First Month of Our Custom Home Build: Excavation, Foundation, and Framing!
November 8, 2022
In this post, we’re sharing everything that happened during the first month of our custom home build, including excavation, foundation, and the start of framing our first floor!
The very first month of building our custom home completely flew by! Going into this custom home build process, we really had no clue what new home construction was like (we’ve never done this before), so everything was brand new to us.
We were pleasantly surprised at how fast the build was moving and before we knew it, we started to see our new home come to life!
Continue reading to see our whole build process by stage during the first month of construction!
First Month of Custom Home Build:
- Dig Day
- Steel Beams
- Plumbing + Electrical Panel
- Framing: First Floor
- Lumber Price 2022
- Framing: First Floor with Ceilings
- Selection Meetings
- Summary: First Month of Building
Dig Day: Official Start of Construction
At the time of submitting for permits in July, we were told by our builder that our excavation date was pushed back two months to the end of October.
Fast forward a couple of weeks, we get an email from our builder saying that our permits were actually approved EARLIER than expected and we were going to be starting excavation in FOUR days at the end of August!
We were so surprised and had to rush to our empty lot to make sure we got our “before” photos 😉
Our builder had moved our project up before a different client since our permits were approved first unexpectedly. Because of this, our build timeline was moved up by a whole TWO MONTHS, which we were really excited about!
Excavation: 2 Days
We were grateful to begin excavation at the end of August during warmer weather! Excavation only took 2 days to complete.
We actually got some bad news on the second day, where they ran into “bad soil” finding clay while digging. After a soil inspection, the engineer said we had to do additional foundation work, with increased footing size, and additional steel rebar.
While purchasing this lot, our builder (who had built a lot of custom homes in this neighborhood) said we wouldn’t need to do a soil test because they had never run into bad soil over these years of building here, so we did not do any soil test.
Install Foundation: 3 Days
They continued with prepping to pour the foundation with the added footing requirements of our “bad soil” conditions.
Foundation Walls: 4 Days
Over 4 work days, they prepped the foundation wall forms and poured concrete.
We could really start to see the house take shape at this stage! Our floor plan was completely custom and we tweaked the design many times. At first, the house felt smaller than expected, but we knew it would turn out just fine (I mean too late now anyway!).
Backfill: 1 Day
After the foundation waterproofing went on, they backfilled and we could walk right up to the foundation edge for the first time.
Love this before and after of backfilling around the basement egress windows!
After backfilling, the big pile of dirt in the backyard was gone and the lot was flat again. For the first time, we gained a good sense of our backyard with the foundation of the house in place.
Installing Basement Steel Beams: 1 Day
The next step was installing the basement steel beams, shown below!
Basement Rough-in Plumbing and Electrical Panel Install
We saw the rough-in plumbing for a future full bathroom in the basement. Next, the electrical panel was installed before they poured the basement floor.
First Floor Framing: 8 Days
At the end of the first month of construction, they started to frame the first floor of our house! Framing really moved quickly to our surprise.
It was really cool to see the first floor without ceilings! This stage was our favorite to see and explore.
On our first floor, we have the living room, kitchen, pantry, powder room, dining nook, formal dining room, my office, and mudroom.
Lumber Price 2022:
We signed the contract with our builder in March 2022, when the lumber price was around $1,150 per 1,000 board feet at one of the price peaks in the past couple of years.
Our contract was quoted based on this high peak, but we were told that our actual lumber price wouldn’t be locked in until 5 days before the lumber shipped.
In September 2022 when they ordered our lumber to start framing, the price was around $500 per 1,000 board feet so we’re supposed to get a nice credit back for the price difference.
The timing worked out pretty well for us!
Framing: First Floor with Ceilings
At the end of the first month of construction, we ended up with the first floor ceilings framed. We had a much closer idea of how our home would turn out at this point!
For reference, we opted for 10 ft ceilings on the first floor.
Selection Meetings During First Month of Build
During this first month of building our custom home, we also had to meet with SO many vendors for selections:
- Finalize Plumbing
- Finalize exterior selections (masonry, stucco, siding)
- Interior selections (shower doors, mirrors, staircase)
- Flooring and Tile
- Electrical blueprint walkthrough
Because we weren’t expecting to be digging so early, it really caught us off guard and we had to cram a lot of these meetings, which was pretty stressful!
Summary: First Month of our Custom Home Build
Overall, the first month of building was very exciting! Every time we showed up at our lot to check on the progress, we were pleasantly surprised at how fast things were moving.
There was no lag time at all! We were also blessed with great weather and I think it only rained one day.
The framing stage is progressing really fast and we’re excited to see how our home will turn out!
First Month Build Recap:
Number of Work Days for Each Stage
- Excavation – 2 days
- Install Foundation – 3 days
- Foundation Walls – 4 days
- Backfill – 1 day
- Basement Steel Beams – 1 day
- Install Electrical Panel – 1 day
- Plumbing Rough-in for Basement – 1 day
- Framing: First Floor – 8 days
Check out our Instagram Reel of our Month 1 Build Progress:
Follow @vivandtim.home on Instagram for more behind-the-scenes of our custom home build!
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