Understanding The Home Construction Components That Make Up Your Home

Home under construction

Many home construction components go into the building of a home. Therefore, understanding home construction may give you a better insight into maintaining your home. 

If you are thinking of updating your home, pay careful attention to these important components before spending money. Check out this recent blog post if you are thinking about completing some updates.


Construction begins with a good foundation. The first step is pouring footers to anchor the foundation walls. A common practice used to be to construct walls out of cinder blocks. However, as construction evolved, the use of poured concrete walls became more common.

Water penetration into a foundation can be one of the most costly issues faced by homeowners. In addition, water in the soil can also cause erosion which may affect the settling of the foundation.


Once the foundation is complete, the following home construction component is the framing of the house. It is during this stage that your home begins to take shape. Framing a home may be done on-site or using manufactured wall panels. A manufactured wall panel is built off-site to the home’s specifications and then delivered to the construction site saving time and labor constraints.

Again, water penetration can occur through a roof or window leak that can rot the framing of the home’s interior. Also, wood-boring insects such as termites and carpenter ants can damage the wood of the home’s framework.


The next step in construction is from the roof. Typically, plywood is attached to the framework. Underlayment is placed before the shingles are attached. To protect your home from the elements, you need shingles and flashing installed. Additionally, installing ventilation will allow hot air from the interior of your home to escape. Roof vents will prolong the life of your roof. 

Metal roofs are becoming popular and last longer than shingle roofs.

Roof leaks commonly occur around pipe vents and chimneys. Also, as your roof ages, you will want to watch for deteriorating and missing shingles. 

Window and Doors

Once the home is under roof, the next step is to install the windows and doors. Again, there are many types and styles to choose. The style of your home often dictates the style of the window, but the level of quality can vary.

There is a wide range of door types to select. Choices include a solid door, sidelights, or doors with partial glass.

The frame of windows and doors is usually a concern. If an entry does not have a roof or eve over it to protect from the elements, the wooden framework around the door can deteriorate.


There are two components of plumbing; supply and drainage. Pressurizing supply lines push the water to your faucets. The pipes must be strong to withstand the pressure. Copper piping was and remains an acceptable material, but PEX tubing is becoming a more popular choice because it is easier to install and harder to break. 

Drain lines are not pressurized, and therefore, different materials can be used. PVC pipe is a common choice in new construction. Many older homes will have cast-iron pipes. 

Plumbing issues arise from leaks around the toilet or bathtub. Pipes can also clog. Pay attention to any problems as quickly as possible to avoid a costly repair.


A home construction component you would never imagine living without is your electrical system. The power enters the home through an electric panel, and circuits distribute the energy throughout the house. 

GFCI or grounded outlets are necessary around areas of water on the interior and exterior of the home. 

Electrical issues are unpredictable but do not frequently happen in a younger home.

Heating & Cooling

Another essential home construction component is the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system. Here in Brooklyn, we need both heating and an air conditioning system. In some areas of the country, you may only need one or the other.

The standard today is a central forced-air system. But, there are other options available as well. Keeping your home at an optimal temperature will allow you to remain comfortable regardless of the season.

The life expectancy of most systems is 10-15 years. Therefore, changing your air filters regularly will help you prolong the life of your HVAC system. You should also have your system checked annually or per the manufacture’s recommendation.


The exterior walls of your home will be covered with some type of material. Brick exterior has been a time-tested material but more expensive than siding. There are many types of siding, but the most popular are vinyl, wood, and fiber cement siding. 

All types of siding are effective at protecting your home from the outdoor elements. 

Examine the exterior siding of your home at regular intervals to be sure there is no damage or missing pieces.


Gutters catch the water running down from the roof and direct it away from the home through downspouts. The key is to keep moisture away from the foundation of your home to prevent damage. 

Keeping gutters clean and free of debris will allow them to function correctly and help to prevent ice build-up in the cold winter months.

Soffit and Fascia

The soffit is the underside of the overhang where the roof’s edge meets the siding. The soffit is vented and allows your home to breathe, regulating the temperatures. The fascia is the side of the overhang that gives your roof a finished appearance.

These parts are usually a maintenance-free material, but they do need attention. The soffit and fascia can become damaged over time and require replacement to ensure it continues to protect your home.


Finishing the interior of the home is an exciting time where things start to take shape. Modern construction adopted the use of drywall (also known as sheetrock) over plaster walls. Drywall is attached to the studs that frame the home. 

The seams between the sheets of drywall are taped and finished to create a smooth appearance. 

Selecting the appropriate finish of paint for the area will help to protect the surface of the drywall. Generally, a higher gloss in the finish of the paint will make it easier to clean.

Finish Carpentry

We often refer to finish carpentry as interior doors, cabinets, baseboards, crown molding, and railings. Trim around doors and windows complete the appearance. Trim is used in many areas to complete the home’s aesthetic by covering gaps where different materials meet.

Crown moulding is a decorative ceiling trim that elevates the look of a room. In addition, there is cabinetry in the kitchen, baths, and built-ins throughout the home.

Routine cleaning and maintenance are needed.


Flooring is the last of the home construction components we will be reviewing. Many different types of flooring are available. Styles in flooring change frequently and will depend on the function of the room. Hardwood, tile, and carpeting are classic choices. However, newer vinyl plank floors are durable and stand up to high traffic areas and pets well. 

Different types of flooring require separate maintenance and have various life expectancies. Check with the manufacturer for care instructions.

There are many home construction components. Knowing their function will help you understand the importance of caring for each element. Additionally, regular home maintenance is required no matter the age of your home.

It is helpful to create a seasonal checklist, so you don’t forget anything. Follow these seasonal checklists in this useful New York Times article.

Contact me, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. As a Brooklyn real estate agent with over 30 years of experience, I have learned what home areas are important to maintaining. I can be reached by phone at (718) 253-9500 ext. 1901 or by email at [email protected].

Charles D'Allesandro

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