What a plan of a new house?


What a plan of a new house?

You can already imagine lounging in a deckchair in the middle of the sunny garden of your new home ? Before getting there, you can imagine that a house construction project needs to be carefully considered, and that a number of steps will be necessary before you can move into your future home. From the choice of land to the reception of the accommodation, fill up with advice and tips to accompany you to each stage of the construction of your house !

1. 1. Definition of the project and the budget

When deciding to have your house built, you must first estimate the overall budget represented by such a project. Take the time to list your needs and tastes (traditional / contemporary house, on one level or on a storey basis, quality of the materials used, number of rooms, number of bathrooms, surfaces…), to estimate your personal contribution and the various sources of financing to be considered (real estate credit and financial aid).

To help you refine your budget, do not hesitate to be advised by a construction professional (architect or builder). This will allow you to accurately estimate all of the construction costs to be expected and will prevent you from missing out on certain expenses that you would not have thought of.

1. 2. Assessment of your borrowing capacity

While some prefer to buy cash or collect a substantial contribution for the construction of their home, it is generally more profitable to borrow, especially when interest rates are low.

To do this, you will have to go to a broker or a bank to estimate your borrowing capacity. This will be calculated from your income, your personal contribution, your current expenses, as well as the financial aid that may be granted to you (zero rate loan, local grants…).

1. 3. Search the ground

Long before the construction stage comes that of the search for the land. Make sure that it takes your criteria into account, and that your house construction project is compatible with the town planning rules:

  • Environment: do you prefer land located in a residential area, in the city center, or in the countryside ?
  • Situation in relation to the workplace: is the land located a reasonable distance from your workplace ?
  • Accessibility: is it easily accessible via road axes and / or transport (bus, metro, station…) ?
  • Proximity to shops and services: is it close to supermarkets, small shops, schools, service stations, pharmacies, hospitals, doctors… ?
  • Area of the land: consult the cadastre of the municipality online to check the precise limits of the plot.
  • Orientation of the terrain: what is the exposure of the terrain to the sun (privilege a Southwest, rather than full South exposure) and to the winds ?
  • Constructibility: to ensure that the land is well buildable and according to what modalities, request a town planning certificate from the town hall of the municipality on which it depends.
  • Sustainability of the land: is it already connected or connectable to the electricity, water, gas, telephone or sewer systems (if not, know that there are individual sanitation systems) ?
  • Urban planning rules: is the construction envisaged compatible with the town planning rules in force in the municipality (middle-class rules, rules linked to the characteristics of the future house, land use coefficient…) ?

2. 1. Choice of professional in charge of construction

If you have not yet chosen a professional for the construction of your house, it is at this stage that you must decide (unless you prefer to build your house yourself). To support you in your house construction project, you have 3 possibilities: call on an architect, a builder, or a prime contractor. Here are the specific features of each of them:

  • Architect: calling on an architect is to choose a tailor-made project, in line with your wishes and needs. When authorized to master the work (DPLG or DE-HMONP), it can accompany you with the implementation of the plans until the reception of the site, passing through the request for a building permit, the choice of contractors and monitoring the work. If the architect is generally the most expensive professional, know that his profession is very supervised, that he can make you realize substantial savings (design of an energy efficient building, negotiation of the prices of providers, materials…) and that he has the obligation to take out ten-year insurance. More info on the architect and his missions
  • Manufacturer: via a manufacturer, you benefit from a single contact, who accompanies you from the design of your project until the delivery of the site. Like the architect, the manufacturer accompanies his clients on technical choices, administrative tasks (in particular the request for a building permit), chooses and coordinates all the trades likely to intervene during construction. In addition to its more affordable price, the use of a manufacturer offers numerous guarantees via the signing of a contract for the construction of an individual house (delivery at agreed prices and deadlines, perfect completion, proper functioning, and ten-year). However, your future home will have to be chosen from the models in the manufacturer’s catalog, and its customization will be limited. More info on the manufacturer’s specifics
  • Project manager (non-architect): he is generally a building professional (office of studies, construction economist…), whose role is to accompany you to each stage of the construction of your house. Most often, he calls on an architect during the project design phase to create a personalized project, adapted to your tastes and needs. Unlike the architect (DPLG or DE-HMONP), the non-architect masterpiece is not subject to compliance with a code of ethics and no title guarantees its training or skills. Finally, the project management contract not being regulated, check the various clauses mentioned before signing it.

The use of an architect is compulsory for any construction whose floor area is 150 m² or more, regardless of the professional in charge of construction.

If you have chosen to go through a manufacturer or a non-architect masterpiece, he will have to work jointly with a DPLG or DE-HMONP architect from the design of the house to the deposit of the building permit. Your contact will remain the builder or the prime contractor.

2. 2. Real estate loan request and bill of sale

After consulting a broker or comparing the credit rates and the conditions offered by different banks, you decided to take the plunge.

You therefore go to the bank with all the documents necessary to constitute your loan request file (identity documents, supporting documents linked to the family situation, proof of domicile, salary slips, statements proving your personal contribution, construction contract , building permit…).

Once the loan application has been filed and the bank’s agreement in principle has been obtained, the bank will send you a loan offer. You have an incompressible period of at least 10 days to reflect and accept or not this offer. If the proposed conditions suit you, you must then return the signed offer by registered mail.

There remains an essential step: the signing of the authentic instrument with the notary, during which you pay the property, the notary’s fees, and any agency fees. Here you are officially the owner of your future home !

More info on the promise and the bill of sale (Public Service)

2. 3. Soil study

Made compulsory since the Elan law of November 23, 2018 for the construction of an individual house, the soil study (or geotechnical study) aims to analyze the nature of the soil in order to know what type of foundations to achieve to ensure optimal stability of the future house.

This soil study is required by a large number of insurers when taking out a work-processing insurance. It must be carried out before the sale by the seller of the land. The latter will also have to append it to the sales compromise if the land is in an area affected by the differential land movements linked to drought and soil rehydration.

2. 4. Realization of plans

The realization of the plans is a key stage of the construction, since it will allow you to imagine your house and to project yourself into your future at home. These plans are of capital importance, as they will determine how the house will be built, taking into account the specificities of the terrain and legal constraints, and its interior fittings.

Depending on the professional chosen to build your house, two types of plans may be offered to you:

  • personalized plans: if you call on an architect or a prime contractor, you can design a tailor-made house, in accordance with your tastes and needs.
  • catalog plans: in the case where you go through a manufacturer, this will present you with a wide choice of models of houses of different styles. Depending on the manufacturer chosen, you will benefit from a more or less significant margin for personalizing pre-established plans.

Before choosing the plan most suited to your needs and desires or designing your tailor-made plan, ask yourself the right questions:

  • How should the house be oriented to maximize its energy efficiency ? In particular, we will make sure to expose to the south or southwest living rooms such as living rooms or cooking, so that they benefit from good light. Conversely, the rooms will be oriented towards the east, the southeast, or even the north, for more freshness. Ancillary rooms such as the garage, the entrance hall, the water rooms… may also be located to the north.
  • How do you plan to arrange the rooms in your house ? Ideally, organize the parts according to your daily habits. Try to group certain rooms with “life spaces”. The “day” space, for the entrance, the living room and the kitchen, the “adult” space for the parent room, its dedicated bathroom and toilet, and the “children” space, for the rooms of children, their bathroom, WC and possibly a playroom. Remember to avoid setting up children’s rooms above the kitchen or living room, to prevent noise from bothering them while they sleep.
  • What vis-à-vis do you wish to have ? Imagine the view you would prefer to have from your room, your living room, your kitchen…
  • Do you think, in the future, to enlarge your family or work from your home ? Anticipate the number of additional pieces you may need.
  • Regularly invite friends to eat or sleep ? You may need to imagine a larger living room and consider adding a guest room.
  • Prefer an open or closed kitchen ?
  • Have one or more vehicles ?
  • Are you keen on DIY, gardening, or sports ?
  • Will your home house a disabled or low-mobility person, or young children ?

2. 5. Construction permit application

The building permit is an essential sesame to be able to build a house in France. It allows precise detailing of the entire construction project and must be supplemented with plans, diagrams and photos. If your land is located in a protected area, in particular near a historic monument, it will also be necessary to consult the opinion of an architect of buildings in France to be able to start the works.

If you decide to entrust the construction of your house to an architect or a builder, he will generally take care of himself to build your building permit file and to deposit it in town hall. This will save you precious time and greatly promote the chances of seeing it accepted by the urban planning services.

The town hall then has a period of 2 months to accept or refuse your request for a building permit. If the permit is granted to you, certain neighbors may decide to contest it for 2 months after obtaining it, if they consider that the future construction is prejudicial to them. If the building permit is refused, know that there is a remedy if you can prove that it is unjustified. You will need to send a letter to the sender of the refusal letter with all the evidence.

2. 6. Access and servicing of the land

A building site must have an access route that connects it to the common road. This access must also be wide and high enough to allow the passage of trucks likely to intervene on the construction site. Depending on the location of your land, certain works must be undertaken to make it accessible:

  • if your land is located in the subdivision, it has by default an access route created by the developer.
  • if your land is isolated in a diffuse sector, it will be necessary to create a private access route to be able to reach your future home. Get closer to your town hall to find out the applicable regulations. In the specific case of landlocked land, that is to say devoid of practicable access, it will be necessary to obtain from your neighbor a right of passage because you will have to go through its plot to reach the public highway (article 682 of the Civil Code).

As soon as your land is accessible, it is possible to make it viable. Servicing consists in connecting the ground to the various networks: drinking water, electricity, gas, sanitation, or telecoms / internet. For connection to water and sewage, contact your town hall. For other networks, you will have to contact directly the suppliers with whom you wish to subscribe (or the owners of the networks concerned): ENEDIS (ex-ERDF) for electricity, GRDF for city gas, and your supplier of internet access.

Servicing can represent a significant cost: from 5,000 to 15,000 € depending on the distance between your land and VRD connections (Voirie and Réseaux Divers) and the various taxes to be paid.

3. 1. Big work

The structural work is the set of works which contribute to the solidity and stability of the building. It includes the following operations:

  • Ditching: most often carried out by a surveyor, this operation aims to delimit the location of future construction and pipelines using numbered stakes. This step is essential in order to be able to carry out the plans of the house to build and precisely target the area to be disbursed.
  • Earthworks: it is a question here of preparing the ground where the future house will be held by moving large quantities of matter (earth, rocks…) from the ground. During this stage, the land will be dug to accommodate future foundations and pipelines, and the soil taken will either be used to fill certain cavities in the land or evacuated from the site.
  • Foundations: designed using concrete poured into trenches or formwork, the foundations form the basis of the house. They guarantee the stability and solidity of construction. Their depth will depend in particular on the nature of the soil, the type of construction envisaged, and the weight to be supported. It is advisable to carry out a soil study to define the most appropriate type of foundation.
  • Sanitation: sanitation is the system for the disposal of wastewater. Depending on the geographic area where your land is located, you will either have to connect to the collective sewerage network (all-to-the- sewer), or install an autonomous (or non-collective) sanitation system, thanks to the creation of a skeptical pit.
  • Underbasing: carried out by masons, this operation consists in placing directly on the foundations the lower part of the construction walls. The base allows both to support the overall structure and to protect the house from rising humidity. Depending on the terrain of the terrain and your budget, several types of foundations may be offered to you (inheritance, crawl space or basement).
  • Slapping: the slab is generally in the form of a reinforced concrete plate, which is either poured directly on the floor of the ground floor previously covered with a thermal insulation (slapping on solid ground), or on the lowest level (package on crawl space). In the latter case, the thermal insulation will be placed under the floor of the ground floor.
  • Elevation of the walls: the base of the construction being completed, places at the stage of the construction of the load-bearing walls, which will constitute the backbone of the house. Depending on the budget, the type of construction desired, and the thermal and acoustic performance sought, one of the following materials will most often be chosen to make the walls: brick, concrete, cellular concrete, or wood. There are also load-bearing walls made of raw earth or straw.
  • Load and cover (offwater): consisting of pieces of wood and metal, the frame supports the cover and contributes to maintaining the stability of the construction. The cover, meanwhile, aims to ensure perfect sealing of your roof. Different materials can be used to cover a roof: tiles, slates, zinc… The choice of coverage must be made in accordance with the town planning rules in force in your municipality.
  • Exterior joinery (off-of-air): it is a question here of placing the windows and doors which give on the outside of the house, but also the shutters. Outdoor joinery plays an important role because it contributes to the insulation of your interior and provides the necessary brightness in your living rooms.

3. 2. Second work

The second work aims to make the house habitable by bringing occupants optimal comfort of life. There are different works of second work:

  • Insulation and partitioning: insulation is a step not to be overlooked when building a house. Indeed, it is much more expensive to isolate a house as part of a renovation rather than making it during a construction. Insulation can be done from the outside (most effective, but also the most expensive), from the inside, or be directly integrated into the building material. The insulation phase is generally associated with that of the arrangement of the parts. Indeed, it is generally the same trades which deal with the insulation and the installation of interior partitions (plasterers-plaquists). We will take advantage of the installation of partitions to integrate electrical ducts.
  • Plumbing: the plumbing will consist in installing the piping and evacuation network in order to supply water to the parts concerned: kitchen, bathroom, laundry room… Then, it will be a question of installing sanitary equipment and the tapware: sink, toilet, sink, shower, or bathtub. Think of the water arrivals that could prove practical: in the garage, on an exterior wall of the house (for watering the garden), in the basement, in the attic (in case you fit it in the future)… The plumber will also install the water heater.
  • Electricity: the installation of electricity can be carried out at the same time as the plumbing. This involves passing the electrical cables through the sheaths, setting up the counter and the electrical panel. We can then install the sockets (including a socket on the terrace, for your summer evenings or certain gardening tools), the switches and exits for lighting (for future spots, ceiling lights, wall lights…). To avoid surprises (taken hidden behind a piece of furniture, for example), position the sockets according to the furniture and electrical devices that will equip the parts. Also think of installing cables linked to electrical equipment such as rolling shutters, the electrical gate, or the alarm system.
  • Heating and air conditioning: it is during this stage that the heating device and the radiators will be installed. Consider setting up an efficient and energy efficient system, such as a very high energy performance boiler (THPE) with gas or fuel oil, or a heat pump. If you want to have an air conditioning system, know that it will work more efficiently if it is installed during the construction of the house rather than afterwards.
  • Ventilation: to ensure good renewal of the ambient air and avoid condensation, a house must have efficient ventilation. To ensure this ventilation, there are different VMC systems (controlled mechanical ventilation): the self-adjustable VMC, the hygroreglable VMC, and the double flux VMC. Combined with good insulation, double flow VMC is the most effective solution because its operation limits heat loss, which reduces your heating bill.

3. 3. Finishes

The finishes designate the final stage of construction work: interior design and decoration. The finishes include the following works:

  • Floor coverings: to choose the floor coverings, you will have to take into account different parameters: the use of the parts, the desired aesthetics, as well as the ease of maintenance. In a damp room (bathroom, kitchen, WC …), we will lay a waterproof floor: tiles, lino, laminate resistant to humidity, or even an exotic wooden parquet. In the living room or the rooms, we will rather focus on a resistant, warm and easy to maintain floor: massive or laminated parquet (too fragile for a child’s bedroom), tiles, lino…
  • Wall coverings and paints: wall coverings must be chosen according to the type of part and the aesthetics sought. An easy to clean coating will be preferred in a kitchen or bathroom: tiles, washable paint, washable vinyl paper-painted or intissued… For living rooms, the choice is almost unlimited: paint, wallpaper, paneling, concrete, cork… Give free rein to your imagination !
  • Interior joinery: this stage of construction concerns the interior layout of your home. It was then that the interior doors, their handles, the baseboards, the formwork to hide the apparent pipes, and the recessed furniture were placed (tailor-made furniture such as a dressing room, a library, or closets). We will also install kitchen and bathroom furniture, as well as stairs.
  • Inner lighting: good lighting helps to feel good at home and allows you to create different atmospheres depending on the rooms where you are located. It must be chosen with care, because it also has a utility function. Multiply the light points in each living room to vary the atmospheres (dynamic or sieved). In the living room, remember to install a ceiling light, which will allow general lighting of the room, as well as sconces, floor lamps and lamps to be placed in the areas you want to light up specifically (low table, sofa, buffet…). Also remember to put direct lighting over certain strategic areas: the kitchen worktop and the sink, the table you eat on, the bathroom sink, wall lights on each side of your bed…
  • Facade work: depending on the appearance you want to give to your future home, the type of insulation chosen (from the inside or from the outside), and the local urban plan (PLU), you may want to cover your exterior walls with a cladding (wooden, PVC, metal…), a plaster, or even a veneer (stone, terracotta, concrete…). Whatever coating you choose, remember that it must be maintained regularly in order to be able to withstand lasting external aggressions (pollution, bad weather, UV). More info in our guide on front facelift

3. 4. Outdoor development

The layout of the outside of your home aims to secure its perimeter, make its surroundings pleasant and practical, and enhance it. Many development works can be undertaken:

  • Terrasse and cleaning of the ground: this phase consists in modeling the ground to create different zones: the location of the aisles of the garden, the terrace, the garden shelter, the massifs / flower beds (which will group together flowers, shrubs …), vegetable garden, swimming pool… We will take care to evacuate all parasitic plants, rocks, waste… in order to obtain clean land. If you plan to install a buried automatic sprinkler system, now is the perfect time to do so.
  • Terrace: it must be large enough to be able to dispose of the garden furniture and install all the occupants of the house (and even more, if you are used to receiving guests). If necessary, plan an area dedicated to relaxation, where you can install trats, garden sofas and coffee table. With regard to materials, you will mainly have the choice between a wooden terrace (on stilts, pads or studs) or a more traditional terrace, consisting of a concrete slab covered with a floor covering (square, paving stone , natural stone…).
  • Garden alleys and access to the garage: if you most often favor straight-line aisles for convenience, know that curved aisles will give more depth to your land. For access allowing the passage of a mower, have a width of 1.50 m minimum. If it is just a question of allowing the circulation of pedestrians, 80 cm wide will suffice. In front of the entrance to the garage, it will be necessary to carry out a earthworks to be able to support the frequent passage of vehicles. For this access route, provide a width between 3 and 4 m. Regarding the floor covering, we will rather choose self-locking cobblestones (stable and easy to maintain) for the garage entrance. For garden aisles, you have a wide choice: gravel, cobblestones, slabs, concrete, wood, bitumen…
  • Closure and portal: although this is to secure its plot, do not forget that it is possible to reconcile security and aestheticism. Indeed, many possibilities are available to you to delimit your garden according to your budget, the rendering and the desired robustness: roasting, vegetable hedge (combined or not with a mesh), blackout panels (in wood, PVC , aluminum…), concrete fence… Then think of the gate and the gate of the garage entrance, which must also ensure the security of your home while remaining aesthetic. They are available in many materials (alu, PVC, steel, wood…), with sliding opening or swing doors, motorized or not… to adapt to everyone’s needs.
  • Outdoor lighting: whether for decorative or practical reasons, it may be interesting to light the outside of your house. If it is a question of illuminating the entrance to the garage or of protecting the surroundings of your house, perhaps consider installing luminaires fitted with presence detectors (generally in the form of wall sconces). To mark your aisles, opt for solar terminals or embedded spots, which will provide discreet but sufficient lighting. Finally, for the entrance to your house or your terrace, turn to wall sconces or street lights for general lighting, and add room lights such as spots embedded on the ground, terminals, or bright objects.
  • Other exterior facilities: of course, many other facilities can be envisaged to enhance your garden: garden shed, outbuilding, swimming pool, outdoor cooking…

Before moving into your new home, remember that you will have to subscribe to your future suppliers of water, electricity, gas or even telephony / internet. To have a global vision of the different internet service providers and choose the offer that best suits you, it may be interesting to go through a telecom comparator.

Step 4: reception of the house

The long-awaited moment has finally arrived: the stage of receiving your home ! In the presence of the manufacturer or the architect, you will verify that the work has been completed in accordance with the construction contract and the plans. It will then be necessary to carry out a complete visit of the house, in particular by checking:

  • plumbing: open all the cabinets in the accommodation and flush the toilet, making sure that the water flow is suitable and that you get hot water or cold water. Check that no leakage occurs at the valves, siphons, fittings…
  • electricity: test an electrical appliance at each outlet of the accommodation and try to operate all the switches at the same time (provide, if possible, as many sockets and bulbs as possible). Make sure that the planned sockets and switches are present.
  • heating system and ventilation: operate the heating (and make sure the radiators heat enough) and the VMC
  • the surface of the parts: check that the surfaces planned at the start are well respected (including that of the garage).
  • floors, walls and ceilings: check the general condition of coatings (cracks, tasks, shocks, irregularities…) interior and exterior.
  • doors and windows: test the opening and closing of all doors and windows, check for any leaks, and try the locks. Test the opening and closing of the rolling flaps and the door handles.
  • various equipment: check the condition and quality of installation of the bathtub, shower, sink…
  • the sanitary vacuum, the cellar and the attic: inspect them carefully (including insulation, for the attic), making sure that they do not have any hole likely to let certain pests pass (rats, birds…).
  • roofing and zinc plating: make sure of the good condition of the roof by taking enough recoil and the tightness of the gutters.

Once the reception visit has been completed, you have 3 options:

  • If no defect is found, you (and the contractor in charge of construction) can then sign the acceptance report without reservations. It is also at this time that the balance of the amount of the acquisition will have to be settled.
  • If you notice any malfunctions, but the accommodation is habitable as it is, you can accept the reception by mentioning reservations in the minutes. You will then have to, in agreement with the contractor, set the deadline under which the faults must be repaired.
  • If you find that the work is incomplete or non-compliant with the initial plans, you can decide to refuse reception of the site. You will then agree with the contractor on a new date of receipt. In the absence of an agreement, you will have to refer the matter to the judge to ensure that the work is completed.

The date of signature of the acceptance report constitutes the starting point for the various legal guarantees (completion perfect, proper functioning, and ten-year).


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