Home construction or residential construction is the process of constructing a house, apartment building, or similar residential building generally referred to as a 'home' when giving consideration to the people who might now or someday reside there. Beginning with simple pre-historic shelters, home construction techniques have evolved to produce the vast multitude of living accommodations available today. Different levels of wealth and power have warranted various sizes, luxuries, and even defenses in a "home". Environmental considerations and cultural influences have created an immensely diverse collection of architectural styles, creating a wide array of possible structures for homes.
The cost of housing and access to it is often controlled by the modern realty trade, which frequently has a certain level of market force speculation. The level of economic activity in the home-construction section is reported as housing starts, though this is contrarily denominated in terms of distinct habitation units, rather than distinct construction efforts. 'Housing' is also the chosen term in the related concepts of housing tenure, affordable housing, and housing unit (aka dwelling). Four of the primary trades involved in home construction are carpenters, masons, electricians and plumbers, but there are many others as well.
Global access to homes is not consistent around the world, with many economies not providing adequate support for the right to housing. Sustainable Development Goal 11 includes a goal to create "Adequate, safe, and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums". Based on current and expected global population growth, UN habitat projects needing 96,000 new dwelling units built each day to meet global demands. An important part of housing construction to meet this global demand, is upgrading and retrofitting existing buildings to provide adequate housing.
While homes may have originated in pre-history, there are many notable stages through which cultures pass to reach the current level of modernization. Countries and communities throughout the world currently exhibit very diverse concepts of housing, at many different stages of home development.
Two methods for constructing a home can be distinguished: the method in which architects simply assume free choice of materials and parts, and the method in which reclaimed materials are used, and the house is thus during its entire construction a "work in progress" (meaning every single aspect of it is subject to change at any given time, depending on what materials are found).
The second method has been used throughout history, as materials have always been scarce.
In Britain, there is comparatively little demand for innovative homes produced through radically different production methods, materials, and components. Over the years, a combination of trade protectionism and technical-product conservatism all round has also stymied the growth of indigenous producers of housing products such as aluminum cladding and curtain walling, wall tiles, advanced specialist ironmongery, and structural steel.
Civil Site Plans, Architectural Drawings and Specifications comprise the document set needed to construct a new home. Specifications consist of a precise description of the materials to be used in construction. Specifications are typically organized by each trade required to construct a home.
The modern family home has many more systems and facets of construction than one might initially believe. With sufficient study, an average person can understand everything there is to know about any given phase of home construction. The do it yourself (DIY) boom of the late twentieth century was due, in large part, to this fact. And an international proliferation of kitset home and prefabricated home suppliers, often consisting of components of Chinese origin has further increased supply and made DIY home building more prevalent.
The process often starts with a planning stage in which plans are prepared by an architect and approved by the client and any regulatory authority. Then the site is cleared, foundations are laid and trenches for connection to services such as sewerage, water, and electricity are established. If the house is wooden-framed, a framework is constructed to support the boards, siding and roof. If the house is of brick construction, then courses of bricks are laid to construct the walls. Floors, beams and internal walls are constructed as the building develops, with plumbing and wiring for water and electricity being installed as appropriate. Once the main structure is complete, internal fitting with lights and other fitments is done, Decorate home and furnished with furniture, cupboards, carpets, curtains and other fittings.[better source needed]
The cost of building a house varies by country widely. According to data from the National Association of Realtors, the median cost of buying an existing single-family house in the United States is $274,600, whereas the average cost to build is $296,652. Several different factors can impact the cost of building a house, including the size of the dwelling, the location, and availability of resources, the slope of the land, the quality of the fixtures and fittings, and the difficulty in finding construction and building materials talent. Some of the typical expenses involved in a site cost can be connections to services such as water, sewer, electricity, and gas; fences; retaining walls; site clearance (trees, roots, bushes); site survey; soil tests.
According to data from the U.S. Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics found the average floor area of a home in the United States has steadily increased over the past one hundred years, with an estimated 18.5 square foot increase in the average floor area per year. In 1920, the average floor area was 1,048 square feet (97.4 m2), which rose to 1,500 square feet (140 m2) by 1970 and today sits at around 2,261 square feet (210.1 m2).
Some have criticized the house-building industry. Mass house-builders can be risk averse, preferring cost-efficient building methods rather than adopting new technologies for improved building performance. Traditional vernacular building methods that suit local conditions and climates can be dispensed with in favour of a generic 'cookie cutter' housing type.