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The Process of Building a House

So you’ve lived in your house for 20 years and are finally ready for your dream home. You and your partner have given it some thought and have decided to build a house.

Now what?

Whether it’s a full house, an addition, or just a kitchen redo, Hopefully you give us a call at Nelson-Young Lumber to start the design process with one of our three experienced designers! We get the question a lot about what the design process entails. Hopefully this blog will help give you an idea of what to expect throughout the design process at NYL.

Before the First Meeting

What are the rules for where you want to build?

  • Many city lots have restrictions​

  • Rural lots tend to have fewer restrictions

  • Our designers will need land survey plans (CSM)

It helps to have ideas of what ​you want in your home - Our designers need something to start with

  • Floor plan ideas (We have design books available for inspiration)​

  • Visual ideas help too

  • The layout is the most important at this point

  • Something to note: Add 15% to square footage to plans found online as online plans tend to run small

NOTE: Estimate building costs at $160 - $200 per square foot for planning purposes. Lead time for meetings with designers is about two weeks. At the first meeting your designer will request a plan deposit based on the size of your project (See PDFs below for more information). Consider which contractor you would like to work with. If you need suggestions, we can help.

First Meeting – Phase 1

Designers will work to get initial layout. They will go over specifics - what do you as the homeowner want in your house:

  • Two vs. three car garage​

  • Walk in closet

  • Bathtub in master bath or not

  • Floor finishes and many other options

It will take about two weeks after first meeting for designers to get initial drawing/floor plan to customer.

Phase 2

  • Designers will draw up elevations, foundation plan

  • Floor plans are finalized

  • Rough set of drawings produced

Phase 3

  • The bid set is finalized – not for construction

  • This phase will be for finalizing plans for construction

  • Will take 1-2 weeks for designers to finish

  • Builder contracts are signed based on bid set

  • Final drawing fees are collected at this point

Building a house can be one of the most exciting times for current or prospective homeowners, but also one of the most stressful. Our goal at Nelson-Young is to make that process as smooth as possible. We can help with contractor and builder recommendations as well.

For more information including official drafting agreements, visit our website at


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