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The Building Process


So, you’ve decided you’re ready to build your own dream home, but you aren’t quite sure what it means to build a home from scratch. What is involved? What steps are taken before construction starts? What happens during construction? This section will explain the steps involved in building a Caithness Home.

The Initial Meeting:

Once you’ve decided you’re going to build a home, the first step is to meet with us. During this initial meeting, we want to hear from you. We’re sure you have many ideas about what you want in your home. How many bedrooms do you want? How many bathrooms? How big of a garage? Do you run a business out of your home? Maybe you want a study? These are all questions that we work with you to answer. Once we have a general idea of what you want in your home, we can get started on the next phase.

The Design Phase:

Most people don’t have an exact idea for their home when they initially meet with us. That’s OK, because that’s why we’re here. We can work closely with you to help you pick a design that’s perfect for you. We have many standard floor plans to choose from. We also keep floor plans from our previous custom homes that you may draw ideas from. If you want something completely custom and original, we can also work with an architect to draw up a plan specially designed for you. There’s more than just a floorplan to pick out. Now is also the time for you to start picking colors and finishes. Did you want granite countertops in your kitchen, or Corian? What type of plumbing fixtures do you like? How about paint colors? There are many questions that need to be answered before we can start construction. But don’t worry, we have an expert design staff that is here to make the selection process as easy and simple as possible. Once the selection process is complete, we can start on your new home.


Before starting any construction, we submit all plans for your home for permitting. At Caithness Construction, we strive to always use the best building practices during the construction process. You can be sure that for every aspect of your new home, we will meet or exceed every building code required. That way, not only does your new house look great, but it is also strong, safe, and secure. Once the permitting phase is complete, we can start building on your lot. Once your home’s permit has been issued, and all your design selections are complete, it is now time to break ground. Seeing your home under construction is a very exciting process, and we understand that you will have many questions along the way. For your convenience we’ll describe the major stages of the construction process so you may understand the steps involved.

Lot Preparation:

Usually done while your home is still in permitting, lot preparation is the first step in constructing your home. Trees, brush, and other vegetation that will be in the way of construction are first removed. Then truck loads of dirt are brought onto your lot to bring it up to the proper elevation. This is important to ensure proper drainage on your property, and to prevent any possible flooding of your home. The dirt that will be underneath your home is all properly compacted so that your home will have a firm, stable, and even footing.

The Shell:

The shell refers to your footers, slab, roof, and exterior walls of your home. The shell is the first part of your home to be constructed. Once the lot is prepared, accurate measurements are taken to place the home precisely on the lot. Once all the measurements are verified, footers are dug and filled, and your slab, or floor, is poured. Then, concrete block is used to build up your exterior walls. Once the walls are up to the proper height, more concrete is added on top, to tie everything together and add extra strength. It is at this time that exterior doors and windows are installed. On top of your exterior walls go the roofing trusses. The trusses add shape and strength to your roof, and we are one of the few builders in the area to use 6″ top-core trusses that are stronger than required by code. Once the trusses are up, they are covered in plywood, and covered in roofing paper to prevent rain from entering your home during construction. Once the shell is complete, we can move on to the interior of your home.

Framing and Rough-In:

The next step in the construction process is to frame up your interior walls and “rough-in” your utilities. Roughing in is the process of routing all of your utilities inside your home through the framed walls. It refers to all the plumbing, electrical wiring, and HVAC ducts that will be hidden once the drywall is installed. Now is the time for us to walk through your home with you and review the locations of all interior walls, and to check the locations of all electrical outlets and plumbing fixtures. Any changes should be made at this time while all the materials are still exposed and easy to access. Making the changes now, rather than later after the drywall has been installed, can save you additional costs and headaches.

A Word About Change Orders:

Change orders are a very important aspect of the building process, as they allow you to make changes to your home while the home is under construction. Let’s say that after construction on your home is under way, you decide to add another sink to your master bathroom. When this happens, a change order is generated, showing the details of the change requested, and the estimated additional costs of the change. Once you sign the change order, a copy is given to the superintendent in charge of your house so that he may execute it. In order to prevent unnecessary or duplicate work from being performed, our supers are instructed not to execute a change without a signed change order. This way, we can keep the construction of your home organized and save you money in the long run. It is important, however, that once you decide to make a change to your home, you let us know about it and sign a change order as soon as possible. If you wait too long to tell us about a change, it may require more work to execute the change, and therefor cost more.

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