Construction of a house: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Home Building Process

How To Build a Home: A 12 Step Guide

Looking to build your dream home? Or interested in purchasing new construction? Either way, our guide to building a house has everything you need to know.

Things To Consider Before You Build a House

The new home construction process can be both fun and challenging. As you consider if building a house is right for you, weigh the pros and cons of each option listed below. Is it cost-effective for you to build? Do you want to customize your entire house or just some amenities? What can you expect during the home construction process?

Cost: Is It Cheaper To Buy Or Build a House?

When you compare the cost of a new build versus an existing house, there’s more to consider than just the price tag. Let’s look at some of the variables involved, so you can decide which one is worth the cost.


Unless you pay in cash, you’ll finance your new construction through a construction loan. Since these loans have higher interest rates than a standard mortgage, this can increase your overall cost for the home. In addition, buyers are expected to put down between 20% – 25% of construction costs. Mortgages for existing homes have more flexibility with down payment requirements.

Price per Square Foot

Since new construction is often larger than older homes, it may skew your perception of the price. While initially a larger investment, the cost of building a new home is often cheaper per square foot and provides more space for your money. For example, a 1,500 square foot home built in the 1960’s costs on average $148 per square foot. New construction, with 2,467 square feet, costs only $103 per square foot.

Architect Costs

Some home building companies have architects as part of their team. If not, remember to include your architect’s fees into your plans, which usually range between 5%-15% of total project costs. Naturally, this wouldn’t be an expense associated with an existing home.

Maintenance and Landscaping

Newly built houses will initially need fewer repairs and will be more energy efficient, further keeping costs down. On the other hand, older homes will already have mature lawns and trees, saving you time and money in establishing your yard.

Time and Involvement

Are you prepared to be involved in the home building process? It takes time and energy, and a willingness to learn. Will that take away from your work or family responsibilities? While this doesn’t have a dollar value attached, it’s important to consider.

So, is it cheaper to buy or build a house? While the sales price of a newly built home is typically higher (on average) than buying an existing home, they’re usually less expensive per square foot and you won’t have to worry about maintenance (for a while). On the other hand, financing can be more expensive and you might have added costs like an architect fee and landscaping for your new yard.

What Type of House You Want

When you build your own house, there are several different types: tract, speculative, and fully custom. The main difference between these choices is the level of customization.

  • Tract – With tract homes, builders choose specific floor plans, all of which will look similar and have shared amenities. Here, you’ll have very little chance to customize.
  • Speculative – Speculative (or spec for short) homes are similar to tract homes, yet some customization is available if you purchase early enough in the building process. While the builder chooses the floor plan, early buyers can select some personalized touches, such as paint color.
  • Custom homes – Custom homes provide you with the most options. Buyers can choose their own land, floor plan, and all amenities. You have complete control over every detail to build your dream home.

Level of Design Control

As noted above, if you decide to choose a tract or speculative house, the builder will determine the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as the exterior style. However, when building from scratch, you have more control over the type of house design and features you’d like to include in your new home. Consider what works well for you now, in the future, and resale value. For example:

  • Is your family currently growing or downsizing? Will your aging parents need an in-law suite?
  • Will you need a one-story home due to mobility issues at some point? Perhaps a ranch-style house plan would be better than a colonial.
  • Will adding certain amenities (like a pool) set your house’s resell price point high above the neighborhood average?

What Are The Steps To Building a House?

There are many steps to building a house, from pouring the foundation to framing to choosing your paint colors. This guide will show you the process of building a house, so you’ll know what to expect each step of the way.

1. Building Site Preparation

Once your builder has acquired the appropriate permits, the first step in building a house is to prepare the land. During building site preparation, crews will clear the lot of rocks, debris, or trees. Their goal is to level the site prior to pouring the foundation.

2. Pouring the Foundation

Foundations are typically built on slabs, basements, or crawl spaces. They often consist of poured concrete with steel rods. Since concrete isn’t waterproof, your contractor will spray it with a waterproofing substance. City inspectors will examine the foundation before building continues.

3. Framing

During this step, the contractor will install walls, windows, and doors, as well as the floor and roof systems. What’s known as the skeleton of your new house is starting to take shape! Your builder will install a protective shield, known as a house wrap, to prevent moisture from affecting the structure, keeping mold and wood rot at bay.

4. Setting Up Plumbing, Electrical & HVAC

Once the house is considered “dried in” (i.e., covered with the house wrap), it’s time to move onto plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems. After they’re installed, an inspector will approve your pipes, electrical wiring, and heating and cooling ducts. The builder will typically schedule wiring installation after the plumbing and HVAC ducts are in place because it’s easier for the electrician to work around the other two contractors’.

5. Adding Insulation

Adding insulation is an important step for controlling a house’s temperature and keeping cooling and heating costs low. Foam, fiberglass, and cellulose are common insulation materials. Your contractor will typically insulate exterior walls, and areas around a basement, crawl spaces, or attic.

6. Adding Drywall

Once the drywall goes up, your house’s interior will begin to look complete. Your builder will hang drywall and cover any raised surfaces, like seams or nails, with a spackling compound. They may use a texture spray to add interest to the walls. And finally, a coat of primer.

7. Interior Finishes

Once the drywall is in place, your builder will focus on interior finishes, such as the fireplace, mantle, internal doors and window sills, and decorative trim. You’ll finally get to see that paint color you’ve been agonizing over on the walls! (And trust us, it’ll look great!)

8. Exterior Finishes

Driveways, walkways, and patios, oh my! Things are really starting to take shape outside your new home too. The builder will complete exterior grading to ensure proper drainage away from the house and make sure your new yard is coming along nicely.

9. Installing Fixtures

In this step, your builder will install fixtures, such as light switches and faucets. You’ll also see your toilets and sinks added. Your HVAC system is now complete.

10. Installing Flooring

Next, your builder will install either hardwood flooring or carpets. When making your selections, consider which is right for you in each room of your home. For example, if you suffer from allergies, hardwood might be the way to go. Your new home will look move-in ready after this step!

11. Inspection

This final inspection, by a building code official, will give you a certificate of occupancy, which means it’s time to move in! If there are any problems, they’ll schedule a second inspection to confirm the builder corrected the issues. A pro tip for building your house – get an independent inspector as well.

12. Final Walkthrough

Also known as a pre-settlement walkthrough, your builder will show you the new home’s amenities and cover your responsibilities under warranty. Now is your chance to spot anything you’d like them correct before moving in. Take your time and examine things closely. For example, check to make sure they’ve included all of the features you requested and that all of the electrical outlets are working.

How Long Does It Take To Build a House From Start To Finish?

On average, it takes three to six months to build a new home from start to finish. Remember, your builder’s schedule is more of a guideline than a hard-and-fast deadline. Inclement weather, subcontractor schedules, and permit delays are just a few reasons that owners of new construction need to keep flexibility in mind.

Summary: Should I Buy or Build a House?

The process of building a house is not right for everyone, but if you talk to someone who’s built a custom home, chances are they love it. Buying versus building depends on factors like timing, finances, and personal preferences. Regardless of what you decide, BHHS Fox & Roach is here to support you every step of the way.

The 35 Steps to Building a House: Your Start-to-Finish Guide

This is it — you’re finally making the move to build your very own house, and you couldn’t be more excited! It’s a huge decision, and it’s not one you’ve taken lightly. But do you know what goes into a new construction home, start to finish?

If not, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. We’re going to break down all of the steps of building a house.

We have a lot of ground to cover, so grab a snack!

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Steps 1-7: Finding, acquiring, and preparing the site

Step 1: Find and purchase the lot

The very first step to building a house is buying the ideal plot of land for your new dwelling.

Think about where you’d like to build. Do you want to live in the country with a large yard? Do you want to build a house in a growing development with a developer? Does the land already have access to utilities like water, sewer, and electricity?

Unfortunately, you can’t buy any old vacant lot — it must adhere to zoning ordinances where you want to build. Common zoning designations include:

  • Residential: Areas designated for single-family homes
  • Commercial: Areas designated for businesses like restaurants, retail shops, and so on
  • Industrial: Areas designated for factories
  • Rural: Areas designated for farming
  • Historical: Areas designated for the preservation of historical landmarks or buildings
  • Environmental: Areas designated for the protection of natural habitats
  • Aesthetic: Structures must adhere to a certain “look” as outlined by zoning codes

It’s easier to build a custom because you have more choices. You can build the house from the bottom up and in the way you want — you’ll have to pay accordingly. With a spec home, your options are limited. Contractors may only offer shades of white or certain cabinets. They’re basically cookie-cutter homes.

Step 2: Research the type of house you want

There are three types of builds available; spec homes, tract homes, or a fully custom home.

Spec (speculative) homes

Spec homes are single-family homes that are built in a development with no particular buyer in mind.

If you go under contract early enough on a spec home, you may be able to choose some features like flooring, paint, kitchen appliances, and other finishes.

Tract homes

Tract homes are when a developer buys a large plot of land and divides that land into individual lots. They’ll then construct homes from specific architectural options planned for that community.

Tract homes could include single-family homes, condos, or townhomes.

Custom homes

A custom home is where you have your own plot of land and hire a builder to build a house exactly the way you want it.

Russell Wing, a top-selling agent who has sold 83% more single-family homes than the average agent in Union County, North Carolina, shares insight on the benefits of a custom home.

“It’s easier to build a custom because you have more choices. You can build the house from the bottom up and in the way you want — you’ll have to pay accordingly. With a spec home, your options are limited. Contractors may only offer shades of white or certain cabinets. They’re basically cookie-cutter homes.”

Regardless of which type of home you want, you’ll want to look at the different floor plans available. Consider things like:

  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Open floor plan or not?
  • The layout of the home
  • Number of levels or floors

Step 3: Research and hire the building team

Building a home is a huge project, and the average build will involve 22 subcontractors working on the home.

The first person you’ll need to hire is the general contractor or a custom home builder. They will oversee the construction of your home from start to finish. Their duties include:

  • Getting estimates for labor and materials
  • Vetting and hiring subcontractors (some will have a team of subcontractors they generally work with and will hire an outside subcontractor for electrical and plumbing work)
  • Assigning tasks to subcontractors
  • Making sure the team meets deadlines

Note: Custom home builders and general contractors are not the same thing, but they are very similar. A custom home builder draws up blueprints for the home and specializes in custom homes, whereas a general contractor does not.

Step 4: Get the required permits from the township

Before construction can begin, your contractor will contact your municipal office and discuss your plans. They’ll know what permits are necessary and they might already have a relationship with the municipality, which could help speed up the process.

Permits you will need could include:

  • Building permit ($1,200 to $2,000)
  • Electrical permit ($10 to $500)
  • Plumbing permit ($50 to $500)
  • HVAC permit ($250 to $400)
  • If a grading permit is needed ($100 to $1,000)

If you’re on a budget, you could get the permits yourself, but then you’ll be considered the contractor, and you would be liable if there’s a problem during construction or inspections.

Warning: Do not, under any circumstances, begin construction before obtaining permits! If the city learns that you do not have a permit, you could face increased fees to obtain the proper permits, and you could have to shut down construction until the permits are obtained, or even tear down work you’ve already completed.

Step 5: Clear the property

During this step, a professional land-clearing team will remove any debris, vegetation, trees, brush, and rocks within the intended build site.

When trees, shrubs, and bushes are removed, the team will also begin removing stump and root systems to prevent re-growth.

Note: If there are a lot of trees that need to be removed, you may have the option of selling the trees to a commercial logging company so they can be repurposed and turned into lumber.

Step 6: Level the site

Once the land is cleared, the clearing team will fill in any holes and level the ground. Then, the team will put up wooden stakes to market out where the foundation should be poured.

If the land has dips or hills, these will be graded to make sure there’s a flat surface to accommodate the house and driveway.

Step 7: Prepare the land for the foundation or basement

Using the wooden stakes as a guide, the team will dig holes and trenches for the foundation, utilities, and septic system if applicable.

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Steps 8-14: Building the envelope

Step 8: Install footings

Footings can be made from concrete or brick masonry and are most commonly used with shallow foundations because it distributes the weight of vertical loads directly to the soil.  Footings are generally wider than the foundation itself and sit one foot below the frost line (the typical depth at which the soil freezes in your climate).

Footing drains will be constructed so that water drains away from the house and protects the drains from damage.

Step 9: Pour the foundation

With the footings in place, your home will have either a slab foundation, a crawlspace, or a full basement poured or constructed.

The concrete will go through a curing process to reach maximum strength. This can take anywhere from 28 to 60 days, but depending on weather conditions, the building can resume after one week.

Regardless of the type of foundation your home will have, it will have to be waterproofed.

Step 10: Install drains, sewers, taps

Once the foundation has cured, drains, sewer lines, water taps, and other plumbing that is needed on the first floor will be installed. Then, the contractors will fill in the trenches surrounding the foundation with excavated dirt.

Step 11: Have an inspection done on the foundation

After the footings, foundation, plumbing, and electrical basics have been laid, there will be an inspection to make sure the foundation was done correctly and follows local code requirements.

Some things the inspector will look at typically include:

  • The footing’s width, depth, and condition
  • Waterproofing
  • Grading
  • Reinforced bars

Step 12: Build the frame of the house

Once the inspector gives the project the green light, next comes the framing.

This is where you’ll finally see your home take shape. The framing crew will erect lumber for the walls, flooring, ceiling, and roof trusses. This step could take between one and two weeks to complete.

Step 13: The sheathing is applied to exterior walls

The sheathing is the large sheets of wood, oriented strand board, wafer board, or exterior gypsum that’s nailed to the frame. It’s recommended to use half-inch panels to give the structure more strength.

In some cases, insulation sheathing (rigid foam or cellulose-fiber panels) may be used to improve insulation. This type can be attached directly to the studs, below the wood sheathing. It could also be attached on top of the wood sheathing.

Next, the sheathing is covered with house wrap, a protective cover that prevents moisture from seeping into the underlying wood, preventing mold and wood rot.

Step 14: Install windows and exterior doors

With the sheathing attached to the bones of the house, the windows and doors can be installed.

When you’re shopping for windows and doors, look for energy-efficient windows with the Energy Star label. Energy-efficient windows and doors will help lower energy costs by keeping the temperature indoors consistent, no matter the temperature outdoors.

Steps 15-22: Installing critical systems

Step 15: Install HVAC system

The HVAC technician will come in to install ductwork throughout the house. The air handler, condenser, and trim work will be installed as well.

Step 16: Rough plumbing

A plumber will come in and run pipes to the bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry room. They will also install sewer lines, vents, and bathtubs.

This step can be done while the doors and windows are being installed.

Step 17: Have an inspector evaluate the new plumbing

Although a licensed plumber may have done the work, an inspector will have to come in and inspect the work to make sure everything is done correctly.

The inspector will look for leaks and will ensure that the drains, sewage, and vent pipes pass a pressure test.

Step 18: Install electrical wires and panels

This stage is when all of the electrical work is done.

The wires are run through the walls and ceilings. The HVAC is hooked up (including the thermostat), and the fans, lights, electrical outlets, external electrical work, and the circuit breaker are also hooked up and ready to go.

Step. 19: Get an HVAC and electrical inspection

Once the HVAC and electrical work are complete, an inspector will come out and make sure these systems work properly and are completed to code.

Step 20: The roof is put on the home

The sheathing for the roof is generally done when the exterior sheathing is attached to the walls.

During this stage, the roof will be completed. Roofers will install the flashings and asphalt shingles — but other materials may be used, such as clay or concrete tile, slate, metal, or wood.

Step 21: Insulation is installed

The type of insulation your home will need is going to depend on your location.

Usually, insulation is applied to interior walls, the attic, basement, crawl space, and exterior walls (if it wasn’t applied before the sheathing).

The most common types of insulation are fiberglass, cellulose, or foam spray insulation.

Fiberglass insulation is used in unfinished walls, floors and ceilings. It comes in rolls and is installed in-between studs, joists, and beams. The average cost for fiberglass insulation is between $0.30 to $1.50 per square foot.

Cellulose insulation is used in existing and enclosed walls, or new open cavities in the wall. This insulation can be used in unfinished attic floors and other hard to reach places. This type of insulation can be poured, but is usually blown into place using special equipment. The average cost of cellulose insulation is about $1.20 per square foot.

Foam spray insulation is much like cellulose insulation, as it can be applied in enclosed, existing walls, new wall cavities, and unfinished attic floors. It is applied using a spray container (for smaller areas) or a pressure spray product (for larger areas). The average cost of foam spray insulation is between $0. 44 to $6.00 per square foot.

Step 22: Drywall is hung

Drywall is hung throughout the interior of the house, as well as on the ceiling.

Step 22b: The walls and ceiling are textured

After the drywall is hung, a texture may be sprayed on the drywall. Then the walls are primed so they can be painted.

Steps 23-32: Adding your design touches

Step 23: Walls are painted

We’re nearing the final steps to building a house!

At this stage, the walls will be painted, and it’ll start feeling a little more like your home.

If you’re going with a spec or tract home, you may not have many choices in paint color, but if it’s a custom home, you could have your choice of colors, or even have wallpaper put on the walls.

Step 24: Exterior finishes are installed

There are different types of siding that can be applied to your home.

Vinyl siding is the cheapest siding material ($7.50 to $15 per square foot) and the most common material used for spec and tract homes. However, if you’re going custom, other options include:

  • Wood ($10.50 to $17.50 per square foot)
  • Fiber cement ($10.50 to $17.50 per square foot)
  • Stucco ($10.50 to $18.50 per square foot)
  • Brick ($12.50 to $22.50 per square foot)
  • Metal ($7.50 to $25.00 per square foot)
  • Stone ($17.50 to $45.00 per square foot)

Step 25: Flooring is laid throughout the house

Once the paint has dried, flooring is laid throughout the house.

Sometimes you won’t have a choice what type of flooring you’ll get if you’re going with a spec or tract home; however, with a custom home, the sky’s the limit!

Step 26: Window sills and trim are completed

When the flooring has been laid, next comes the trim.

Trim will be installed around the windows and doors, along the floor, and if you choose, around the ceiling, too (that’s called crown molding and can add a sophisticated look to any room).

Step 27: Cabinets and vanities are installed

Vanities and cabinets are the next things to be installed in your home.

Spec and tract homes typically come with builder-grade cabinetry, which is the most basic (and affordable) type of cabinetry you can get that still looks good.

You can opt for higher quality cabinets and vanities, but that will affect your budget. Custom cabinets can cost between $500 to $1,200 per linear foot!

Step 28: Light fixtures, outlets, and switches are installed

After the electrical work is finished, light fixtures, outlets, and switches are hooked up.

These features can be customized to match your personal style, but you can also opt for plain white ones and upgrade down the road if you choose.

Step 29: Countertops and appliances are installed in the kitchen

Countertops and appliances are the next things to go in. There are a variety of countertops you can choose from, but the most popular include:

  • Quartz ($50 to $200 per square foot)
  • Granite ($40 to $100 per square foot)
  • Marble ($40 to $100 per square foot)
  • Laminate ($40 to $80 per square foot)
  • Solid surfacing ($52 to $120 per square foot)
  • Recycled glass ($60 to $150 per square foot)
  • Butcher block ($50 to $100 per square foot)

Step 30: Bathroom fixtures are installed

Bathroom fixtures such as faucets, showerheads, toilets, heat register covers, and other features are added during this phase.

Step 31: Mirrors are hung

Along with bathroom fixtures, mirrors are hung in the bathroom and other spaces, including walk-in closets, bedrooms, and workout rooms (if in a custom home).

Step 32: Landscaping and hardscaping is completed

You took so much care into what goes in the house; you can’t forget about the exterior!

A professional landscaper can come in and lay down sod, plant trees, or flowers. They’ll install walkways, build decks or patios, create garden walls, and so much more.

This is your chance to make your yard an oasis that leaves your neighbors green with envy!

Steps 33-35: The home stretch

Step 33: Final home inspection

The final home inspection is where a home inspector looks over everything.

They’ll double-check the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems. They’ll inspect doors, windows, the foundation, the roof, and more. If the structure passes the inspection, they’ll give you a certificate of occupancy, which means it’s inhabitable and safe to live in.

If there are any issues, another inspection may be required after those problems have been fixed.

Step 34: Final walkthrough

The final walkthrough is your opportunity to go through the house and make sure everything is as you requested.

You’ll want to pay close attention to the details and take note of anything that isn’t what you discussed or approved with your contractor. You’ll also want to look for any signs of damage that may have occurred during the final stages of construction, such as gouges in countertops, dented or scratched appliances, deep scratches on the hardwood floors, or damaged walls.

Step 35: Closing

If everything passes inspection and you don’t find any problems that need to be addressed during the final walkthrough, you can begin the closing process on the home. Hurray!

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Don’t be overwhelmed by the steps to build a house

The average homebuyer looks at at least 5 homes in 10 weeks before submitting an offer on a house. There are times when they can’t find a house they want to buy and they’ll go with a new build. In April 2023, 1,416,000 permits for new construction homes were issued across the United States.

If you decide that new construction is right for you, but you’re uncertain about what type of new build you’d like to go with, look at your budget and try to decide the level of customization you want and how much house your budget will allow for.

“You can go to a tract home and get a lot more square footage for the money than you could with a custom build. It’s a cookie-cutter home, and the quality may not be as good as a custom build, but building custom is harder today because the price of materials has skyrocketed,” Wing advises.

If customization isn’t high on your list, a tract home or spec home is a great option. However, if you want a house that reflects your personality from the moment you sign the closing papers, then a custom home is the way to go!

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It’s easy. It is enough to take a few simple steps:

  • Call us at the number –

  • We will clarify all questions and agree on the time for your meeting with our specialists. Our address is Moscow, st. Electrozavodskaya, 20.
  • You will be offered options for ready-made solutions. Together with our architect, you will select the optimal layout, finish, appearance and cost you need.

Turnkey construction of private houses – prices and projects

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12,000 m² of timber per year

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We offer high-quality construction of private facilities at affordable prices. The builders of carry out the entire list of construction works, from housing design to its maintenance. The quality is guaranteed. See how we carry out the stages of building a private cottage.

For you, the specialists of the “Modern House” offer a unique selection of proven standard solutions for private houses made of timber, bricks or logs. You also have the opportunity to develop an individual project of a private house. The quality is guaranteed. Architects have over 12 years of experience. All examples presented in the catalog of our private houses, the chief architect Ivan Yurievich Smolyaninov will change for you free of charge.

Having completed the analysis of the results of the necessary geological studies on the site, the specialists of the Modern House will justify the choice of foundation for a private house. Everything is turnkey – from the design of your structure to its construction. The availability of the necessary special equipment helps ZakazDomov employees quickly and efficiently carry out the installation of massive monolithic foundations.

These turnkey works are carried out by experienced teams of professionals. Each of them specializes in performing work for a private house from a certain type of material.

Teams of installers of the “Modern House” are equipping a high-strength truss structure for a private house. For the installation of the roof we use any modern materials: metal tiles, soft roofing, ondulin. For chalet-style houses, we use shingles.

Specialists of the “Modern House” carry out the arrangement of power supply, heating, sewerage, water supply, air conditioning and other systems for the improvement of a private home.

Internal and external finishing of private housing is provided by specialized teams. You can see examples of work in the catalog.

During the warranty period, the engineers of Sovremenny Dom LLC provide full support. They provide free periodic maintenance of a private cottage.

Many interesting projects are presented in the catalog on the same page. Why are our private properties so popular?

  • From timber. For its production, the company “Modern House” uses the best winter forest. Forest from Mordovia. This tree has long been distinguished by its strength and resistance to pest damage. We process timber with antiseptic agents and fire protection. We dry the material to a moisture content of 10%.
  • From glued beams. Duration of construction is 1-2 months. Such speed is the result of the professionalism of the teams and the use of timber produced by ZakazDomov. No finishing required. The walls are so beautiful and smooth. In houses made of our insulated timber, it is 3 times warmer than in ordinary wooden dwellings.
  • Made of bricks. When constructing brick houses, our architects and builders realize any wishes. The company “Modern House” will undertake the adaptation of a standard project for free. No problems associated with the complexity of the layout, the number of storeys of the house, the construction of a sloping roof.
  • Round log. We process the log house with certified eco-friendly compounds. In such houses there are no harmful substances, it is comfortable to stay in them 24 hours a day.
  • Frame houses Such a house, despite its apparent simplicity of construction, can withstand the strongest hurricanes. We guarantee durability. And proper insulation of the house with heat-insulating materials reduces the cost of heating a home by up to 30%.
  • Installation by professionals. The same experienced teams of professionals have been working in Sovremenny Dom for many years. Quality guaranteed!
  • Own production. All elements of wooden and timber houses are made on our own basis. Full control over production.
  • Structural durability. The integrated use of modern technologies, our developments and materials increases the overall durability of private dwellings for decades.