The Construction Process

Congratulations!  You have successfully purchased a North Prairie home! Whether your move-in date is next week or months down the road, at North Prairie, we know you have a lot of questions and we are happy to answer them.

Typical questions include:

  • How long will it take to build?
  • What happens when?
  • What does each step involve?
  • When can we visit the site and see our home in progress?
  • When do we have to make final decisions about cabinets, fixtures, flooring, and so on?
  • When do building inspections take place?
  • Will we have a chance to inspect it ourselves before we take possession?

Here’s a breakdown of the typical home construction process by phase, and information on some of the construction hazards associated with each stage:


Before any construction begins, plans for your home are developed, finalized and submitted to the municipal building permit office for review. Permits may be required for all or some of the following work: building, electrical, plumbing, septic system and sewer connection.

IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE:  During all construction phases personal protection equipment (hard hat, safety glasses, etc.) must be worn by anyone entering the home.

Phase I – Foundation

  • The foundation is the structure that supports the entire house.
  • The site is cleared of any trees, rocks and debris and leveled if necessary. The ground is dug where foundation is to be built.
  • Forms are built and concrete is poured into them to form the footings for the foundation.
  • Backfill – basement damp proofing is applied. Gravel is installed around the outside perimeter of house, and dirt is pushed up around the foundation.
  • A temporary driveway is put in.
  • Construction Hazards associated with this stage of construction include open trenches and loose and/or piled dirt and rock.

Phase 2 – Framing

  • Framing is one of the most exciting phases of the construction process.
  • The frame is the skeleton of your home. All exterior and interior walls are built in place along with the roof trusses. Windows are placed in the frame. The stairs are set in place, and shingles are installed.
  • Construction hazards associated with this stage of construction include exposed nails in lumber and stacked lumber that could fall if moved improperly.

Phase 3 – Mechanical Rough in’s

  • This is the phase where all of the internal construction begins.
  • During this phase, heating, ventilation, plumbing and electrical wiring are introduced to the structure.
  • Rough plumbing – underground drains are installed for sewage and water.
  • Rough HVAC – the heating & ventilation duct work and air returns are installed, as is the thermostat wire. The furnace is installed.
  • Rough electric – electrical wire is run, outlets, switch boxes and the breaker box is installed. The installation of the phone wire, cable, and security lines (if you selected a security system option) are ordered. During this stage you will see the installation of any options you ordered that go in the walls, i.e., a central vacuum system, extra computer cabling, extra phone lines, speakers, or any number of options that require work behind the drywall.
  • Construction hazards associated with this stage of construction include lots of loose and hanging material for all the different trades that ware working in your home.

Phase 4 – Close-in

  • The finish is the skin of your home, including drywall, stucco, roofing, siding, and all major exterior and interior surfaces. All of these finishing touches really help your house start to look like a home.
  • These steps are heavily controlled by the weather, and can be performed at other times during the construction of your home. Exterior finishes will often carry into Phase 5.

Phase 5 – Finishes

  • Countertops and cabinets are installed. The house is painted and stained. Tile/linoleum/hardwood is laid in the kitchen and bath, and any additional plumbing and electrical projects come to completion.
  • Interior painting is completed, and cabinets and countertops are installed
  • Mirrors and shower enclosures are installed
  • Wall trim – once the cabinets are in, the interior doors are installed and the molding around the doors, windows and baseboards goes in.
  • Paint – once the molding is on, it is time to paint the interior of the house.
  • Carpeting – once the paint is done, carpet goes down.
  • Construction hazards associated with this stage of construction include loose trim material on the floor (slip and trip hazards) and sawdust in the air from all of the enclosed carpentry work.

Phase 6 – Finals

  • Any minor adjustments take place now, like window screens, drywall and paint touchups.
  • A Preliminary Walk-Thru is held with your Project Manager
  • Final Building Code Inspections are completed
  • Final orientation takes place
  • An Occupancy Permit is obtained
  • You may move in once all of the above steps have been completed.

Visiting the Site During Construction

It's exciting to see your new home take shape. We understand that our homeowners generally like to visit the site and we don't discourage them from doing so. However, since the workers on site may not understand the full scope of the project, it is important that you direct questions and concerns to your Sales Associate. Any site visits must be set up with your Sales Associate with them present.  Safety equipment is required even if no one is working on site.

Final Safety Tips

  • Keep older children within view and younger children within reach, or make arrangements to leave them elsewhere when visiting the site.
  • Do not walk backward, not even one step. Look in the direction you are moving at all times.
  • Watch for boards, cords, tools, nails, or construction materials that might cause tripping, puncture wounds, or other injury.
  • Do not enter any level of the house that is not equipped with stairs and rails.
  • Give large, noisy grading equipment or delivery vehicles plenty of room. Assume that the driver can neither see nor hear you.
  • Do not walk under workers (i.e. roofers); tools or materials will sometimes be accidentally dropped.
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