New House Build Checklist

for 2024

By: Joe Stephenson, REALTOR®

Building your own custom home is an exciting yet complicated process. As a homeowner looking to build your dream home, having a comprehensive checklist will help keep your new house build on track.

With over 20 years of experience helping clients construct new homes, I've put together this ultimate checklist and step-by-step guide to building a house from the ground up.

Contact me at

913-661-6700 or fill out this form to email me.

a side table with books in it

Checklist for New Custom Home Building Project

A REALTOR® like Joe Stephenson can help you find the best custom home builders that will meet your specific needs and budget.

Once you have selected a builder, use this checklist to ensure that everything is going according to plan.

  • Calculate all expenses including purchasing land.
  • Budget Preparation - Determine your budget based on your financial capability and potential loan amounts. Consult with lenders to understand your borrowing limit for a construction loan.
  • Land Selection - Look for a suitable lot where you plan to build your home. Consider factors like the location's proximity to amenities, the lot size, and the neighborhood.
  • House Plan Design - Collaborate with architects to design a house plan based on your needs, preferences, and budget.
  • Obtain Necessary Permits - Approach local authorities to get the necessary building permit or permits. Ensure your house plan complies with local zoning laws.
  • Hire Contractors - Look for reputable and reliable contractors to handle the construction. Confirm their certifications, licenses, and insurance.
  • Construction Material Selection - Select high-quality, durable, and cost-effective materials for your home construction.
  • Monitor Construction Progress - Regularly visit the site and monitor the progress. Make sure the construction is in line with the provided plans.
  • Interior Designing - Plan your interior design layout. Choose color schemes, furniture types, and other interior décor elements.
  • Landscaping - Plan the exterior space including gardens, patios, and driveways.
  • Final Inspections - Conduct a final walkthrough with your contractor. Check for any deficiencies or imperfections that need to be addressed.
  • Move-In - Once everything is completed to your satisfaction, it's time to move into your new custom home. Enjoy your dream house.

If this seems overwhelming, then we have the perfect solution for you. As a REALTOR®, Joe Stephenson can help you find and manage the right builder, secure financing, and ensure that all necessary permits are obtained.

I will also guide you through the entire process to ensure your dream home becomes a reality.

a person write on a checklist

Additional Tips for Building a House Checklist

From knowing what something costs per square foot, it's a good idea to learn more about the different tips I've picked up along the way.

  • Establish Clear Communication - Effective communication is crucial throughout the entire building process. Make sure to communicate regularly and clearly with your architect, contractors, and suppliers.
  • Consider Energy Efficiency - When selecting construction materials, consider energy-efficient options that can help reduce utility costs in the long run.
  • Plan for Future Needs - Think about your long-term needs when designing your house. Consider potential changes such as a growing family or aging in place.
  • Stay Organized - Keep all important documents, contracts, and receipts organized and easily accessible. This will help you stay on top of the building process and make it easier to address any issues that may arise.
  • Be Patient - Building a new house takes time and patience. Be prepared for unexpected delays or challenges and try to remain patient throughout the process.
  • Stay Within Budget - It's essential to stick to your budget during the building process. Keep track of expenses and make adjustments as needed to avoid overspending.
  • Be Involved - While it's important to trust your contractors, it's also crucial to stay involved in the process. Regularly check progress and address any concerns or changes with your contractors.
  • Enjoy the Process - Building a new home can be stressful, but it's also an exciting experience. Take time to enjoy watching your dream home come to life and make memories along the way.

an overhead view of a house being built

Step 1: Come Up With Plans and Choose Property

The first step is deciding what you want in your new home and choosing the right property.

  • Consider what rooms, square footage, amenities, and other features you want in your ideal home. Develop detailed specifications so builders can provide accurate estimates.
  • Research prospective properties, looking at factors like location, size, terrain, zoning laws, access to utilities, land prices, and special considerations like flood zones or soil conditions.
  • Hire an architect to turn your vision into floor plans and drawings. They can ensure your dream home specifications are realistic.
  • Consult a real estate agent to help assess properties and neighborhood. They can also assist with contracts when you've found the perfect land to build on.
a person putting insulation in a wall

Step 2: Select Your Building Team

Now it's time to assemble the team that will turn your plans into reality.

  • Interview several home builders and general contractors and verify they are properly licensed and insured. Ask for multiple references to evaluate quality of work.
  • Choose a reputable home builder or general contractor best suited for your budget and style. Establish a contract outlining scope, timeline, payment schedule, and other terms.
  • Select building supply firms, electricians, plumbers, roofers, and other necessary subcontractors. The general contractor can recommend reliable subs they've worked with before.
  • Depending on the complexity of your build, you may need to bring on other pros like an HVAC contractor, audio/visual installer, or automation specialist.
an exterior shot of a house being built

Step 3: Secure Financing and Permits

With your plans and team in place, next step is getting financing and the necessary permits before construction begins:

  • Talk to banks and lenders about construction loans and lock in the best interest rates. Finalize all loan documents.
  • Research which permits and approvals you'll need for your jurisdiction. Apply for zoning permits, building permits, septic permits, and more.
  • Conduct a title search to ensure there are no issues with the property ownership. Purchase title insurance.
two people sitting at a computer talking

Step 4: The Construction Process

Now the really exciting part begins - watching your home get built! Here are the main phases.

  • Site preparation: Clearing and grading the lot, digging foundation, installing septic, bringing in utilities
  • Foundation stage: Pouring the concrete foundation and completing framing and electrical
  • Framing phase: Framing the structure of the home including floors, walls and roof
  • Exterior stage: Installing siding, roofing, windows, exterior doors, and other outside components
  • Interior stage: Drywall, painting, cabinetry, countertops, flooring, plumbing, HVAC, install doors, lighting fixtures
  • Finishings: Installing appliances, bath accessories, hardware, mirrors, final details

The general contractor will coordinate all subcontractors during each phase. Be prepared for frequent meetings and plan to regularly check-in in person on the build. You can also talk to a building supply firm to help with your needs.

people working outside a house

Step 5: Final Steps and Move-In

You're so close! Just a few more steps before moving in.

  • Schedule your final inspections with the town building department. Only move forward once you've passed all inspections.
  • Walk through your finished home with your contractor and create a punch list for any final work that needs completion.
  • Once the home is 100% complete, closing documents will be signed and filed. You'll need to secure home insurance effective at closing.
  • Time for the fun part - moving in! Bring your vision to life by decorating your beautiful new custom built home.

Building your own home is an exciting endeavor. This checklist covers major steps in the process - use it as a guide and comprehensive resource so you can successfully stay on track. Here's to happy new home building! Let me know if you need any help during your journey.

Questions for Real Estate Agent about Building New Home

Need some more guidance on what to ask? No problem. Here are a list of questions you can to Joe if they apply to you. These can get things going, and then we can do more of a discovery discussion.

  • What steps should I take when looking to purchase land to build a custom home? How can you help guide me through this process as my real estate agent?
  • What type of floor plan and square footage would you recommend for the land I'm considering, given factors like lot size and terrain?
  • How can we design an optimal floor plan that includes all the rooms and features on my wish list, like a spacious garage and open concept main floor?
  • What are the rules and regulations for new home construction in this area? Will I need to get permits or approval before construction begins?
  • How do I go about hiring a qualified general contractor and home builder? Can you recommend any reputable contractors you've worked with before?
  • What should I look for when evaluating and selecting the home builder? Are there specific questions I should ask or qualifications to look for?
  • How can I make sure I choose the right materials and finishes like flooring, cabinets, countertops, paint grade, and light fixtures while staying within my budget?
  • What energy efficient features like new windows or blown in insulation would you recommend I invest in?
  • How soon in advance should I contact the power company before appliances and electrical finishes are installed?
  • What steps should I take to prepare for the final inspection? What happens during a final walkthrough?
  • Do you have any recommendations for saving money during the custom home building process?
  • What should I consider when thinking about future plans and renovations down the road? How can I design the home to easily accommodate future needs?
  • As my real estate agent, how can you best advise me throughout the entire home building process as a one-stop shop?

Contact Joe and Let's Talk About Building a Custom Home

Building your own custom home is an exciting yet complicated process. To make sure you stay on track, use a comprehensive home building checklist covering everything from purchasing land to the final inspection. I can get you started with Kansas City home builders.