Project Planning

Project Planning

Project Planning

Building a home is a once in a lifetime experience for most people. If this is true for you, you will probably have lots of questions. This page is designed to help you think through all aspects of the build. A well thought out building experience is fun and exciting, while the opposite is certainly true if you build a home without much forethought or use an inexperienced contractor. At Black Creek, we enjoy helping our clients through all the decisions that need to be made and can assure you a pleasant and relaxing experience with no surprises. We would love to sit down with you and answer your questions and discuss with you the many options available to make your home everything you always wanted! Allow us to put our expertise to work for you as you build the home of your dreams.

Your Lot

  • Lot Grade: Will a basement or walk-out basement work on my property? How much fill or digging will be required to put the house where I want to?
  • House Orientation: How can I best use my lot as I orient my home to take advantage of grade and sunlight.
  • Weather Conditions: Consider the location of the house with the direction the wind will blow the rain and snow during a storm.
  • Driveway: Consider the type of driveway you would like to have. Make sure you look at length and width in your considerations.
  • Utilities: Be sure to take into account all the utilities that will need to come in and out of your building. They could include electric, water, septic, phone, cable, gas, etc. Planning ahead makes a huge difference!
  • Septic: Your lot will need to include a septic system or line to the street and there is a specific process that you will need to go through in order to make that happen. Black Creek will be glad to help you through that process.
  • Permits: A permit will be needed in order to start your project. There could also be local ordinances that you will need to consider as you design your home as well.


  • Siding: There are many different types of sidings that you will be able to choose from. Make sure you ask your Black Creek Sales Consultant for all the options in your area.
  • Porch Railings: There are a number of railing options: log, composite, pressure treated and even wrought iron!
  • Outside Plumbing and Electrical: Outdoor plumbing and electrical is important to be thinking about when designing the exterior of your home. Will I have a garden? Where will I wash my car? Where will I plug in my Christmas lights? Will we want spotlights? Do we want keyless entries? All good things to be thinking about in the design phase of your build.
  • Pets: If you have pets you may want to consider entry doors for your animals. There are a number of different options on the market!
  • Roofing: You will want to be thinking what type of roofing material you would like on your new home. Architectural shingles and painted metal roofing are the two main products offered here in Northern PA.
  • Windows: You will have several different options when it comes to windows for your home. We would love to help you make the best choice that will meet all your needs.


  • Steps: When designing your home make sure you give the adequate space needed for the steps. They will take up more space than you think.
  • Railings: Your steps will require railings and hand rails. There are lots of options!
  • Flooring: You will need to pick flooring for every room in your house. Make sure you are thinking about what types of flooring and where you would see transitions.
  • Heating and Cooling: You will also be able to pick different types of heating systems for your home. Your main options would include forced air, geothermal, hot water baseboard, mini-splits, radiant, or electric.
  • Kitchen: You will find there are many options available for you in your kitchen design. We will sit down with you and help you plan and layout a well organized and good flowing kitchen. Start to think about how much you would like to invest in your kitchen!
  • Light Fixtures: We ask our customer to pick out their own light fixtures. We will purchase and install, but the lights fixtures are one of custom features you will get to pick out!
  • Faucets: You will be able to pick out all your faucets that will put some of the finishing touches on your home.
  • Chimneys and Fireplace: A custom fireplace is a nice touch to any home. Consider how you could incorporate a wood stove or fireplace in your new home!


Your project will go through many different phases. See details below:

  • Dream & Design: This phase is where we will take your dreams and get them down on paper. This will allow you to start to see not only a floor plan but also an external view of your home. We could also get some colors worked into your drawing for you to be able to see just what it will look like.
  • Pricing: We will take the final drawings that the architect has completed and generate a price for the project! We will often want to do a site visit before we finalize any pricing. This gives us an opportunity to put a solid number to your excavation and utilities.
  • Contract: Once we have a price, we will write up a contract and description of work to be done. No surprises along the way are good for everyone! We will attempt to put together a very detailed project description for you, however, there will be things you think of after this phase that you would like to incorporate into your home. Not a problem at all! We will give you a change order showing these changes or additions along with the associated expense and then you can decide if you want to proceed with the changes. No extra costs ever without your permission first. What you sign your name to is what you will pay, not a penny more!
  • Excavation: This will be one of the most exciting phases of your build. We will meet with you several times to make sure we have the corners set and the house exactly positioned the way you would like to see it. This phase will go from digging the initial basement to backfilling, grading, and digging all the utilities to the house.
  • Foundation: Your foundation will be installed after the excavation is complete. You will see the initial footprint of your home when this in finished!
  • Framing: The framing phase goes fast. Normally with 2-4 weeks (depending on the size of the home), your home can be under roof, windows installed, siding installed, interior framing complete, and backfilled around the exterior. You will be able to get a real feel for your house after this phase.
  • Rough plumbing, electrical, and HVAC: Once all the walls are up it’s time to get all the rough plumbing, electrical, and HVAC work done. All drain and water lines, ductwork, and wiring will be run in the walls throughout the house.
  • Insulation: The next step would be to get that house insulated. There are a number of different products that could be used to insulate your home. Anything from fiberglass, spray-foam, and cellulose are just a few of the options. We will help you understand the pros and cons of each product to help you make the best choice for your home. - Wall Coverings: Once the home is insulated we will start with all the wall coverings. That could be drywall, tongue & groove wood, paneling, etc. Obviously, at the end of this phase, walls and ceilings are primed and painted.
  • Finish plumbing, electrical, and HVAC: After all the walls an finished we will be finishing up all the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC in the house. This will include the heating and a/c system, installing all electrical outlets, switches, and lights, and connecting all the water lines and drains to vanities, kitchen sink, etc.
  • Kitchen, Appliances, and Flooring: Some of the very last steps and phases are the kitchen, appliances, and flooring. Once they are installed, you know you will be moving in soon!
  • Final Walk Through: Before you move in we will do a final walk-through taking down any notes of things that need to be finished or repaired. We will take that list and get it completely ready for your final inspection!
  • Move In Phase: After our final inspection, it’s time to move in and enjoy making new memories in your custom home!!!