Building a new home is an exciting experience. However, it can feel overwhelming. There are so many decisions to be made, and many of these decisions will impact the cost of building your custom home.

To help remove the difficulty of tracking the progress of construction, we have created a custom home building checklist so you can readily identify where you are in the process of your new home construction.

18 Essential Steps for Your Custom Home Building Checklist

While every homebuilder has a slightly different building process, we think these are the essential tips of building a custom home:

1. Select a lot

It all starts with choosing a piece of land. The most common way to find a lot is through a broker or real estate agent.

It is important to note that not every type of land is conducive to every type of home. Be sure to find a lot that is suitable to the type of home you intend to build. You should have a survey done of the property to know exactly what you are buying and know that the land is suitable for a well and/or septic system or has access to public utility taps.

2. Hire a custom home builder

Once you have discovered the perfect lot for your new home, it is time to hire a custom home builder. At Madison Homebuilders we serve over 55 counties in North Carolina and South Carolina. We have Sales & Design Centers in Columbia and Greenville, South Carolina and Conover and Charlotte, North Carolina.

3. Draft preliminary home plans

If you have your own custom house plan, you can bring your plan and go over the details with a Madison Homebuilders Sales Consultant.

It is important to note that the house design must adhere to general engineering standards contained in the building code. Additionally, if you are building in a subdivision, the rules of the subdivision must be consulted to ensure the new home plan is consistent with any
covenants they might have.

If you don’t have your own select custom home floor plans, then we suggest some of our most popular:

  • Concord
  • Albemarle
  • Hampton

You can further customize these or any of our other floor plans to get the home you have always wanted.

4. Specifications

Madison will price out any home using the specifications outlined in our Standard Features plus any custom options that you wish to add.

5. Site Preparation

Preparing a lot for building is an essential step for your new home construction. A plan for utility connections, the placement of the house on the lot, driveway and any site preparation such as lot clearing must take place. Also, many lots will need to be graded in order to ensure that proper drainage flows away from the home.

6. Begin Construction

Your new home is finally ready to be built! At Madison Homebuilders, we build your home the old fashioned way: brick-by-brick and board-by-board on the your lot. We begin with the foundation of your home. This step could include digging a basement or digging footers for homes built on a crawl space.

7. Rough Framing

As the name implies, we then build the framework of your home according to the plans and specifications previously established. Rough framing builds the floors, walls and roof, creating the shell of the house. The windows, doors and a house-wrap barrier are included in the framing.


Ductwork is installed for the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system. HVAC vent pipes are installed through the roof, and insulation is installed in the floors, walls and ceilings.

9. Electrical & Plumbing

During HVAC setup, we install plumbing pipes and the electrical wiring through the ceilings, floors, and interior walls of your new home.

Bathtubs should be put into place during this point in the construction process, as there is still plenty of room to arrange these cumbersome objects. Sewer lines and water supply lines will also be run to all the plumbing fixtures.

10. Insulation Installation

Insulation plays a crucial role in creating a comfortable indoor climate while also improving your new home’s energy efficiency.

Madison Homebuilders uses energy efficient materials for the insulation on your new home.

The following are the R-values for our insulation:

  • R-38, cellulose ceiling insulation
  • R-13, fiberglass wall insulation
  • R-19, fiberglass floor insulation
  • These R-values represent the actual insulation only. When combined with walls, roofing, etc., the total R-value of the home is even higher.

11. Complete Drywall & Interior

Next we hang drywall, and usually after the drywall has been hung, we apply a primer coat of paint.

Interior components like doors, molding, cabinets, countertops, shelves, and interior trim are then installed prior to final painting.

12. Install Vinyl or Hard-surface Flooring

Once the above items have been completed, it is time to install any vinyl or hard-surface flooring like ceramic tile and hardwood flooring.

13. Finishing Touches for Interior

Once the above items have been completed, it is time to install any vinyl or hard-surface flooring like ceramic tile and hardwood flooring.

Light fixtures, outlets, and switches are installed. Sinks, toilets and faucets are also put in place. Then we will install mirrors, shower doors, hardware, carpeting and other final items.

14. Exterior

Exterior finishing touches typically occur in conjunction with the above steps. Once the house has been dried in, we will install exterior finishes to your home like brick, stucco, stone, and siding.

15. Driveway and Patio

If included, any new driveways or exterior walkways like sidewalks and patios follow closely behind finishing the interior and exterior work on your home. In some instances the driveway is poured shortly after the foundation is completed.

16. Financing & Payment

Most builders will make you take out a construction loan and pay the builder as construction progresses, creating construction loan interest for you to pay.

Not Madison.

The majority of our customers move forward with the building process without having to make an initial down payment and don’t pay any construction loan interest.

Did we mention we also pay closing costs, which help to keep your out of pocket costs down? Our financing options make the process of building a custom home easier for your family.

17. Pre-Settlement Walkthrough

This is the time for you to review our work and try not to be too overwhelmed with excitement for your new house.

We will walk you through your new home so that you can familiarize yourself with the various systems. We will also review responsibilities for maintenance and upkeep as well as warranty coverage and procedures.

18. Closing and Occupancy

At Madison Homebuilders we build your home from start to finish. Your home will be ready for move-in once we have completed it. Every Madison home carries a 10-year Home Buyer’s Warranty, so you know it is built with quality, trustworthy workmanship.

Building a Custom Home

Every step in building a custom home is full of decisions to make, but also possibilities. We are here to help walk you through the process one step at a time. Download your free home plan book to get started on your new custom home.