Do You Know How to Build a House From the Ground Up?

By: Annette
Estimated Completion Time
3 min
Do You Know How to Build a House From the Ground Up?
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Do you know the different buildings plans needed to build a house or the names of the different people involved in the process? Know what footings are used for, or what HVAC stands for? Any idea where you should use drywall, or which type of insulation works best in your area? If you know the answers to all of these questions, see if you have what it takes to ace this home building quiz!

Your house is your most valuable asset. Not only does it protect your family and belongings, but it also keeps you dry, warm and comfortable no matter the weather. Even more importantly, the house is the center of family life -- a home where memories are made and family bonds forged. 

Of course, all that homeyness doesn't come cheap. A 2017 report by the National Association of Homebuilders estimates the cost of building an average home at $428,000 -- with $238,000 of that going only to construction costs and materials. Knowing how a home is put together, and the steps involved in the process is a valuable skill, whether you're planning to build your own home or simply looking for the best way to maintain the home you have.

Think you know what it takes to transform dirt, concrete and wood into a family home? Take our quiz to find out!

When you're in charge of building your home, you're _____ ?
Crazy
The general contractor
When you're in charge, you're officially the GC. Those that you hire are the sub-contractors.
The sub-contractor

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Who stakes out the lot?
A gardner
A geologist
A surveyor
A surveyor is going to start by staking out your lot. That means that they're going to outline the property boundaries. This is where it all begins.

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What are footings?
The pipes used for plumbing
The stairs
Structures where the house is supported by the earth
The footings are where the house and the earth interface. This is part of laying the foundation for the home.

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What is a plan?
Something that you dream of doing some day
The top view of the layout of your house
The plan, in terms of building a house, is the top view of the layout. You'll see the rooms, the dimensions, plumbing, lighting, etc.
A type of construction tool

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What will you need to have on-site when the building begins?
A water diviner
A roll-off dumpster
It's necessary to have a roll-off dumpster to handle the debris while building. Having a Port-a-potty ain't a bad choice, either.
A fridge

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While the concrete is curing. . . ?
The electricians work on the site
The plumbers work on the site
There is no activity on the site
While the cement is curing, nothing else can happen on this site. This is very important for it to cure properly.

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Which of these will need to be inspected?
Rough framing
Plumbing
Electrical
All of the above
These things will comprise inspections 2, 3 and 4. The inspector will check to make sure you're in line with building codes.

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Once the land is ready, what happens?
The foundation is built
It all begins with the foundation. Once you start pouring concrete, you're at the point of no return. Be sure that you want to build this home.
The roof is built
The stairs are built

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What does HVAC stand for?
Humid Vehicles and Cars
Human Vaccines and Catheters
Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning
You got that right, didn't you? HVAC is an important component to any home. A series of ducts will be installed.

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Which of these is a form of insulation?
Fiberglass
Cellulose
Foam
All of the above
These are all forms of insulation. Which material you chose is going to depend upon what your weather is like, and where you live.

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Do you need construction insurance?
No, it's overrated
Only if you live in Hawaii
Yes!
Yes, you absolutely want to get construction insurance. There are three types you'll need: course construction insurance, general liability insurance and workman's comp.

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What do you get after your final inspection?
A certificate of occupancy
Once you pass the final inspection, you receive a certificate of occupancy. Be sure to frame that!
A medal
A hug

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Which of these permits will you need?
Septic tank permit
Electrical permit
Plumbing permit
All of the above
You'll need all these permits and many more! You'll also need an HVAC permit and perhaps an impact permit.

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What is important to understand about your buiding site?
Its history, dating centuries back
Its general mood
Its water drainage
By understanding how water moves on the site, you can prepare for drainage. Knowing how to properly drain the land should be accomplished before laying a foundation.

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How much are you saving by taking the lead?
5 percent
10 percent
15-25 percent
General contractors charge anywhere from 15-25 percent. That means that you're saving a lot of money by being your own GC.

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When is insulation installed?
After you've moved in
Just as soon as the walls go up
After HVAC and electrical inspection
Once the house is built and things are installed, you can go ahead and seal it with insulation. This is important for the comfort and energy efficiency​ of your home.

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Who determines the thickness of your foundation?
Your wife
Your kids
A structural engineer
A structural engineer is responsible for determining how thick your foundation is. They take into consideration the height and load of the proposed structure.

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What is an ECB?
Electro Carbon Boombox
Estimated Cost Breakdown
The Estimated Cost Breakdown is essential when building a home. This breaks down the total cost of construction, including foundation, lumber, heating, painting​, etc.
Entro-Carbonated Billow

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What are batter boards and corner stakes?
On-site construction food
Things used to create ceilings
Items to set building lines
These are the items that are used to create building lines. You want to use a building level to make sure these lines are square.

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When do you pour the driveway?
When you pour the foundation
After the first inspection
At the end
People like to pour the driveway towards the end so that it doesn't get damaged. Heavy equipment can ruin a driveway.

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Do you need a permit to build a house?
No
Sometimes
Always
You always need a permit, no matter where you're building. There are always local regulations to contend with.

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What is installed first?
Plumbing
Tubes and ducts are installed before wires. You do this because it's easier to run wires around pipes than vice versa.
Electrical
Telephone

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Can you build your own home without any help?
Technically, yes
Actually, you can build your own home, but it's going to take a serious amount of time. It's best to hire professionals to help.
It's illegal
It's not humanly possible

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Which of these is a common floor type?
Slab-on-grade
Beam/joist
Both
Both of these comprise the two most common floor types. They are slab-on-grade and pier and beam/joist.

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What is the protective barrier applied to sheathing?
Insulation
House wrap
Sheathing is covered in what is called house wrap. This keeps moisture from coming into the house, as well as moisture escaping.
Shellack

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What is potable water?
Toilet water
Drinkable water
Potable water is drinking water. You'll need to make sure that pipes for potable water are installed in your home. It's pretty crucial.
Cooling water

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How can you better support your home?
Stilts
Deep piles in the bedrock
Excavate the site and use clean fill
All of the above
These are all methods of giving more support to your home when the land isn't good. But it's best to start with good land.

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Who lays the foundation?
Framers
Flooring installers
Bricklayers
Bricklayers are actually responsible for laying the foundation. You definitely want to make sure that you have a good team for this.

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Which of these is a type of foundation?
Slab
Crawl space
Basement
All of the above
These are all types of foundation. Each one is set in a very different way. Creating a basement is probably the most labor intensive.

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Once the roof goes on, the house is ____?
Complete
In Phase Two
Dried in
Once the roof is applied, the house is considered dried in. This is when an electrician can begin to install wires, lights, etc.

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Can you build a mini house in your backyard?
No!
Only in New England
Yes
Yes, you can build a mini house in your backyard but you'll need permission from your local council. Then you can build a mini-house!

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What happens after the foundation is set?
An inspector comes in
An inspector must come in after the foundation is set. This is absolutely necessary before you can begin rough framing.
The walls are built
The roof is assembled

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What is a site worker?
Someone who clears the land and preps it
Site workers prep the land for laying the foundation. This can be helpful when you don't have time to do it yourself.
Someone who works on-site
Someone who works part time on the site

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What is drywall used for?
The solid construction of walls
Insulation
Covering the seams of your boards
This covers the seams on your walls. Drywall can also be textured if you so choose. Exterior finish is done around the time that you're finished with drywall.

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What do you call the floor, wall and roof systems?
The framing
The shell
The floor, wall and roof systems of your home are known as the shell. They're sometimes also called the skeleton.
The skull

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