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Preconstruction: What does it mean to prepare a site for a new home?

5 things you should know about the preconstruction process.

Prepping a site for a home is a serious hustle. The process can take months and, for a first-time home-buyer, can involve some unexpected costs. The preconstruction process for Oak At Park home sites is complete. This means your family can spend more time designing and start building in a matter of weeks.

1. Understand the ground rules

You’ve purchased land, and now it’s time to build a home. Sweet – now what? Before you build, it’s important to make sure you understand the ins and outs of your property.

  • Survey: Determines your property bounds.

  • Soil Study: Identifies soil types to determine foundation requirements.

  • Site Plan: Maps your home on the lot, ensuring your space meets local code.

  • Elevation Certificate: Classifies the property flood zone.

2. Connect to utilities

Sometimes, checking to see if your property already has utility connections simply requires a call to the local sewer and water companies. For more remote locations, newly-developing areas and in some older suburbs, the homeowner must pay to have the utility services come and connect utilities on the property.

3. Design your home

Now that you know the rules that govern how you can build your home and where it can be on the property, the next step is to design your home. You can either purchase a stock plan from online (cheapest option) or provide conceptual drawings to an architect. The final product is a complex set of drawings that includes electrical and framing recommendations.

4. Finalize the nuts and bolts

Architectural drawings are a great start, but builders typically need a set of sealed structural drawings before breaking ground. A structural engineer’s primary job is to make sure the home, as designed, can support weight loads and withstand local environmental conditions, including hurricanes, flooding, high winds and earth quakes. Definitely not a step you want to skip! Structural engineers often analyze the property’s soil study, elevation certificate and site plan to help guide their decisions.

5. Get a permit and break ground

A full packet in tow – now you’re ready to head to the local building department and request a residential building permit. Building departments have different requirements, so it’s wise to have everything in order before making the trip. You’ll likely need sealed drawings, the site plan, an elevation certificate, an official property survey and a construction contract with your builder. You may also need an appraisal through your bank or lending agency. Some builders also cover this step for you!



When everything is said and done, the preconstruction process can put you, the homeowner, out $10k+ prior to securing a loan. Crazy! The good news is that you can may be able to wrap some of these costs up later in the loan.

Our goal is to make designing and building your home easy, pain free, and fun (we said it!). That’s why we handle everything from site prep work to permitting. That way, all you have to do is tell us which lot you prefer and how you’d like your home to look – both inside and out.

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