Residential Designing and Construction

Building a house with an architect is a long-term project that usually spans several months or years. It ranges from the acquisition of buildable land to the delivery of a home, through a delicate phase of design and construction operations, in a gradual and sometimes concurrent phase.

This article presents various steps for the specific case of designing and constructing homes. Detailed 5 steps of design and construction of the house are:

1. Acquisition of a land and financing

Prior to the construction of a house, the owner must conduct a phase of exploration to find a buildable land and the necessary financing.

To build a house, usually three conditions must be met:

Owned a plot of land or rights to use it, and ensured its construction potential. Normally a land should be constructed by obtaining a certificate of urban planning from the concerned authorities.
Obtaining necessary funds – bank loans, personal contributions, assistance, etc. – for:
Purchase of land and its possible connections to various networks of roads and utilities (water, sewage, electricity, telecommunications).
House Construction: Purchase of all materials and payment of contractors in charge of each specialty (masonry, roofing, plumbing, electrical).
Payment of fees of various experts who will intervene – Architect, Notary, Geometer, etc.
Obtaining the permission of the building, which depending on the country and region, may be presented with certain conditions relative to the size of the house, locality, desired design, etc.

According to the needs of the owner, his budget and the price of the land in the selected area, the land should be clearly chosen wisely. If possible, it is strongly advised to sign pre-contracts for the acquisition of land and to obtain loans with doubtful clauses to prevent the impossibility of meeting any of these conditions. To prevent the attainment of

Beyond the simple execution of mandatory plans to obtain a building permit, the architect can also offer his services as a construction project manager. The entire construction project for a house is usually facilitated and expedited by contracting the services of an architect throughout the project, both for the design and supervision of the site, and often also benefits from a reduction in the overall cost of the works. is.

2. Preliminary draft: sketch, budget and building permit

The architect designs the house in dialogue with his clients, taking into account the conditions of the land (size, orientation, climate…) and local urban planning regulations to prepare a detailed plan, according to his wishes and budget. The heart of the application dossier for a building permit.

During the first design phase, the architect produces a rough initial draft that reassembles the following pieces:

Planning a site: Setting up a house across the land
A crude plan of the house
Surface of different rooms and parts of the house
An explanatory note of the project
First estimate of total cost of house

After the submission of this first study, the architect to integrate its wishes and modifications and to propose a sketch study, to arrive at an agreement on the detailed plans for preparing the initial draft. Works in continuous dialogue. Although the exact details can vary from country to country, this final draft, which specifies the insertion of the house into its environment, the structure of the inside spaces, its presence and accessibility, usually contains the following documents:

Site integration plan into the house
site plan
Facades plans with details of doors and windows
Plans of different levels
Explanatory notes providing further details:
Building materials, roofing, cladding and paint
Built-in areas of the house and separate rooms
Estimate of overall cost of works

The final draft will be the basis on which the architect will form the application for the construction of the building with the contribution of technical, administrative and legal documents required by the local authorities. The required pieces may vary between countries and cities, but they usually include:

Identified as the owner of the project, as the commander of the construction
Identification of the owner of the land, if it is different from the owner of the project
Identity of architect
Land legal status and size
Authority to cut trees and clean vegetation if necessary
Planned methods of financing

After the application for the building permit is submitted, the architect follows his instructions and provides assistance to the client to retrieve documents and information, so that the building can get the permission in the shortest time.

3. Detailed design and selection of contractors

As soon as a building permit is obtained, the architect will complete the detailed design of the entire house and the plans required for the completion of each part of it. He clearly defines individual lots for consultation with contractors of each specialty:

Plans, sections and upgrades are necessary for proper understanding of the entire project and intervention of each expert
A detailed quote that describes each feature and all the work done by this cost
A signal scheme for the execution of various functions for each attribute

Following the architect’s suggestions, the chosen companies will propose their proposals to fulfill each of their construction missions that fall within their specialty. The project owner selects the contractors who will participate in the construction, with the advice of the architect and according to the owner’s budget and the proposals of the contractors.

The architect’s duty guarantees that he will find out that each company has the skills and necessary guarantees for its very complete attainment and that the suitability of the proposed quotations in relation to the requested services to guarantee the selection of the most auspicious. Will study Companies in the best interest of the project owner.

Depending on the type of intervention of the selected construction companies, various contracts are signed that define:

Nature and extent of each intervention
Detailed plan of execution by a descriptive specification and feature
Insurance for professional liability of contractors
VAT prices and index of possible price revisions
A program for the execution of tasks for each attribute
An exact schedule of payments according to the progress of each lot
Expected start and finish dates for each lot and penalties for delays
Time required to repair potential defects at home reception
5% annual guarantee, paid one year after receipt of work to guarantee repair of defects not detected at reception
Damage insurance to guarantee the owner against defective workmanship

Work can begin under the general direction of the project manager, who is also usually the architect. As a “main contractor” or “main contractor”, he shall supervise the entire work, regularly inspect the construction site on behalf of the owner and keep him informed of the regular operation and payment and to each company in the state Will pay according to The progress of his works.

4. The construction site

The beginning of the construction site marks the beginning of the actual construction of a house. It consists of two main categories: structural structures assemble building work for the structure and solubility of the house, and secondary functions that reassemble the functions necessary for the comfort of the home and its daily use by residents.

Here are photographs of the complete progress of an under construction site to illustrate the various stages of construction, ranging from the demolition of the previous structure to the finalization of the new one. This original home relies on the use of wood highlights as a decoration material as opposed to the usual and economical building materials and a gray coating of the original shape of the house.

Structural works

Structural works include the construction of structural elements of the house, its anchorage in the ground, the concrete of the walls and the roof. They occur in a series of interventions of four major specialties from floor to ceiling.


Preparing the ground for building, digging and digging a suitable construction platform, trenches that would welcome the foundation. If there is a significant presence of water in the soil, earthquakes are possible especially with drainage, particularly for homes with a basement or crawl location.

Demolition of the existing house

The land on which the house was built was formerly occupied by a small town house. It had to be demolished to leave room for the construction of a new, more spacious and modern house.



Installation and excavation of concrete in excavation of steel reinforcement which forms the foundation of reinforced concrete. The depth of the foundation depends on the quality and stability of the soil; More volatile soils will have to form deeper foundations.

A cellar in the basement already existed in the old house, it is preserved before pouring concrete slabs on which the new construction will be based.


Casting of a concrete slab (often reinforced) in the ground floor or basement with insulation or heating the floor if necessary. The exterior walls realize, and possibly some supporting interior walls are usually assembled with mortar with concrete blocks, and provide space for doors and windows.

The construction of the walls that form the structure of the house depends on the use of blocks of concrete. The specialty of this 3-story house is that it has large bay windows, spacious openings in the garden and an attic space in an original living space.


Laying of frames that will support the roof.

The roof frame is designed to display the beam inside the upper part of the house and to allow it to appear “organic”.

Secondary works

Secondary tasks include the implementation of various elements of internal fittings and finishes for aesthetics and comfort for the daily lives of the residents. Some secondary tasks can sometimes be done at the same time.


Placing roof tiles, slates or other roofing materials, for protection against weather, as well as gutters and water descent. The house is said to be “weather tight” when the cover and its waterproofing are finished.

The goal for this house is to create a modern look outside that brings out the natural beauty of wood.


Internal and external insulation, and plastering: installation of metal frames supporting partitions. Installation of roof, installation of thermal or sound insulation on walls and ceilings, possibly covered with plaster boards to provide support for painting. This part is ultimately synchronized with the roofing work. The house is called “air tight” after the doors and windows are installed.

Interior fittings

Room partitioning and installation of insulating materials

The interior design and decor of this house aims to create a warm space inside, which uses volumes and lighting judiciously.

Electricity, plumbing, sanitation

Establishment of electricity and telecommunications networks, hot and cold water and sewage disposal.

Flooring, painting, decoration, exterior coatings and locksmithing

Finishing the interior and exterior of the house and installation of final equipment. The choice of exterior cover (plaster, stone, wood, etc.) is sometimes limited by urban planning rules, which vary according to national, regional or local architecture.

Finishes and fittings

Shutter installation, painting and exterior coating, garden attainment, terrace, swimming pool, access road…

Completed construction

The finished home provides a natural and very contemporary appearance. Contrasting with the neighborhood but without its architecture, enhances and influences the urban environment.

5. Reception of the works

Upon completion of the works, a written report for the reception of the house is recorded with the assistance of the architect. The date of this report is the legal date of the beginning of various guarantee periods for the works. Depending on the condition of the house at the reception, it can be accepted without reservation, in the correct condition, accepted with reservation, if some faults are detected or denied. While this process may vary between specific countries, it usually follows.

If defects are noted, companies are bound to work with the architect to repair them within the timeframe defined in their contracts. In addition, contractors who fail to guarantee absolute completion can be held financially responsible for the completion of their lots by third parties.

The accounts of the contractor’s works are prevented and paid by the project manager with possible deductions and late penalties, and a 5% deduction for one-year guarantee for completeness. The remaining 5% is paid at the end of the year from the acceptance home onwards, until the companies protest against the failure.

If the owner needs additional functions or needs to account for changes in the price index defined in the contract, the architect can perform the planned upgrade in the contract.

In legal guaranteeing countries, the date of receipt of the home is also used as the starting date of the guarantee of the equipment (usually for two years) called the main structural functions (doors, windows, shutters …). Can be separated from. The firmness of structural works is guaranteed (usually for ten years).