5 stages of the construction process

A Homeowner’s Guide to the 5 Stages of the Construction Process

For most of us, understanding the process of construction is not a top life priority. Unless we work in the field, why would we need to know? But having a grasp on the steps and what they each entail can make building a custom house or following the completion of a semicustom or spec home less stressful and more enjoyable. So today, we’re giving you a homeowner’s guide to the 5 stages of the construction process!

Home Construction Process Stage #1: Initiation

meetings planning stages of the construction

Photography by Pixabay

While you might assume that the first stage of construction is design, we actually aren’t counting that as a “construction” stage, because really that is the architect’s forte. Once the project’s blueprints make their way into the hands of the construction team, the first stage is initiation.

At its essence, this step in the process is really just “get started.” But of course, so much goes into building a home. Initiation is mostly about ensuring that the construction team is all on the same page. At this stage, you want everyone to understand the scope, be aware of any major challenges the site or design might present, etc. Then come actionable steps! Initiation is also the stage wherein the leader of the construction team will take the architect’s vision and turn it into manageable to-dos.

Home Construction Stage #2: Planning

move-in date stages of the construction process

Photography by Anna Tarazevich

Next up is planning! This is an extension of initiation that might begin to involve you, the homeowner, more! Whereas initiation is all about the architectural and construction teams communicating and wrapping their brains around the goals of the project, the planning stage narrows in on specifics.

If you’ve been anxiously awaiting timelines, budgets, and the ever-exciting estimated move-in date, this is the stage for you! It is often said that the planning stage makes or breaks a project. Given how important it is to give careful thought to timelines and budgets, you can expect this stage to take longer than you might like! Don’t rush your builders—having those details down as accurately as possible (even though they will probably shift at least a little) is essential to a successful project.

Stages of Home Construction Stage #3: Implementation

break ground on construction process

Photography by Rodolfo Quirós

Yay!! It’s time to break ground! This is certainly the most exciting out of the 5 stages of the construction process for the building team and homeowners alike!

If everything was given ample attention during the planning stage, then the implementation stage should run quite smoothly. Your construction team will be following a careful timeline full of step-by-step plans.

Still, there are two major hiccups to prepare for in the implementation stage. Unexpected challenges are the first. They happen! Whether it’s an uncovered foundation issue in a renovation or an unusual site anomaly on the ground of your new build, the odd problem will probably pop up. If it doesn’t, the other frustration you might experience is supply chain issues. Sometimes, there is just no way to get the lumber in the time frame you and your team were hoping for. Don’t take this out on your construction team—it happens and there is usually nothing they can do about it. Take a deep breath and accept that this is a part of the beautiful home-building journey!

Stage #4: Performance and Monitoring

5 stages of construction

Photography by Burst

When those challenges are sorted out and things start to move forward more quickly, project and construction managers will step into a more daily role. Now, they will consider the performance of the project with the big picture in mind, monitoring each team member to ensure that every bit of dust and every detail is as it should be.

If you are dreading a phone call in which your project manager tells you they might need to extend the timeline a bit, this is when you should brace for it! The performance and monitoring stage is usually when your team will recognize if they need more time and make adjustments to plans.

Stage #5: Closing

turn the key closing 5 stages

Photography by Alena Darmel

After so much work, tons of communication, and hours, days, and months of attentiveness, your home is finally complete or about to be! Welcome to the closing stage. Obviously every homeowner’s favorite moment in the process, this is when the dream has reached fruition.

The process of this stage looks something like this: The project manager/construction team will present the finished product for inspection. Next up, you, the homeowner, get to inspect it! And when you say, “I love it!” everyone goes home satisfied. Including you, with your new set of keys in hand.

To homeowners, the endeavor to build a home often seems a daunting, unknowably complicated task. That’s why we hire the pros, right? But understanding a little bit about each of the 5 stages of the construction process certainly helps to ease the anxiety and confusion surrounding this moment—which, don’t forget, is a thrilling one. Welcome home!


If you’re interested in learning more about how our homes here at Upper East River are built, visit our Development Team page to read up on our neighborhood’s creator: Patrick Malloy Communities.

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