Building a new home involves a lot of details and being an informed home buyer is important to the building process. As you can imagine, there’s a sizable amount of documentation that occurs before the construction work begins.
You may be familiar with floor plans and blueprints, but what about construction specifications? While the construction drawings note the shape, dimensions, scale, and general appearance of a new home, the builder’s home specifications go into further detail about what the finished product will look like.
Why Home Construction Specifications Matter
The home construction specifications note the materials that are used and how they are to be installed. It gives everyone involved a much clearer picture of what the finished home will look like, and it’s much more detailed than the blueprints. That’s why construction specifications are so important for your build.
In general, the more detailed the home specifications are the better, especially for expensive and/or essential projects like the foundation. Some of the things that are commonly included in home construction specifications are:
- The materials to be used
- Quality standards for materials
- Installation requirements
- Special installation instructions
- Quality standards for workmanship
- Measures for determining that materials and workmanship meet the minimum standards
- Performance standards for systems and equipment
Another reason the builder’s home specifications are essential is that they help solve disputes if the quality of the materials or work is questionable. The specifications act as a safeguard that holds the contractors accountable and ensures things are done right. And if things aren’t done to the specifications you’re in a good position to get them fixed free of charge.
Tips for Reviewing Builder Home Specifications
As the home buyer, you’ll want to review the builder’s home specifications before signing off. Here are some tips on how to read through the home specifications so that you know exactly what to expect during the build and final walk through.
Compare the Specifications to the Blueprints
The home specifications and the blueprints may contain some of the same information, but they shouldn’t contradict one another. Legally, the specifications typically take precedence, but it’s best to make sure both match up exactly.
Look for Specs That Are Broken Down by Trade
On a large project like a new home build, the construction specifications are generally segmented by trade. For example, there will be a separate list of specifications for concrete and stonework, painting, flooring, and roofing. Because of this, some sections of the specifications will be more detailed than others based on complexity.
Make Sure Your Minimum Standards Are Included
The architect or builder should note that the work and materials meet minimum standards based on certain regulations, such as UL standards for fire resistance. If you prefer that the standards are exceeded that needs to be noted.
What are “Builder-Grade” Options?
Builder-grade denotes materials that are standard or basic with your home purchase price. Based on your budget, these features can remain as-is or you can select options for upgrades. Whenever possible, the brand and/or model number should be noted so it’s clear what materials should be used.
Get Clarification If You Have Questions
Any time you aren’t 100% sure what’s being noted or referenced ask for clarification.
Reading through home construction specs online can help you become a more knowledgeable buyer and get you familiarized with the documentation before your own specifications are drafted. It will also give you an idea of how detailed construction specifications should be.
Before home construction specifications can be created you’ll need to decide on a home design. Get started at myHouseby.com! Our marketplace will help you discover the right home for your needs and lifestyle. Within minutes you’ll get a curated selection of home and can start personalizing!