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

By: Annette
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 _____ ?

When you're in charge, you're officially the GC. Those that you hire are the sub-contractors.

Do you need a permit to build a house?

You always need a permit, no matter where you're building. There are always local regulations to contend with.

How much are you saving by taking the lead?

General contractors charge anywhere from 15-25 percent. That means that you're saving a lot of money by being your own GC.

What is a plan?

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.

Who stakes out the lot?

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.

What will you need to have on-site when the building begins?

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.

Once the land is ready, what happens?

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.

What are footings?

The footings are where the house and the earth interface. This is part of laying the foundation for the home.

While the concrete is curing. . . ?

While the cement is curing, nothing else can happen on this site. This is very important for it to cure properly.

What happens after the foundation is set?

An inspector must come in after the foundation is set. This is absolutely necessary before you can begin rough framing.

Which of these is a type of foundation?

These are all types of foundation. Each one is set in a very different way. Creating a basement is probably the most labor intensive.

What do you call the floor, wall and roof systems?

The floor, wall and roof systems of your home are known as the shell. They're sometimes also called the skeleton.

What is the protective barrier applied to sheathing?

Sheathing is covered in what is called house wrap. This keeps moisture from coming into the house, as well as moisture escaping.

What is installed first?

Tubes and ducts are installed before wires. You do this because it's easier to run wires around pipes than vice versa.

What does HVAC stand for?

You got that right, didn't you? HVAC is an important component to any home. A series of ducts will be installed.

Once the roof goes on, the house is ____?

Once the roof is applied, the house is considered dried in. This is when an electrician can begin to install wires, lights, etc.

Which of these will need to be inspected?

These things will comprise inspections 2, 3 and 4. The inspector will check to make sure you're in line with building codes.

When is insulation installed?

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.

Which of these is a form of insulation?

These are all forms of insulation. Which material you chose is going to depend upon what your weather is like, and where you live.

What is drywall used for?

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.

When do you pour the driveway?

People like to pour the driveway towards the end so that it doesn't get damaged. Heavy equipment can ruin a driveway.

What do you get after your final inspection?

Once you pass the final inspection, you receive a certificate of occupancy. Be sure to frame that!

What is important to understand about your buiding site?

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.

Do you need construction insurance?

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.

Which of these permits will you need?

You'll need all these permits and many more! You'll also need an HVAC permit and perhaps an impact permit.

What is an ECB?

The Estimated Cost Breakdown is essential when building a home. This breaks down the total cost of construction, including foundation, lumber, heating, painting​, etc.

What is a site worker?

Site workers prep the land for laying the foundation. This can be helpful when you don't have time to do it yourself.

Who lays the foundation?

Bricklayers are actually responsible for laying the foundation. You definitely want to make sure that you have a good team for this.

Who determines the thickness of your foundation?

A structural engineer is responsible for determining how thick your foundation is. They take into consideration the height and load of the proposed structure.

What are batter boards and corner stakes?

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.

Which of these is a common floor type?

Both of these comprise the two most common floor types. They are slab-on-grade and pier and beam/joist.

What is potable 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.

Can you build a mini house in your backyard?

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!

Can you build your own home without any help?

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.

How can you better support your home?

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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