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Tips for Building a New Home in Charleston

Are you looking to build a new home in the Charleston, SC area?

Here are a few things to consider before you get started:

Footing

  • Are footings continuous under all foundation walls?
  • Do they have two or more steel re-bar?

Foundation

  • Is foundation plumb and square? Does wall thickness correspond with code requirements with respect to backfill height?
  • Does yard slope away from foundation?
  • Footings Are footings continuous under all foundation walls? Do they have two or more steel re-bars?
  • Is foundation plumb and square? Does wall thickness correspond with code requirements with respect to backfill height? Refer to local code!

Insect Control

  • Has termite control been performed BEFORE slabs are poured? Has lumber been treated with the effective borate chemicals to repel termites?

Vapor Barriers

  • Is a plastic vapor barrier under ALL basement and garage slabs?
  • Is it in place in crawl spaces?

Septic System

  • Is septic tank sized properly?
  • Are leach lines put in according to local code requirements?
  • Is the leach field mapped so you know location of all distribution boxes and lines?

Concrete Slabs

  • Are all exterior slabs self draining? Are all control or contraction joints saw cut a minimum of 1/4th the slab thickness?

Staircases

  • Are they 36 inches wide?
  • Are all riser heights the same?
  • Do you have proper railing spacing?

Roofing

  • Is felt paper under the shingles?
  • Do Shingles have the proper amount of nails in them?

Wall Water Barrier or House Wrap

  • Is Tyvek, felt paper or an air/water infiltration barrier on exterior walls?
  • Do windows have proper sill pan flashing or flashing around them?

Brick

  • Are flashing’s in place at base of wall and above and below all windows and doors?
  • Are weep holes 24 inches or 32 inches on center?
  • Is a fabric in place behind first 4 courses of brick that keeps pathway open to weep holes?
  • Are expansion joints where needed and filled with proper sealant?

Skylights

  • Do skylights have pre-engineered flashing’s to prevent leaks?

HVAC

  • Are supply ducts sized right to minimize static pressure drop?
  • Has a heat gain/heat loss calculation been performed to ensure the right sized equipment is being installed?
  • Does hvac unit put to much Humidity in the air?

Water Heater

  • Is heater sized right for number of occupants?
  • Is the heater equipped with an expansion tank?
  • Is it a tankless water heater?

Fan/Dryer Ventilation

  • Are all fans and dryers vented to the exterior of the home?

Water Supply Pricing

  • Are water supply lines 3/4 inch diameter as they feed each group of fixtures?
  • 1/2 inch water lines should never be supplied to more than two fixtures.
  • Are you using copper or Pex piping?

Drain Piping

  • Are plumbing drain lines PVC?

Soundproofing

  • Are wall plates caulked or sealed at floor contact?
  • Are walls filled with sound insulation or barriers?
  • Are bedroom doors solid wood or solid core?

Electric Services

  • Is electric panel sized so that you have 6 to 10 empty slots for future expansion?
  • Is a whole house surge protector installed?
  • Do you require solar or In home generator?

Wood Sub-Floors

  • Are wood sub floors screwed to floor joists in all hallways and walk path areas in rooms?
  • Are subfloors Glued down to joist?
  • Are Floor Joist spans to local code?
  • Is subfloor material correct for hardwood floor installation,most hardwood manufacturers don’t warranty if floor is placed on engineered or osb subfloors.

Owner’s Manual AND Installation Instruction

  • Are all owner’s manuals for ALL Products being saved?

Photos/Videos

  • Are you photographing all aspects of construction on a regular basis?

Hurricane Lift Connectors

  • Roof Trusses should NOT be nailed directly into top wall plates. A special H shaped or twisted connector connects trusses to wall plates.
  • Are sole plates strapped or Bolted to foundation?

Installation

  • Does attic insulation meet minimum code requirements?
  • Are baffles in place over exterior walls to keep ventilation path open between soffit and roof ridge?

Wall Blocking

  • Is solid wood blocking in place for all wall fixtures such as Curtain rods, towel bars, tub grab Rails, heavy wall fixtures,closet rods or any other heavy item that will be hung from a wall?

Ceiling Fans

  • Are bedrooms wired for ceiling fans?
  • Are fan electrical boxes and wiring in place for future fans?

Plans

  • Are plans designed so that the home can be built realistically per the drawings?
  • Have the plans been stamped by an engineer?
  • Are the plans designed for your location of the building project?
Looking to build a new construction home in Charleston, SC? Contact First Team Construction today!

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