Building Process

How do I get started in the building process?

Should I have a lot or a plan first? This is like asking “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” Thankfully, in the home building process there is no right answer to this question. Some people find and buy their dream lot before ever having a floor plan in mind. Others place a higher priority on refining their design before securing a lot that will accommodate the house. Individual preference will dictate which way to go. Preliminary plans and books are available from my collection, material suppliers, or on the Internet. Often these plans serve as a concept or starting point from which numerous revisions are made to arrive at a set of custom tailored building plans.

How much will the house cost?

A rough cost estimate can be established by reviewing the plan and owner preferences. However, this square foot pricing is often inaccurate just as pricing a car per inch of length will be only an approximation of the final cost. If the rough cost estimate fits the buyers’ budget, the next step is to prepare an exact price for the home. A detailed questionnaire is discussed by the buyer and myself to determine the features, quality levels, and specific preferences desired. Examples of questions discussed would be: gas vs. wood burning fireplaces, wood flooring vs. carpet, vinyl siding vs. fiber cement siding, etc. In many cases, prices for several material options in different areas are requested for comparison purposes. Once the preferences are known to me, I secure bids from suppliers and subcontractors in the various trades. All of their bid specifications are compiled into a detailed construction proposal, which, if accepted, becomes the construction contract between the buyer and myself. The down payment changes hands and the real action begins.

So you’ve signed your life away. What’s next?

Last minute final revisions can be made to the plan. Permits are obtained from the relevant jurisdictions, and excavation begins. About this time, the buyer needs to finalize a number of items. For example, a detailed kitchen cabinet layout needs to be drawn and approved, so door and window openings can be framed in exactly the correct location. Window options, including exterior colors and screen color, need to be selected. Colors for the roof, siding, soffit, fascia, brick or stone, etc. all need to be finalized. Interior selections follow closely behind.

After the foundation is completed and cured, the backfill and grading is completed, and the framing begins. The excitement builds as walls with window openings go up, roof trusses are quickly set, roofboards briefly appear before being covered by tarpaper, and it appears things will be done a couple months early!

But wait a minute. Suddenly, even though there are more vehicles on site at this point than ever before, the noticeable progress appears to have slowed substantially. Note the word “appears”. In reality, many trades people, including roofers, plumbers, electricians, heating and ventilating (HVAC) workers, fireplace installers, concrete flatworkers, etc., are all busy working at their respective trades. Opportunities abound for owner input regarding placement of lights, plugs, switches, lawn faucet locations, etc. My crew is doing finish framing including stairways, window and door installation, and wall insulation.

Take a last look at the framing and rough mechanical work because 4′ x 12′ sheets of drywall quickly cover everything up. The drywall is taped, feathered, sanded, textured and painted in preparation for the finish carpentry. Siding, soffit, fascia and decking keep some of the workers busy outside. Back inside, tile, vinyl, marble or wood flooring is installed making way for cabinets and finish work by all the other trades. Soon everyone then heaves a sigh of relief, as the carpet installer completes the last of his work. The movers are around the corner, and the family is welcomed into another quality home built by Wayne Hanson/home builder, inc.


A successful construction project begins with thoughtful planning and a good design. We have a complete design service available which enables us to provide detailed floor plans as well as full color, photo quality 3D interior and exterior views. This allows the customer to view and approve of the final design and details before construction even begins.

Contact Info

Wayne Hanson Home Builder, inc.
6731 N Shore Dr
Eau Claire, WI 54703


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