In most cases, the stages that builders will go through to build a home are pretty standard. This general process used by practically everyone when building a new house ensures that the construction process is efficient and complete.
The Lock Up Stage is the point at which you can literally lock up your home. This means that all the external doors as well as all the windows have already been installed and are working properly. Naturally, this means your home is much more secure than it was prior, and is a major milestone for the builder and customer when building a new home.
At this stage, things of value, such as appliances or other fixtures can already be placed within the home. Because you’re able to lock up your home, the chances of these things being stolen are significantly less. However, it is often the case that people choose to bring in the most expensive appliances when the home is being handed over.
This stage is important for the same reason people lock their homes up at night on a regular basis: theft. GM real estate stated: “believe it or not, fixtures, appliances, and other things actually get stolen from construction sites fairly often.” In fact, appliances usually aren’t covered by your builder’s insurance plan unless those appliances are physically installed or attached to your home.”
For that same reason, builders like to be able to safely lock up before they install fixtures and fittings to the interior of your home. In addtion, the lock up stage is usually the same time a somewhat large payment is made to the builder, as you will be well into the process of constructing your home by this time. Keep in mind that you don’t really get your own key yet. Your job at this point is to become knowledgeable and communicate with your builder so that you can inspect your home properly.
What should you expect in the Lock Up Stage?
In practice, it is good to have the expectations this stage specifically stipulated in your contract.
Being able to lock up usually means the following elements have been installed or are in use:
- External doors (can be locked)
- Windows of any kind (can also be locked)
- External walls (usually including any cladding or brickwork)
- Any sort of building or wall wrap (if applicable)
- Ceilings and cornices as well as their fascia and soffit boards
- Waterproofing (in wet areas), although usually tiling would not be laid down
- Plaster or insulation or any sort of lining / rendering on the walls
These are subject to change depending on your builder as well as the type of home being built, so it’s usually best to just go over everything with your builder.
Most especially in cases where your doors are a bit ornate or expensive, your builder may opt to install temporary doors to avoid any accidental damage that might occur over the course of construction.
Waterproofing at Lock Up
In many cases, the lock up inspection also doubles as the waterproofing inspection. Because the tiling has not been done but waterproofing should be finished, this is the opportune moment to check that as well. There could be many inconvenient issues down the road because of poor waterproofing, so it’s important to talk to your builder about when you can schedule your lock up inspection to also have a look at waterproofing.