Armchair Builder

Home Building Process: Project Planning

The home building process can be complicated.  It involves a great deal of planning and design prior to digging the hole for the foundation.  By getting the key players involved early on, your project will be built exactly how you want it and will provide years of trouble free enjoyment.  Here are some tips for the project planning phase for your home building process.

Pre-planning Participants:

  • Architect
  • Key Subcontractors:  Plumbing, HVAC, Insulation, and Rough Carpenter
  • Builder Consultant (for owner-builders) or General Contractor
  • Green Building Advisor/LEED AP
  • You (of course)
It’s obvious why your architect would get involved early on but what about your key subcontractors?  Why are they needed at this stage?  The best homes I’ve built had the participation from these key subcontractors early on in the home building process.  They provide critical trade specific information for placement of ducts and plumbing, structural member locations, on site modification discussions, review of insulation techniques and types, and design and product recommendations.
Your builder consultant or general contractor will be the quarterback for your building project so it’s critical that you give them input during the design phase.  Not only can they save you big money with low cost design ideas, but they can also foresee potential design problems prior to beginning.  Another great advantage to getting them involved early in the home building process…you get their “buy-in” to your ideas for your project.
The green building advisor must be involved early on if you are planning on building a sustainable, green project.  Green building principles need to be incorporated into the design and product selections from the beginning of the home building process.  Trying to incorporate green techniques into your project after construction starts will create problems and re-work.
When you get your group together to work on your project planning, you will want to discuss the following key items…
  • Products (which are best to obtain your desired outcome:  energy efficiency, cost for materials and installation, availability, green considerations)
  • Design Considerations (house orientation, window sizes and locations, wall thicknesses and insulation types, HVAC design,…etc.)
  • Coordination/Scheduling (discuss product lead times and workflow = who does what and when)
  • Installation Requirements (specific details for each product and design detail)
The home building process should start by getting your key players involved to provide input.  This pre-planning meeting should be held prior to finalizing the design of your project.  For more information about building a new home check out our free detailed videos here.


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3 Comments for Home Building Process: Project Planning

Paul Martin | March 1, 2012 at 5:50 am

I think it is also important to consult your builder to find out what local materials can be used, you will see with the older house in your area, traditional materials that carry a lot of history, something that I think is very important to any new construction project.

Cheryl | March 22, 2012 at 11:10 am

Just to echo what Paul said, materials is an important part of this step as well.

Very interesting that you get sub contractors involved so early on; but as I ponder, it makes a lot of sense. “buy in” would be important for this group as well, not just your building contractor!!

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