After months of prep, your new construction home is finally starting to take shape. You’re excited, and you understandably want to track your home’s progress from top to bottom. Visiting your construction site is a great way to stay connected to your home throughout the process, but popping in unannounced could do more harm than good. If you plan to visit your new home during construction, remember that it’s about respect. Workers, superintendents and contractors are working hard on your home, and your visit shouldn’t derail their progress. Here are some things to keep in mind as you visit your new home construction site.
Talk to your builder
If you plan to visit your new home construction site, ask your builder about safety rules. Your builder likely has policies in place to protect homeowners from injury while visiting construction sites; ignoring those rules could put you at risk. Your builder may also invite you to the construction site for informal inspections throughout the build process, so scheduling your own visits could be unnecessary.
Make sure you follow all of your builder’s rules, especially those for safety. You might be counseled to wear certain clothes or be asked to leave your kids at home to reduce the builder’s liability in the event of an injury.
Schedule a time
Driving or walking by your build site every so often is no big deal, but if you want a closer look, it’s best to schedule a visit. A new build is a complicated dance of scheduling and contractors, and having you there could mean stopping work. While there may be contractors on site, your superintendent or general contractor might only come by once a day to check progress. Without a superintendent, you won’t have a reliable guide to walk you through the home. It’s unlikely that various contractors will know anything about your schedule or progress, so it’s best to wait until your super is there. That way, the build site can be decluttered for safety and you won’t be disrupting contractors as they try to get the job done.
New build sites are messy, dusty and potentially dangerous. Visiting the site without the proper clothing and footwear could cause injury. Here are some general tips for dressing the part.
- Wear closed-toe shoes. Exposed nails and wood splinters are common complaints for unfinished homes, and sandals and flip flops leave you at risk.
- Expect to get dirty. Wear older clothes you don’t mind getting dirty and expect dust, paint and plaster.
- Bring a flashlight and measuring tape. You might not have electricity, and a tape measure comes in handy for thinking about furniture or window treatments.
- Follow all instructions for safety gear from your builder. Hardhats, gloves and goggles may be required for site visits.
If you don’t dress the part, your construction site visit could be cut short or be downright dangerous.
Document the visit
Don’t forget to spend some of your site visit documenting the build process. Pictures are great mementos, but documenting dates, measurements and processes can also help you in the future. Say you’d like to replace a light fixture, for example: Pictures you took during the process could help your electrician locate wiring and panels. Recording your paint colors means a better match when you accidentally scuff a wall. A shot of your newly framed wall allows you to find a strong stud before hanging a heavy mirror.
As you walk through your new build, take plenty of pictures and keep a folder of things like paint options, countertop choices and plumbing and electrical details. It might be hard to imagine now, but you’ll look back on the build process fondly. Having good documentation contributes to your home’s legacy.
When a new build feels like it’s dragging on and on, it’s important to visit your new home to stay sane. Tracking your home’s progress makes you feel more optimistic and enables you to see how far you’ve truly come. Just make sure a home visit doesn’t inadvertently throw your build off track. By scheduling a time with your builder and obeying safety rules, you can check out your progress and stay on schedule.
Do you have any additional tips for visiting a new build construction site? We’d love to hear them below.