Construction of Your Home
The construction of a new home differs from other manufacturing processes in several ways. By keeping these differences in mind, you can enjoy observing the construction process as we build your new home.
As a consumer, you rarely have the opportunity to watch as the products you purchase are created. Your new home is created in front of you. You will have more opportunities to give your input in its' design and finish details than most other products. Our success in personalizing your home depends on the effective and timely communication of your choices. Because of the time required for construction, you have many opportunities to view your home as it is built, ask questions, and discuss details.
- Preconstruction Conference
a meeting to review your plans, selection, changes, and the protocols of the construction process
- Additional Non-Guaranteed Meetings
additional meetings may be provided by our team if available
- Start of Construction
once you sign the Buyer Start Order, Parasol attends to several tasks before starting construction
please respect the potentially dangerous nature of a construction site and follow our site visit policies
- Frame Tour
your second meeting with your builder provides an opportunity to see the quality inside the walls of your new home and confirm that selections and change orders are correct so far
- Locks and Keys
once you use your house keys, only your keys will open your home
- Plans and Specifications
no two homes are alike
we monitor work on your home to note and correct any errors that occur and ensure that the home we deliver meets the standards we promised you
- Single Source
Parasol selects all personnel and orders all materials that go into your home
- Trade Contractors
tradespeople have no authority to make changes without Parasol’s written change order and are unaware of all the elements in your home; any questions you have should be communicated through your salesperson
delivery dates are a target until we confirm a closing date in writing; we promise a minimum of 30 days notice
- Construction Sequence
an overview of the major steps typically followed in building a home
- Contact Us
a form for your convenience, please document any questions or comments you have about your home during construction or after construction and we will forward them to your sales counselor.
You will have the opportunity to meet with your builder formally twice during this process. The first is a Preconstruction Conference (the second is the Frame Tour described later in this section). Your sales counselor schedules this appointment once all of your selections are completed. This meeting takes approximately 60 to 90 minutes.
The purpose of the Preconstruction Conference is to conduct a comprehensive review of your final plans and specifications as well as the building process itself. We will discuss site visits, questions, trade contractor communication, change orders, and target delivery date. At this meeting, please bring up any questions you have.
A copy of our agenda is linked here: Sample Preconstruction Agenda
Additional Non-Guaranteed Client Meetings
While the Preconstruction Conference and Frame Tour are a formal part of the building process that involves you as our clients to discuss important factors of your construction. We sometimes provide additional meetings to discuss our working relationship. This is often a casual and less formal get-together to discuss the project. These meetings are not required, but it’s a good way to ensure alignment and catch any missed change orders that you may want after the process has started. Sometimes neither party is available, and that’s why we list them as non-guaranteed, but as a general guideline, we try to make ourselves available.
- For Custom Homes:
- Initial Stages of construction (pre-Frame Tour): 1 hour every 2 weeks for the first 60 days.
- Final Stages of construction( post-Frame Tour): 1 hour per month each month thereafter.
- For Spec Homes:
- Still under construction: 1 hour per month.
Please understand that if for any reason you are unavailable to attend these meetings, we must continue with construction.
Start of Construction
Before the construction of your home can begin, Parasol has several important tasks to accomplish that involve outside people and entities. For example:
- Structural changes you decided to make to the plans may necessitate a revision of engineering for the home. This must be completed before applying for a building permit. Note that the process may take several days to several weeks.
- Residential construction requires us to obtain a building permit. The process may take longer depending on the volume of applications being processed by the building department. This volume varies from month to month.
- The time of year may affect the start date because of the weather conditions.
We understand that you will want to visit your new home between these construction reviews. A new home construction site is exciting and can also be dangerous. Your safety is of prime importance to us. Therefore, we must require that you contact Parasol before visiting your site. We reserve the right to require that you wear a hard hat and that a member of our staff accompanies you during your visit. Please observe commonsense safety procedures at all times when visiting:
- Keep older children within view and younger children within reach, or make arrangements to leave them elsewhere when visiting the site.
- Do not walk backward, even one step. Look in the direction you are moving at all times.
- Watch for boards, cords, tools, nails, or construction materials that might cause tripping, puncture wounds, or other injuries.
- Do not enter any level of a home that is not equipped with stairs and rails.
- Stay a minimum of six feet from all excavations.
- Give large, noisy grading equipment or delivery vehicles plenty of room. Assume that the driver can neither see nor hear you.
In addition to safety considerations, be aware of the possibility that mud, paint, drywall compound, and other construction materials are in use and can get onto your clothing.
Many buyers appreciate the opportunity to tour their home just after the rough mechanical stage, before insulation. The rooms have begun to take shape, but the inner workings are still visible. This is an opportunity for you to see the quality that goes inside the walls of your home.
Although this is not an opportunity to request changes, the meeting allows us to confirm that we correctly install the options you ordered or the approved changes you requested. We will also update you on the target delivery date during the frame tour.
As with the Preconstruction Conference, your frame tour is scheduled by your sales counselor. You will meet your builder at your new home. Frame tours usually take 20 to 30 minutes. Please remember to have this homeowner manual handy, along with selection sheets and any approved change orders.
Please understand that if for any reason you are unavailable to attend this meeting, we must continue with construction.
Locks and Keys
Once exterior doors and locks are installed, we will access your home with a construction master key. Company policy prohibits staff members from loaning these keys to customers. When you take possession, we will adjust the lock to a permanent key that will reposition the lock tumblers, and the construction master keys will no longer open your home.
Plans and Specifications
The building department of the city or county where your home is to be located must review and approve the plans and specifications for your home. We construct each home to comply with the plans and specifications approved by the applicable building department. Your specifications become part of our agreements with trade contractors and suppliers. Only written instructions from Parasol can change these contracts. Many factors can cause variations between the model home you viewed and the home we deliver to you.
From time to time, city or county agencies adopt new codes or regulations that can affect your home. Such changes are usually adopted in the interest of safety. They are also part of the legal requirements that Parasol must comply with. Therefore, builders may construct the same floor plan slightly differently in two different jurisdictions or at two different times within the same jurisdiction.
Individual Foundation Designs
Another area where variations among homes can appear is in the foundation system. The foundation design is specific to each lot. Based on the results of a soil test, an engineer determines which foundation system to use. Because of variations in soil conditions among lots, your foundation may differ from your neighbors’ foundation or that of the same home in another neighborhood.
Topography and Homesite Conditions
Because each home site is shaped differently, the position of your home on the site may vary from others in the community. At your preconstruction conference, you will receive a copy of a plot plan, a drawing that shows you the home’s position on your home site.
In addition, the exterior elevations of each home are affected by the topography, or surface contours, of your home site. For instance, the slope on the site may affect the number and configuration of the driveway, walks, steps, and rails. Exterior finish varies per the slope on the site, and retaining walls are sometimes needed for extreme conditions. Parasol identifies existing trees on your homesite that must be removed to create room for your home, drive, and so on. Our construction practices include steps intended to preserve other trees in a healthy condition. However, because the reaction of trees to construction activities and your new home is outside our control, we cannot guarantee the health or survival of any existing trees.
Utilities and Mailboxes
The location of meters, phone and electrical junction boxes, and mailboxes are examples of items outside the control of Parasol. The authority of the utility companies and the U.S. Postal Service to designate the placement of these items is well established.
Changes in Materials, Products, and Methods
The new-home industry, building trades, and product manufacturers are continually working to improve methods and products. In addition, manufacturers sometimes make model changes that can impact the final product. For instance, appliance manufacturers generally make design changes every year; thus, model homes may only have current appliances when the models were built.
In all instances, as required by your purchase agreement, any substitution of method or product that we make will have equal or better quality than that shown in our models. Since such substitutions or changes may become necessary because of matters outside our control, we reserve the right to make them without notification.
Model homes are equipped with larger air conditioners to accommodate high traffic; models also display many decorator items, window coverings, and furnishings. Mature landscaping, extra walks, fences, lighting, fountains, signs, and flags are other examples of items that are not part of the home we will be building for you. Please review your home’s specifications and the information Parasol provides about optional items displayed in the models carefully to avoid misunderstandings. Contact your sales counselor with any questions.
Because finish sizes can vary somewhat, you should measure for window coverings in your home rather than in any model.
Influences from Television and the Internet
You may be aware of various home construction methods and materials from watching television programs or exploring the Internet. Parasol routinely reviews new approaches focusing on building homes with materials and methods that perform predictably and to our standards. While we will be happy to discuss alternative methods and materials you may be interested in, we take a conservative approach to utilizing new approaches until proven over time. In addition, what is appropriate for a home in one area may not be appropriate for your home because of soil, climate, and other conditions.
Dozens of trade contractors will assemble your home. The same individuals rarely work on every home and, even if they did, each one would still be unique. The exact placement of switches, outlets, registers, and so on will vary slightly from the model and other homes of the same floor plan.
Our company will build your new home to the quality standards described in our documents and demonstrated in our model homes. Each new home is a handcrafted product—combining art, science, and raw labor. The efforts of many people with varying degrees of knowledge, experience, and skill come together.
Errors and Omissions
From time to time, a process that takes several months and involves dozens of people may encounter errors and omissions along the way. We have systems and procedures for inspecting our homes to ensure that quality meets our requirements. We inspect every step of construction and are responsible for quality control. In addition, the county, city, or engineer conducts several inspections at different stages of construction. Your home must pass each inspection before construction continues.
We also respect your interest and appreciate your attachment to the new home. Therefore, your input into our system is welcome. However, to avoid duplication of efforts, confusion, misunderstandings, or compounding errors, we ask that you first check your purchase documents to review what you ordered and the specifications for the construction of your home. If you still believe we are in error, do one of two things:
- Bring your concern up at the frame stage tour.
- Contact your sales counselor, in writing, with your question. You are welcome to use the Contact form. We will note the date and time it was received and will respond within two business days.
Also, keep the following points in mind once you have notified the builder of a concern:
- Your concern may involve a detail Parasol has already noticed or appreciates your pointing out. Still, the correction may not occur immediately. Trades and suppliers often impose trip charges for extra visits to the homesite; we may schedule the correction for the next routine visit to avoid such. Also, a particular trade may be unavailable on short notice.
- Work may simply be incomplete; an early stage can look wrong to you but be exactly right when finished.
- Methods and materials vary from region to region and change over time. When you are familiar with one method, you naturally question a different one. That does not make the new method wrong. Ask questions until you are comfortable.
Ugly Duckling Stages
During the construction process, every home being built experiences days when it is not at its best. Homes under construction endure wind, rain, snow, foot traffic, and activities that generate noise, dust, and trash. Material scraps are a byproduct of the process. Although your new home is cleaned by each trade upon completing their portion of the work, you may still encounter messy moments during your visits. Keep in mind that the completed homes you also toured once endured these “ugly duckling” stages.
Private Home Inspectors
If you wish to retain the services of a private home inspector to review your home during or at the end of construction, please be aware of Parasol policies regarding private home inspectors. Your inspector:
- Must provide us with evidence of current worker’s compensation and liability insurance.
- Should be a member of a professional association such as the American Society of Home Inspectors.
- Is familiar with the codes applicable in your jurisdiction.
- Be experienced with new home construction.
- Is responsible for staying informed as to the stage of construction the home has reached.
- Should avoid making any markings on the home itself.
- They should provide you and Parasol with a written report of any concerns.
Parasol will address concerns involving building code or contract issues only. Your sales counselor can provide you with a list of private home inspectors who have provided us with evidence of the required insurances, as well as information about the typical fees and services they offer.
Parasol is a single source company. That means that we select all personnel and companies who will contribute to your home. We order all materials and products from suppliers with whom we have established relationships. Although sweat equity arrangements are unavailable as a part of our purchase agreement, you are welcome to add your personal touches to the home after you close and take possession of it.
Your home is built through the combined efforts of specialists in many trades—from excavation and foundation, through framing, mechanicals, and insulation, to drywall, trim, and finish work. To ensure your home meets Parasol’s standard of construction, only authorized suppliers, trade contractors, and Parasol employees are permitted to perform work in your home.
Each trade contractor works on a limited portion of the home; they may not be aware of all the details that affect the home and are not in a position to offer judgments. All questions or requests for changes should go through Parasol, and we will obtain input from trades when appropriate.
Suppliers and trade contractors have no authority to enter into agreements for Parasol. For your protection and theirs, the terms of our trade contractor agreements prohibit alterations without written authorization from Parasol. Their failure to comply with this procedure can result in the termination of their contract. Discuss the changes you are considering with your sales counselor.
The delivery date for your new home begins as an estimate. The weather can dramatically affect the delivery date until the roof is on and the structure is enclosed. Even after the home itself is past the potential for weather-related delays, weather can severely impact the installation of utility services, final grading, and concrete flatwork, to mention a few examples. Extended periods of wet weather or freezing temperatures bring work to a stop in the entire region. When favorable conditions return, the tradespeople go back to work, picking up where they left off. Please understand that they are as eager as you are to get caught up and to see progress on your home.
Delivery Date Updates
Parasol recognizes that timing is critical to planning your move. Although a guaranteed date is unrealistic in the early stages of construction, the builder can provide regular updates. As the home nears completion, the builder can provide a firm delivery date (usually 45 days before the closing). Meanwhile, be flexible and avoid making arrangements that might cause you to worry if the move-in date changes.
We will update you on the estimated delivery date at each of our construction meetings. You are also welcome to check with us for the most current target date. As completion nears, more factors come under our control, and we can be more precise about that date. Expect a firm closing date no later than 30 days before delivery.
We suggest that, until you receive this commitment, you avoid finalizing arrangements for your move. Until then, flexibility is the key to comfort, sanity, and convenience. We want you to enjoy this process and avoid unnecessary stress caused by uncertainty that cannot be avoided. Review the Loan Lock heading in Arranging Your Loan for additional suggestions on this topic.
Please keep in mind that your belongings may be brought into the home only after the closing because of insurance issues and the regulations of the applicable building department.
Expect several days during the construction of your home when it appears that nothing is happening. This can occur for some reasons. Each trade is scheduled days or weeks in advance of the actual work. This period is referred to as “lead time.” Time is allotted for completing each trade’s work on your home. Sometimes, one trade completes its work a bit ahead of schedule. The next trade already has an assigned time slot, which cannot be changed on short notice.
Progress pauses while the home awaits building department inspections. This is also part of the normal sequence of the construction schedule and occurs at several points in every home. Also, throughout the construction of a home, work progresses rapidly at some stages as highly visible stages are completed (such as installing large expanses of walls) and more slowly at others (such as detail work in framing in soffits and closets). If you have questions about the pace of work, please contact our office for an update.
Although the specific sequence of construction steps varies and overlaps; generally, we build your home in the following order:
Footer or caisson installation
Form and pour walls
Perimeter drain, if applicable
Insulation, if applicable
Felt or paper or membrane
Fascia (boards at ends of rafters)
Windows and doors
Deck, if applicable
Gutters, if applicable
Exterior painting or staining
Concrete or asphalt
Landscaping, if applicable
Rough-in of mechanical systems
HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning)
Electrical (extra outlets need to be installed at this point)
Tape and texture
Baseboards, casings, other details
Paint and stain
- Construction cleaning
- Builder’s punch list / Pre-Occupancy Inspection
- Final Grade Surveys/ Real Property Report
- Certificate of Occupancy
- Homeowner Orientation
- Closing / Key Release
- Home maintenance