Building Your Home

From Start to Finish

Building a custom home is an exciting project if you understand what’s going on and what to expect. If you haven’t a clue what to expect, the entire experience may just be a big ball of confusion for you. The more familiar you become with the process of building, the more you will get out of the experience. Once your lot has been cleared and it’s time to begin the construction of your new house, there is a sequence of events that you will need to be a part of. This is where it gets fun! Continue reading if you are interested in learning more about the step by step construction process of a new home.

Laying the Foundation

The first stage in construction is laying the foundation of your house. There are several different approaches to the foundation; the most common in Texas is slab-foundation with either rebar reinforcing or post-tension cable foundations. In the Hill Country area pier and beam foundations are common. Olin Johnson Homes uses the latest engineering techniques, for a long-lasting strong foundation.

First, you will see a crew arrive on site. They will begin by placing forms around the perimeter of your new home, which will get inspected before rough-plumbing and beam pads are set in accordance with engineered design. This all depends on the location of your home site and the soil type.

With poured concrete, you’ll see the foundation forms go up and reinforcing bars go into the forms.

After the concrete is poured into the forms, anchor bolts are placed into the still-soft mixture. These bolts are responsible for securing the exterior walls to the foundation. Once the concrete hardens sufficiently and the forms are removed, usually the foundation will sit for a few days before framing starts.

Constructing the Framing

Framing is the next step of the building process. Exterior walls are framed first, then the second floor if 2 story home. 2nd story Floors consist of joists with 4×8 flooring material nailed or screwed and glued to the joists.

If you have a slab foundation, the exterior walls will be mounted directly on the slab.

The framing stage provides a glimpse of the future shape of your home. In many ways, framing is the skeleton of your home. You will see holes for windows and doors appear in the building’s envelope and the interior will begin to show its form as well. The interior walls and closets will be framed within. Framing follows an upward progression. The walls of the first floor are framed, then the second floor and the second set of walls (if there is a second floor), and lastly the roof. Roof trusses or hand framed rafters are placed on top of the walls, then linked to the exterior walls by hurricane clips. Hurricane clips are an extra quality measure, to ensure the strength of your home. Next, they are tied into each other by other wood framing. Roof sheathing, usually 4×8 sheets of plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), is nailed to the roof trusses. This provides a deck on which the roofing material can be fastened.

Installing the Roofing

When it comes to roofing, Asphalt Paper is applied to the deck. Roof covering is the next step, Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material. They are designed to last 25-30 years, although longer-lasting (thicker) shingles are available. Additional roof-covering choices may include clay tiles, slate, cedar shakes, and sheet metal. Prices will vary among them and would need to be upgraded and paid for ahead of the home starting.

Putting Exterior Trim in Place

Now that we have the skeleton of the home in place, it’s time to give the home some skin! Exterior trim is the home’s skin. This step is often performed while the roofers are still carrying out their duties on the roof. The same sheathing material that is used on the roof is used to cover the bare exterior framing studs. At this time, a vapor barrier is stapled to the sheathing to help prevent moisture and air from seeping in and rotting the studs. This is also when the windows and doors are installed, as well as fascia boards and soffit boards.

Exterior cladding is the next step in the exterior trim process. This could be cedar siding, stucco, brick, stone, vinyl or cement fiber siding. Once the cladding is up, gutters can be installed (if chose as an option).

Mechanical Systems

Air conditioner, water heater, and electrical panel included in Mechanical Systems built by Olin Johnson Homes

The mechanical systems include your heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. They are better known as your HVAC systems. Plumbing, and electrical, this step is completed in two steps. The first step requires the workers to install the internal components that will be hidden once your house is complete. These components include your house’s plumbing, ducts, and wiring. The second step is when the subcontractors return at a later date and time to install the light and water fixtures, heat registers, etc.

Insulating the Home

Insulation is the next step in the building process and it plays such an important role in the comfort of your home. Not to mention energy savings! This step requires the exterior wall cavities between the studs to be filled with insulation. The most popular is fiberglass batts, another option is foam insulation but it has an extra cost.

For those of you interested in “Green Building”, there are environmentally-friendly choices! Add an optional radiant barrier in your attic and upgraded thicker insulation in walls and ceilings. These low cost items can greatly increase your home’s energy-efficiency, saving you money on monthly energy costs. According to experts these will provide you with a 10-15% saving in monthly energy bills. This can add up to 30-50$ per month* in savings!

Putting up Drywall

It is now time for the drywall! Drywall is hung or nailed/screwed to your interior walls and ceiling’s framing, providing more structure to your home. After the drywall is hung, you will notice the contractors spreading a thin, fibrous tape over the seams between the sheets. Joint compound is then spread over the tape. Typically, about three coats of the compound is applied, allowed to dry and sanded smooth before the walls are ready for the final steps. Texture is then applied to your walls as a nice finishing touch. As a standard on some Olin Johnson Homes is Monterey knockdown texture and rounded corners, while others charge extra for this upgrade!

Putting Interior Trim in Place

Interior trim begins next with your doors. Lengths of trim wood are applied to the outside edges of the door openings and base molding pieces are applied to the walls where they meet the floor.  Once the door’s trims are finished, other trim needs such as stair rails and fireplace mantels are installed (if chose as an option).

Painting and Staining

We are now approaching the final steps to the completion of your new home! It is now time for the painting and staining processes. Any trim pieces that were installed unfinished can be painted, along with the walls. Cabinets are painted or stained at this time also. You will really be able to start seeing the gorgeous finished interior of your custom home! *some homes may have pre-finished cabinets.

Finish Work

Ok, it’s definitely time to get excited! It is now time to do flooring and counter tops, the granite counter top* or tiled counter you’ve always wanted! The vinyl plank, tiles, carpet, appliances, and all the other aesthetic touches are now finding a place within your new home’s walls. In no time, your house will begin to feel like your home! This is also the time when the subcontractors come back to install the heat registers, light fixtures, appliances and water fixtures.

Olin Johnson Homes Finish Work

Cleanup & Landscape*

A home is definitely judged by it’s cover. The final steps include your driveway and/or sidewalk being installed, the landscape* being created, and the process of clean-up, punch items, and other finishing touches. Welcome home!

*Some items/products and steps may vary depending on area.
*All items Subject to change anytime.

*Plans and prices subject to change anytime.
*May take longer depending on loan/construction loan and weather. Larger plans may take longer. *some items are upgrades and may change anytime.