Breaking Ground | The First Five Crews You Meet When You Build A House

You bought your dream piece of property. You have custom blueprints in your hot little hands. You are ready to build! Building a new house is an exciting time for any homeowner. The process of creating exactly what you want in a home can be both exhilarating and nerve-wracking, exciting and stressful. Along the way you will meet many, many (many!) crews of people who will help you create the home of your dreams. While the end of a build is often perceived to be the most exhilarating part of construction, the first few teams in do a ton of important work.  

1. Survey Crew: Before construction begins, you need to have your property surveyed. A survey tells everyone exactly where the property lines and other geological features are located as well as where your new house will be situated. It may be ordered by any number of people. Your bank may want a general site survey for their records. The county may want a topographical survey for drainage requirements. You may even want a survey of your lot lines because that pesky neighbor is giving you a hard time already. The survey crew is usually only on site for a day or two. 

2. Excavation Team: When the excavation team rolls in, everyone wants to watch. They bring all the heavy-duty earthmoving equipment that people pay to see at 'Touch-A-Truck' events. They are not only responsible for digging your basement, but so much more. Everything from clearing trees in and around your home's footprint, leveling the surrounding land for drainage and clearing a driveway to adding a culvert falls in the realm of the excavation team's job duties. 

3. Water Well Installation: Houses in urban and suburban areas need to hook up to the municipal water source to get water supply to their new homes. Some suburban areas and most rural areas need a well installed to get their own, private water supply. How much this costs, how long it will take, and how deep they have to dig all depends on where in the country you live. In fact, two next-door neighbors can have vastly different experiences when digging wells. Each municipality also has requirements regarding depth and whether or not the well needs to reach bedrock. Your water well installation specialists should be able to answer questions regarding wells in your area.   

4. Septic Installation: Like wells, when you live in a more rural area, connecting to a municipal wastewater treatment center is not always an option, so a septic system needs to be installed instead. Most septic systems are composed of two parts, a septic tank and a leach field. When you flush, the pipes empty out into your septic tank. Over time, the water exits the tank and percolates through the leach field until it returns to the earth. The solids, however, settle to the bottom of the tank until it is cleaned, usually every one to five years. This crew could be at your house anywhere from a week to several weeks. The weather plays a huge part in how and when they can work. Wet, muddy ground makes it difficult to install a septic system properly. 

5. Rough-Framing Crew: While the rough-framing crew never gets the respect they deserve, they actually are the first to bring your home to life and give it shape. This crew takes that expensive pile of lumber and turns it into walls, floors, and a roof. Be sure to take lots of pictures—of the walls going up and the crew!

Building a house from scratch is one of life's special experiences and is on the bucket list of many people. Take the time to enjoy each and every step by taking pictures, asking questions, and meeting all of the people that are helping you turn your dreams into a home.