underground plumbing will be installed and connected to the existing infrastructure (waste/stormwater, etc). At this point, there should be pipes coming up through the ground where the future dwelling will be. These pipes should line up with all of the plumbing in your home such as toilets, sinks, showers, etc. There may be extra pipes at this stage for provisions that will be added later such as electricity to an island bench or similar.

Once that plumbing has been completed, your block will be prepared for the slab pour. This stage will depend on the type of slab your home will be built on. You may even be building a home that is built on piers that is essentially above the ground and not on a slab. For a house with a slab, it is at this point that concrete footings would be poured. Footings are just strips or columns of concrete that are poured deep into the ground to give the slab extra strength and less movement.

Once the footings have been poured, your slab will be measured out and boxed up by the concreters. Once the slab is boxed up as per specification, reinforcement bar will be placed inside the boxing and the slab will be poured.

Stage 2: Frame Stage

This is the second major stage of your new home build and will occur once your slab has been poured and has had some time to cure. A lot of new homes these days are built using pre-fabricated walls which just means the timber frame for your home would be build to specification in a factory and then put together on-site. Some homes are still stick-built meaning they are built from scratch on-site.

This stage usually starts with the carpenters laying the floor / bottom plates which determine where each room is and it’s size. Bottom plates are literally just the horizontal pieces of timber that are fixed to the concrete slab.

Once the bottom plates have been fixed to the slab and are all correct, the carpenters will continue to build the walls of the home. If the carpenters are using pre-fabricated walls then they will erect and fix the walls to the slab.

Once all the walls have been erected, the next step is the roof section. This section usually comes pre-fabricated in what is known as trusses. All roofs are different but most modern homes are built with truss roofs.

At this stage of the build, external windows and doors or door frames are usually also installed.

Once the walls and roof are constructed and any external windows and doors are installed, the frame stage is complete and the next stage will begin.

Stage 3: Lock Up Stage

This is the stage where quite a lot of work happens to your new home. At this stage all of your external wall cladding should be installed such as bricks, hebel or whatever material you have chosen for your external wall cladding.

At this point in the build your roof should also be clad in whichever material you have chosen (tin, tiles, etc). Along with the roof, your fascia and gutters may also be installed with temporary downpipes.

It is at this stage that your external doors may be installed even if they are only temporary until your proper doors arrive. Glass sliding doors would probably have been already installed in the previous stage.

Eaves (if applicable) may be installed at this stage along with electrical cabling and pipes for plumbing. Your house should essentially be ‘locked up’ at this point and ready for internal dressings.

Stage 4: Fixing Stage

This is the stage where the interior of the home comes to life. It is at this stage where your walls should be plastered, skirting boards and architraves installed and in some cases your cornice may also be installed. The fixing stage is a very exciting stage because it’s at this point that your cabinetry should also be installed through the home for your kitchen, bathroom and other areas. As well as the cabinetry, usually at this stage your sinks, basins, baths and troughs are often installed too.

Granite or stone benchtops may not be installed at this stage just to avoid theft or damage of those items.

At this fixing stage, your garage, portico and carports (if applicable) are usually also completed.

Stage 5: Completion Stage

A crazy amount of work is involved in the completion stage. It may feel like this stage is also the longest stage because it involves a lot of intricate work and tradesmen must be more careful to ensure they don’t damage any items that have been previously installed.

It’s at this stage where the electrical and plumbing fitoffs should be complete meaning you should now have light switches, power points, taps, etc. Shower screens and mirrors should also be installed by this point

All of the paintwork will also be finished at this point and shelving should be installed where applicable.

As the name suggests, this is technically where the home would reach 100% completion. Somewhere around this stage though, you will have what is known as a PCI (Pre-Completion Inspection). This is where you would have a walkthrough with your site manager and discuss anything you are not happy with that needs to be fixed, this could be issues with paintwork or things being in the wrong location.

Once you have had the walkthrough with your supervisor, they will rectify any of the issues you have com