Building a New Home: It Takes a Village!
Have you ever stopped to think about how many people have helped in transforming what starts as “sticks and bricks” (a common homebuilding phrase) to your home sweet home as it is now?
The process is extensive and lengthy, but many people – even those of us in the industry – don’t realize the true extent of how many companies and hands it takes to build a home today. Before setting out to write this blog, all we really knew was that “it takes a lot!” It was our mission to truly find just how many A LOT really is. Today’s blog begins a multi-part series focusing on all the folks involved in home construction for Eastwood Homes. It’s a multi-part series because, to put it simply, “a lot” of folks doesn’t begin to describe it! In this blog, we’ll start by looking at the actual construction process. Later, we’ll examine the process of buying land and developing a community, and creating new floor plans.
The actual construction of your home can happen in as little as 90 days. It’s the additional requirements we must meet that push the length of home construction to a more realistic five or six months from the time you sign a contract to the moment when we hand over your keys!
Quick fact: There are 37 different trade partners on our vendor list who are responsible for everything from lumber to flooring to appliances and well beyond! And we estimate that even the most standard home we build (excluding elaborate structural or design options) requires AT LEAST 27 of them! That’s 27 companies, not people- 27 different companies employing numerous different people touching one single home. Many of our homes require the work of all 37 of the trade partners on our vendor list!
Take a crawl space home for an example- If you want a home built on a crawl space, it requires five different trade partners to work on that space alone!
But let’s take a step back…
Once a buyer signs a contract to purchase a home, or we decide to build what’s commonly referred to as a “spec” or inventory home, the homebuilding machine kicks into gear. We start with a surveyor, or the person who measures and maps a homesite. There are multiple stages in which the surveyor visits a homesite, but it all starts with the “rough stake.” Up next, the engineer draws up the plans for a building permit, taking into account municipality requirements like setbacks and watershed requirements. Once those documents are ready, they are sent off for a building permit. This can take longer than six weeks in some places! It is usually during this time that our homebuyers are visiting the Design Center and selecting their interior options such as countertops, appliances, flooring and more.
Usually about a week or two before a home is scheduled to actually begin construction, our purchasing department will order the building supplies needed for the home and schedule those deliveries.
Quick fact: We have two team members who are responsible for counting all the parts of a floorplan. And when we say ALL, we mean ALL. For example, they count all framing material, trim material, foundations, plus the number of windows, door knobs, draw pulls, spindles, etc a home would require! Take a moment and think about the attention to detail that requires! Whew. Those numbers are then used for pricing and purchasing orders for each home.
All of this happens internally before a homebuyer even sees the first bit of foundation poured! But once we have a building permit, and the first of the supplies are on site, then we begin to work with even more trade partners! During construction of a home, we will have the following partners onsite: concrete, masonry, lumber supplier, framing, roofing, plumbing, HVAC, electrical, fireplace, security/low voltage, termite/pest control, insulation, siding/HardiePlank, drywall supplier and drywall installer.
We are still not done! True, the house has taken on form and looks ready to go. We still need to schedule painting crews, a trim supplier, a trim installer, cabinets, countertops, marble tops and showers, lighting, shelves/mirrors, shower doors, blinds, and flooring.
Think that’s it? Nope! But we have progressed to the finishing touches now. We’ll have power washers, cleaners, tub specialists, garage door crews and landscapers on each homesite before the home is ready for a final walk-through. We also contract with street cleaners, utility companies, trucking companies and erosion control specialists.
As a quick review, that’s generally at least 37 trade partners and their crews that assist with building a home! There are also building and code inspectors that visit the home throughout the process, our construction manager who oversees all the homes under construction in a neighborhood, our VP of construction, our architect, our sales manager and VP of sales, our administrative, purchasing and estimating, and marketing staffs and many more. Each and every one of those people have a strategic role in the construction, sale and closing of a home.
Not to go a bit off tangent, but it really puts into perspective how vital the construction industry is to our economy! Think about how many individuals have careers in the industry if one single home requires the work of 37 companies!
So do you know what we mean now when we say “it takes a village?”
It’s our job to make sure our village continues to ensure that each and every home is Built with Care. Eastwood believes in hiring the right crew for the job, not just the available crew. At Eastwood Homes, it’s about so much more than the home- it’s about the people behind the home- homeowners, employees, and trade partners alike!
Stay tuned next week as we continue this blog series on the many steps involved in transforming that piece of land into your home-sweet-home.
Special thanks to Tiffany Ital, Corporate Purchasing Manager, and Marc Battiste, our Charlotte Division Vice President of Construction, for sharing insights into their departments and helping to develop this blog!