McArthur New Homes Utah - Home Buying Process

"We love the look and style of our Salt Lake City Home and would recommend them to anybody. The whole process of going to the design studio and making our personal selections was quick and easy. We thank you for a great home building experience!"

-- Mike & Crystal

Purpose of the Homebuyer’s Guidebook

We have developed this guide to help you understand the many steps involved in building your home, as well as the procedures used by McArthur Homes.  By reviewing this guide early, you will have a better understanding of the workings of our company and understand your role, and required time commitment, in building a new home for your family.  Naturally, there are several policies and schedules that must be adhered to in order to build a new home; the more familiar you are with these, the smoother and more enjoyable the experience will be for you and your family.

Table of Contents

Sales Agreement and Financing Your New Home. 1

Complete the Sales Agreement 1

Loan Application. 1

List Existing Home for Sale with Licensed Agent 1

Home Selling Hints. 2

Personalizing Your New Home. 3

Procedures for Personalizing Your Home. 3

Structural Selections. 3

Confirm Plot Plan. 3

Permit Submitted by Salt Lake City Homes. 4

Exterior Selections. 3

Equipment Selections. 3

Salt Lake City Homes Design Studio. 4

Design Studio Guided Tour 4

Design Studio Preview Hours. 5

Design Selections Meeting. 5

Home Start Meeting. 7

Construction Deposit 8

Procedures for Special Requests. 8

Procedures for Late Change Requests. 10

What are Late Change Requests. 10

Pricing for Late Change Requests. 11

Understanding the Construction Planning Process. 12

Begin Building New Home: Construction Phase. 13

Foundation. 13

Framing. 13

Pre-drywall Inspection. 14

Drywall and Paint 17

Exterior Finishes. 17

Interior Finishes. 17

Preparation for Closing.. 18

Detailing of Home. 18

Company Inspection. 18

New Home Orientation Tour 19

Closing.. 19

Completion of Orientation Tour Noted Items. 19

Warranty Service. 19

Homeowner Maintenance. 19

If you have any questions, as always, please contact your Community Sales Manager; they are always anxious to help you.

Sales Agreement and Financing Your New Home

Complete the Sales Agreement

After completing the Sales Agreement with your Community Sales Manager, the agreement is reviewed by McArthur Homes’ Sales Manager to insure that the Agreement represents accurately all included features of the home at that time, as well as pricing for the home and homesite, accuracy of addenda, and other details to the agreement.  Upon occasion, it may be necessary to correct or clarify inaccuracies in the original agreement as written.  If this occurs, your Community Sales Manager will contact you to complete the necessary changes.  Once everything is in order, a company officer will sign the paperwork to complete the agreement.  A signed copy of the complete agreement will be mailed to you from our main office at the address provided in the agreement.

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Loan Application

You should make application for permanent financing within 7 days of the Agreement Date.  This will provide sufficient time for approval. Permanent financing is the loan you will receive to purchase the home when the home is completed.   (Salt Lake City Homes will provide all construction financing, which is used during the construction of the home.) It is entirely your responsibility to select, apply and provide the required information to your chosen loan officer. 

We highly recommend you use our preferred lender(s) for your permanent financing.  They have worked successfully for several years with Salt Lake City Homes and our buyers.  Because they are familiar with our homes and processes they are able to provide the smoothest and most hassle-free financing experience to our homebuyers.  We coordinate closely with them to assist in making this important part of the home investment goes well for you.  We can not offer the same endorsement, or service, for any other lender(s).  Experience has proven that the vast majority of problems with a buyer’s permanent financing are connected with the buyer’s insistence on using a different lender, often a “personal friend” or “close relative”.  This is a stress you don’t need as you try to complete this important investment. 

When you apply for a loan you will typically need to provide the following items:

1.      W-2 Forms from previous two years

2.      Names of Banks and account numbers for all savings and checking accounts

3.      Names of Lenders and balances of all loans, including home, car, boat, home equity lines, student loans etc.

4.      Tax returns from previous two years if self-employed

5.      Appraisal Fee (typically about $350)

6.      Credit Report Fee (typically about $30)

Your lender should then provide to you a “Pre-Approval” letter stating that you are qualified to purchase a home at a given purchase price pending final verification of certain items.  Please provide this pre-approval letter to your Community Sales Manager within 14 days of writing the Agreement.

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List Existing Home for Sale with Licensed Agent

If you have a home to sell as a condition of your new home purchase, an “Addendum C, Acceptance of Contingent Offer” should be completed.  If you have not already done so, we ask that you meet with a real estate agent for a comparative market analysis on your existing home.  This information will help determine the right asking price for your home.  It is important for us to know as early as possible if the sale of your home is likely or not.

While there is no obligation to you through the presentation of the comparative marketing analysis, it is our experience that homes listed with real estate professionals sell more quickly than those sold directly by Owner.  In order for us to take on the risk of building a new home to your specifications, we need to be confident that your home will sell and close prior to the completion of the home we are constructing.

If you have not already decided on a Real Estate Professional to assist you in selling your home, Salt Lake City Realty can help you.  In addition to the Community Sales Managers that are dedicated to the sales of new homes at our communities, we also have professionals dedicated to the Resale market.  Ask your Community Sales Manager for contact information for one of these skilled professionals.

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Home Selling Hints

We understand selling your current home is as important as purchasing your new one.  So, to help you we have compiled a list of ideas to create an irresistible home that prospective buyers won’t be able to forget.

1.      When a prospective buyer drives up, a clean yard can make all the difference.

2.      Put all the kids’ bikes and toys in the garage or storage.  Remove the clutter.

3.      Cut back all shrubs and trees that are covering windows making rooms dark.

4.      Keep an abundance of flowers in front and back yards.

5.      Clean pools and fountains.  Have fountains running when showing the house.

6.      Once inside your home the buyer should enter a warm and inviting atmosphere.  If you have a music system, leave it on softly in all rooms.  If not, hide individual radios throughout the house.  Make sure the volume is always soft.  Be sure you use a quiet, non-offensive station.

7.      Have three light sources per room and leave lights on when showing your home.

8.      Keep all lighting fixtures clean and in good working condition.  Watch for burned out light bulbs.  Update light fixtures in dining room and hallways if necessary.

9.      Tile, vinyl and wood should be kept clean and in good condition.  Flooring should be light color and simple pattern.

10.  Have your carpet cleaned if necessary and vacuumed at all times.  If the carpet is in bad condition, replace it.  A neutral color is always best.

11.  Keep handrails clean and polished.  If needed, paint all handrails and caps a light/neutral color.

12.  Arrange furniture to allow an easy traffic flow.  Remove any unnecessary furniture that might clutter the room.  Keep furniture clean and in good condition.

13.  All rooms should be cleaned and well organized.  Avoid excess clutter.  Box up all unnecessary household items that only take up space.

14.  Clean all windowsills, windows and window treatments.

15.  Add new window treatments (if necessary) that won’t obstruct views.  Make sure existing window treatments are not worn out, faded or frayed.  Keep all window treatments open, allowing the natural light to flow in.

16.  Keep fresh flowers throughout the house while showing

17.  Paint all walls a neutral color, e.g. white or almond.

18.  Dust and clean fireplace, including mantel and hearth.

19.  Keep fireplace burning in the winter.

20.  Set table with place settings, silverware and fresh flowers in dining room.

21.  Keep storage spaces clean and organized.

22.  Clean all kitchen appliances inside and out, hoods and vents.

23.  Clean debris from luminous ceiling panels.

24.  Dust and polish cabinetry with wood polish.

25.  Keep refrigerator clean and smelling sweet.

26.  For a special touch bake apples with cinnamon for a warm pleasing “homey” kitchen scent.

27.  Keep closets and cabinets cleaned and organized.  Prospects will open doors and cabinets.

28.  Re-grout, if necessary, floors and counter tops where hard surface has been soiled.

29.  Be sure the garage is clean and organized.

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Personalizing Your New Salt Lake City Home

The ability to personalize your home with a wide variety of selections is one of the great benefits of building a new home.  At Salt Lake City Homes we want you to enjoy this benefit of building.  We have found the best way to personalize a home is careful planning BEFORE construction starts.  Most likely, you have started to consider, discuss and perhaps even request pricing on some selections before you completed the Sales Agreement.  This is excellent, and we want to help you in every way possible to fully consider the choices available to you.  You should receive a complete list of all Available Personal Selections that pertain to your chosen home and neighborhood upon acceptance of the agreement.  This is typically provided to you by your Community Sales Manager.  Please review these available selections carefully.

Because there are over eight hundred selections to choose from, most buyers find everything they are looking for on our list of Available Personal Selections.  We have worked hard to select the most popular and trouble-free products to offer our customers.  For those few buyers who might be looking for something different, we have a procedure in place for Special Requests (see page 8). 

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Procedures for Personalizing Your Home

Some personalized selections are made with your Community Sales Manager, and others are made at the Design Studio.  It is important to begin to consider your selections immediately so that you may finalize and authorize your selections by the agreed upon deadlines.

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Structural Selections

All the selections which affect the structure of the home must be finalized within 14 days of the Agreement Date.  These would include such things as choice of elevation A or B, garage size and placement, flex space designs (i.e. study or 3rd bedroom), bay windows, finished basement space, and other framing changes which might be available.  These selections are completed with your Community Sales Manager.  It is important that these selections are finalized early because of their effect on other personal selections, such as flooring quantities and cabinetry.

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Exterior Selections

All items related to the exterior of the home such as exterior color pallet choice, exterior decks, patios, and landscaping are also completed with the Community Sales Manager.  These should be completed prior to your final meeting at the Design Studio where you will finalize and authorize all selections.  The Design Studio is not prepared to help you with the exterior of the home, so please complete this prior to your meeting with your Community Sales Manager.

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Equipment Selections

Selections such as electrical outlets, phone wiring, security systems, heating and cooling systems, and other equipment should be considered next.  These are also completed with the Community Sales Manager and should be completed at least 3 days before your Design Selections Final Meeting.

Confirm Plot Plan

A plot plan is part of the permit application made with the city.  It shows how the house will sit on the lot, where the easements are, and the orientation of the house.  Once approved by the city, this plot plan is then used by the field superintendent to stake the location of the house.

Often, the location of the house is pre-determined by the curb cuts for the driveway access, location of utilities, or some other factors.  In such cases, there may be little choice available to the Buyer regarding placement.  In some communities, there is more latitude in the placement of the house and driveway.  Your Community Sales Manager may review a layout with you and ask you to confirm its placement within 14 days after the Agreement Date.  If a choice is available, you may want to consider the following factors:

1.      South / West orientation for natural snow melting of driveway

2.      Views from living areas / bedrooms

3.      Avoiding views directly into homes across the street

4.      Variety of street scene

5.      Avoiding headlights coming into living area (on T-intersection)

6.      Landscaping or drainage issues

7.      Location of utility boxes, fire hydrants, street lights etc.

If no preference is stated, we will choose the orientation of the home using the same factors.

The location shown on the plot plan can vary within a couple feet to actual measurements at completion.

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Permit Submitted by Salt Lake City Homes

Typically, three conditions must be satisfied prior to submitting an application for a building permit.  These are:

1.      Written Loan Approval received by Salt Lake City Homes from your permanent lender

2.      Reviewed Plot plan

3.      All structural/ framing selections completed, and accepted by Salt Lake City Homes.

Building permits can cost tens of thousands of dollars and obtaining one is a time consuming process at most cities.  Changes are likewise costly.  Therefore, once a permit has been submitted, changing house plans, adding or deleting structural/ framing selections, altering the amount of finished space, or selecting a different lot, cannot be done.

Once the application for a building permit is submitted, it can take anywhere from a couple of days to several weeks for the city to issue the building permit.  The time required depend on the city, the nature of the plan, and the volume of applications the city is currently receiving.  At times, we may submit the permit prior to the payment of non-refundable construction deposit and therefore it is important that the 14 day structural selections be finalized and complete.

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Salt Lake City Homes Design Studio

Our state-of-the-art Design Studio is located at our main office on Redwood Road, in South Jordan, Utah.  The Community Sales Manager will help you schedule your appointment for your Design Studio Guided Tour and Design Selections Final Meeting at the time of completing your original agreement.  If this was not completed at that time, you should contact the Community Sales Manager immediately to schedule these appointments.

The Design Studio is nearly 2,000 SF and provides you with one-stop convenience in coordinating the hundreds of selections available.  As much as possible, we have tried to display large samples that assist in seeing the “real” look that is sometimes hard to visualize from smaller samples.  Additionally, we are able to present many of the selections in “life-like” vignettes to help visualize how the different selections might look in your home.  We believe the Design Studio to be the best in the state, and hope you find it helpful as you consider and finalize the important selections that will become part of your new home.

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Design Studio Guided Tour

To become familiar with the studio and its selections, so that you can make the most of your time as you preview prior to your Selection Meeting, we ask that everyone first attend a Design Studio Guided Tour, held each Saturday morning at 10:00 am, by appointment (space is limited).  You should schedule this with your Community Sales Manager right away to be completed within the first two Saturdays following the Agreement Date.

The group tour will introduce you to our brand new design studio, all the wonderful products available for your home, where you can find them at the studio, and important product information.  You should bring the catalog of selections with pricing that you will receive in the mail with you to the Guided Tour, (and all subsequent visits to the Design Studio). You may even meet some of your future neighbors as you begin the design selections process.

At the Design Studio Guided Tour, you will be provided worksheets to keep track of the personal selections to consider along with any choices you have made.  Use these throughout your preview visits to make sure you carefully consider all your choices in advance of the Design Studio Final Selections Meeting.

Please leave any children under 12 at home.  This is an important safety as well as procedural concern.  First, there are many large and heavy samples which are designed to be movable.  Children may injure themselves or others, or may damage the samples and displays.  Because the design studio is divided into separate areas it is impossible to watch and properly care for children.  But perhaps even more important is that we want you to be able to be 100% focused on choosing the selections for your home.  Our experience has taught us that children are often a significant distraction to both you and others who might be present.  When you are able to give the selection process the time and attention required, you will find it to be very enjoyable, even fun and exciting! 

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Design Studio Preview Hours

This is time set aside for you to come in and focus on making your preliminary design selections.  The Design Studio Preview Hours are

            Tuesday          4 – 6 pm

            Wednesday     4 – 6 pm

            Saturday          11am – 2 pm

The Design Consultant will be available to answer questions during preview hours, but generally not able to finalize and document selections for you. You are welcome to bring friends and adult family members (again, no children please) to look over the selections you might want to consider. This is also a great time to ask any additional questions you may have. If you are interested in a personal selection for your home that is not listed in our catalog, please speak to the Design Consultant about the possibility of a Special Request (see page 8) at this time. You are encouraged to come as often as you would like in the time leading up to your Final Design Selections Meeting.

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Design Selections Meeting

The Design Consultant will meet with you at our Design Studio to assist you in finalizing your selections for the interior of your home.  All exterior related choices should be made with your Community Sales Manager prior to this meeting.  At the conclusion of this meeting, you will finalize and authorize all of your personal selections. You should allow approximately two hours for this meeting.

Again, please do not bring small children with you to your Design Selections Meeting.  Also, other friends and family members should avoid attending—having too many people actually adds to the confusion and does not make selections easier for you. Your Design Selections Meeting should occur within 25 days of your Agreement Date.

Please do not come expecting to make additional Special Requests for items not in our List of Available Personal Choices during the meeting.  Estimating prices for special requests may require additional time for Salt Lake City Homes or its trade contractors to bid items.  Furthermore, YOU may require more time to make your decision concerning how much you choose to spend.  

Any selections that are requested after this meeting will be treated as Late Change Requests and will incur additional fees.  See “Late Change Requests” on page 10.

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Home Start Meeting

Following the Design Selections Meeting, the purchasing and drafting departments begin preparing documents for the construction of your new home.  A full size set of construction drawings are “red-lined” and prepared with appropriate notations for the selections you have made at the Design Studio as well as at the community Sales Center.  These plans are reviewed with you as the main focus of the Home Start Meeting.  The Home Start Meeting should occur within 30 days of the Agreement Date.

This meeting will take place in the conference room at the main office located at

            Redwood Road

            South Jordan, Utah


Typically, you will meet with one of the owners, they will contact you one to two weeks prior to your deadline to schedule this meeting.  If you require advance scheduling, please notify your Community Sales Manager who will assist in making the necessary arrangements and appointment.  You should anticipate spending two hours at this meeting.

The purpose of the meeting is to review, with the opportunity to clarify, both included components of the design as well as the personal selections made.  No new selections or changes should be done at this meeting since all should have been finalized and authorized at the Design Studio.  The Home Start Meeting is designed to transition from the planning phase to the actual construction phase of your new home.  The goal of the Home Start Meeting is to end the meeting with both you, and our team knowing exactly what is to be built, and how much it will cost.

So that you will be able to focus on the important issues being covered at this time, please do not bring children or other friends or family members to this meeting.

The Home Start Agreement form follows on the next page.

Construction Deposit

The Construction Deposit is paid within thirty days of the Agreement Date.  Whenever possible, we encourage you to pay the deposit at the time of your Design Selections Final Meeting where the total price is determined.  The deposit amount is calculated based on the purchase price, including not only the base price of the home and homesite premium, but also all personal selections.  For homes with a purchase price up to $200,000 the deposit will be 3% of the purchase price.  For homes with a purchase price exceeding $200,000, the deposit will be $6,000 plus 10% of the difference between the purchase price and $200,000.

You must pay your deposit and have your Home Start meeting scheduled in order to secure the next available Frame Start Date commitment.  This will determine the timing of both the start and completion of the home.  An approximate timeframe for completion can be provided at this point.  An update to the completion timeframe will be made following the Pre-drywall Inspection.  If you are anxious to start your home, it is always best to pay the Construction Deposit early to “lock-in” your Frame Start date.

It is important to understand that the deposit is completely non-refundable if you are unable to complete the purchase for any reason.  In building your home, McArthur Homes may invest hundreds of thousands of dollars.  The Construction Deposit expresses your commitment to the purchase of the home, as well as offsets unrecoverable costs in the case you do not complete the purchase.

Once the construction deposit is paid, and all meetings are scheduled, a Framing Start date is assigned for your home. 

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Procedures for Special Requests

If you are looking for selections that are not part of our Available Personal Selections, you may choose to make a Special Request for your desired selection.  The principles and procedures are outlined below.

First, it is important to understand that Salt Lake City Homes is not a “custom” home builder.  Our focus is to provide all our homebuyers with the best value possible by providing proven product choices from our proven trade partners and suppliers.  By focusing on our own designs and pre-selected product choices, we are able to achieve efficiencies in production for the contractors and suppliers who will work on your home.  As mentioned above, there are over eight hundred Available Personal Selections.  Most buyers are able to find everything they need with these proven, pre-planned, and pre-priced choices.

Second, Special Requests should be limited in both scope and quantity.  Special Requests should be minor in nature and not constitute re-design.  While we will consider all timely requests, we suggest you keep your Special Requests to less than a dozen or so.  “Hidden costs” such as inconvenience to buyers, construction delays, and uncertainty, as well as the financial costs are concerns we attempt to avoid by limiting Special Requests.  If these limitations don’t fit your needs, you might be better served by approaching a custom builder who is geared toward making changes and accommodating all types of requests.

Because Special Requests are not included as part of the regular home purchase, there is a fee associated with this service to offset some of the additional resources and expenses required to research Special Requests.  The fee is paid in advance at the time the Request Form is completed and submitted to the Estimating Department.  The fee applies to each individual request.  Any request for pricing that involves items other than our pre-planned selections should be executed on the Special Request Form (one item per form) with the appropriate fee.  It is important to complete the information with adequate detail and specificity for the Estimator to price accurately.  Variations of the original request need to be submitted on additional forms, with additional fees.  (See sample Special Request Form on the following page).

We will not approve requests we determine will impede our ability to deliver quality homes on time to all our customers.  So, if your special request would place an undue burden for some reason that might disrupt the construction of others, the request will be denied.  This is most common with Change Requests after the start of construction (see below) but could also apply to Special Requests prior to start of construction. 

Special Requests in the following table will not be approved.

Request Description

Background or Comments

Exterior french doors

Only sliding patio doors are available.  These provide much the same look, but are more secure and resistant to weather conditions.  Inherent warranty concerns.

Changes to footing and foundation plans (other than garage size)

Changes to structural or load bearing walls

Except limited beam replacement for wall; requires re-engineering

Changes to exterior wall and interior bearing wall placement and size

Except limited changes to windows; requires re-engineering

Changes to structural framing that would require “special” framing to meet engineering requirements

Includes garage expansions

Changes to furnace and flu placement

Tile countertops

Inherent warranty concerns

Partially finish basement space (i.e. up to drywall only, or just the heat ducts)

Basements must remain unfinished or be completely finished within any given space or room

A/C Rough-in only

Sizing issues between coil, line-set and condenser units.

Patio slabs larger than 10 x 16 and RV parking

Many of the soils in the valley are expansive.  It is best to delay installation of large patios for up to a year.  You might consider using gravel as a temporary solution.

Any selection or change that would require a change in trade contractors or supplier

We will only use our existing pool of contractors and suppliers to construct the home

Changes to the construction of the home that is already completed or can not be implemented on established schedule.

In order to insure the highest quality and value, we stagger the construction of the homes on an “even – flow” schedule which provide consistency and predictability for the trade contractors and suppliers.  Changes to one schedule prevent other homes from being built on time.

Any work or product provided by buyer during construction

There has been a significant shift away from “sweat-equity” for a variety of reasons including licensing, insurance, re-sale issues, builder’s warranty.

Cantilevered extensions

If you are purchasing a home that is already under construction, there may be selections that are no longer feasible to install, or that might become unfeasible in the near future.

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Procedures for Late Change Requests

What are Late Change Requests

Late Change Requests are ANY requests for additions, deletions, modifications to the specifications of the home following the Finalization and Authorization of Selections at the Design Studio Meeting.

The construction of the home begins immediately following the Design Studio Meeting as we “build on paper” everything that will be “built in the field” as described below in “Understanding the Construction Planning Process”.  That is why requesting changes even before you see the construction on your home site will require the procedure for Late Change Requests.

Should some circumstance arise that compels you to request a change to the home being built contact your Community Sales Manager and first verify that the stage of construction has not passed the cut-off point for the selection you are considering.  Every selection has a cut-off task in advance of the start of construction to allow time for the change to be communicated and implemented.  Provided there is adequate time, complete the Change Request Form (see sample on following page).  This is completed for all requests, whether the selection is part of our Available Personal Selections list or not.

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Pricing for Late Change Requests

Pricing for Late Change Requests consists of the following components: (1) a Special Request fee, if applicable, for any items not on our list of Available Personal Selections; (2) the price of the selection itself; and (3) an administrative fee. 

(1) The Special Request fee is identical to the Special Request fee and procedure described above, if applicable.

(2) The price of the selection itself will ALWAYS be more than the regular price.  The primary reason for this is simply that despite whatever steps are taken to implement a change at this point, there will be more frequent mistakes and greater expense than had the selection been made at the appropriate stage of construction planning.  Instead of passing those costs onto all buyers, we pass those increases on only to those making changes later in the process.  While any given home and its changes may not be affected, over time some will be greatly affected and therefore the cost to do the change itself is higher.

(3) The administrative fee offsets some of the additional cost in regenerating purchase orders, schedules and communication that is required to implement the late change. 

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Understanding the Construction Planning Process

Our goal is to deliver the best home value possible.  An important part of creating value is our ability to control costs and thereby offer homes at a lower sales price than comparable homes from other builders.  One way we control costs is using a detailed Purchase Order system for each home.  The Purchase Orders spell out exactly what is included, and at what cost.  For example, a Purchase Order for Tile would specify tile colors for floors, fireplace, bathroom surrounds as well as square footage and pricing.  Any Personal Selections chosen such as tile trim colors in bathrooms or kitchen backsplash are also included.   This level of detail helps insure that the right work is done on the right house. 

All the purchase orders are issued prior to starting construction.  The trade contractors and suppliers as well as superintendents have the information required to build the home at the beginning of the job.  One of the advantages of this pre-planning system is that the superintendents become familiar with the home to be built, even before it is actually built.  They can internalize the myriad of detailed information associated with each home over a longer period of time instead of learning new details each week as construction progresses.  Another advantage is that contractors can order supplies with long lead times to meet construction schedules.  For example, a tile accent might have an eight week lead time.  Because the tile contractor has all the information when the home is at foundation stage, he can order the appropriate tile in plenty of time.  The result is smoother operations for the tile contractor, the tile supplier, and on-time delivery for the buyers.

This pre-planning of the entire job also means that changes after the start of construction are much more difficult.  For example, the cabinet maker will have a work order for cabinets at the time the foundation is being completed, even though the cabinets are not installed until a few weeks before completion and closing of the home.  If changes were allowed after the start of construction, it would likely result in frustrating delays and/or costly errors.  It is in part due to these reasons, that we discourage making changes after the Finalization and Authorization of Selections.

There is a sample of our construction document package issued at the start of construction in the Design Studio.  You might be interested to realize that it is about 7” thick!  Making changes is always more involved than it appears.  Items included in the package are:

1.      Building Permit issued by city

2.      Approved Plot Plan signed by buyer

3.      Purchase Orders

4.      Critical Path Schedule specific to the home

5.      Footing, Foundation, Framing, and Electrical Plans (redlined as required by personal selections)

6.      Lumber, window, door package detailed lists

7.      Copies of Sales Agreement including Addendums

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Begin Building New Home: Construction Phase

Once the entire planning phase is completed, the on site superintendent receives the Construction Package and begins to schedule the work with the trade contractors and suppliers.

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Using the approved plot plan, he will stake out the corners of the house on the property and provide instruction to the excavator on the depth of the hole.  The depth of the hole is approximately 60” below the top of curb for homes with a 30’ setback, and more for homes closer to the curb.  This can change depending on such factors as:

1.      slope of lot

2.      proper drainage

3.      height of neighboring homes

4.      required/excess fill dirt

5.      varied setbacks

Activities occurring in this phase of construction include:

1.      Excavation

2.      Footing

3.      Foundation

4.      Damp proofing

5.      Backfill, and set window wells

6.      Plumbing Sub-rough (to set the drains below the basement floor)

7.      Basement and garage slabs

8.      Utility connections

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Perhaps the most exciting time during construction is the framing stage, where the entire shape of the house takes form.  It can seem like the house is built “overnight”.

One of the most important production methods we employ is the “even-flow” scheduling of Framing start dates.  This provides the ability to keep good framers busy and increases their quality, productivity and reliability.  Based on the pace of sales, we contract with the appropriate number of framers to stay ahead of the average numbers of sales over time.  Frame start dates are “week of” dates, and of course can vary slightly.  On average the framing start date system is quite accurate and seldom varies more than a week.

If you have arranged with your Community Sales Manager to do low voltage wiring in the home we are building for you, it will be completed during this phase.  Because additional days are not added to the schedule for you to complete such work, it will be your responsibility to complete any wiring prior to insulation and drywall.  There are certain conditions and limitations to the low voltage wiring allowed as follows:

1.      Avoid connecting to any wiring provided by McArthur Homes, including phone lines, cable lines, speaker lines, and especially high voltage.

2.      You may bring phone lines to the same area, but please do not place them in the same box; it is best to use different colored wiring and boxes to distinguish your wiring from the electrician’s wiring.

3.      It will be your responsibility to terminate all wiring you provide after you move in.

4.      Allow the phone lines to be installed and operational prior to your connecting wiring in order to trouble shoot any possible problems

Absolutely, do not connect to, tamper with, or modify the high voltage house wiring in any way.  Modifications or additions to the electrical wiring MUST be done by McArthur Homes and our licensed electricians.  The safety of the home is of prime importance and we can not make exceptions to this policy.  Any such changes will be remedied and the cost for corrections added to the purchase price.  Even if no corrections are required an expensive inspection fee will be assessed by our electrician and McArthur Homes.  Please don’t think it won’t be noticed, it ALWAYS is “caught” and will be a cause for unnecessary stress and frustration.

Immediately following framing, the rough-in heating, plumbing, and electrical are completed.  An important city inspection, known as the “4-way inspection”, signals the end of this phase and the “OK to proceed” to insulation and drywall.

Activities that occur during this phase of construction include:

1.      Framing

2.      Setting trusses

3.      Electrical Rough-in

4.      Low-voltage wiring

5.      Plumbing Rough-in

6.      Heating and Air Conditioning Rough-in

7.      Roofing

8.      Utility Connections

9.      Fireplace box

10.  Exterior Doors

11.  Final Framing corrections

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Pre-drywall Inspection

We will invite you to visit the home with a representative from McArthur Homes and review the construction prior to the installation of drywall.  This typically occurs about three weeks after start of framing.  At this point, the framing, electrical, plumbing and heating roughs will be completed.  Together, we can examine the placement of items such as TV, phone, computer wiring, door openings, and many interior details, to confirm that they are correctly placed according to any personal selections you might have made, as well as all included features and design elements of the home.  This is the final opportunity to adjust or correct missing or incorrect selections or design element for any item available to be reviewed at this time.  The “Pre-drywall Inspection, Review and Acceptance” form will be completed at this time, (see next page for sample).

It is a good idea to pay particular attention to placement of light switches and outlets, dimensions of media centers, overhead light fixture placement such as at the nook table, door swing direction, heat register placement, as well as every personal selection previously made.

The inspection is also a good opportunity to gain a better understanding of how your house is built.  Many of our quality features are best pointed out at this stage of construction.  At the inspection, you should review grading of the homesite and discuss landscaping details when applicable.

Click here to view the Pre-drywall Inspection Review and Acceptance Application

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Drywall and Paint

Immediately following the Pre-drywall Inspection, the walls will be insulated.  Next, the drywall is hung followed by several coats of taping, mudding and texturing.

Following drywall, the interior doors are hung and finish carpentry is started.  Certain areas of the floor will not have baseboard installed at this time.  Areas where there will be vinyl or other hard surface flooring will have baseboards installed after the flooring to insure a tight fit.  Areas next to fireplace mantle legs are also installed later due to the variation in mantle dimensions. 

When the painting is completed, areas of the drywall may still require touch-up.  In fact, defects in woodwork may become noticeable, as well as areas of the paint itself may need a little work.  This is normal in every home.  Most of these items will not be corrected at this time.  Additional dents, scratches, and marks will be made on the walls from other trade contractors working in the home prior to closing.  Later, the painter will return and touchup all needed areas.

Activities which occur during this phase of construction include:

1.      Wall insulation

2.      Hanging drywall

3.      Taping and texturing drywall

4.      Ceiling insulation (after the drywall is hung)

5.      Finish carpentry / installation of doors and trim

6.      Finish carpentry / interior railing

7.      Tile work

8.      Paint

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Exterior Finishes

Completion of the exterior will move forward independent of work being done on the inside of the home.  Of course, this is subject to weather conditions, which may significantly delay exterior completion.

Typically, exterior concrete is poured very early, (if sufficient time is available prior to framing) or during later phases of construction to avoid damage.  Time of year and weather also play a part in the timing of concrete pours.

Activities which occur during this phase of exterior completion include:

1.      Fascia / Soffit

2.      Brick or stone

3.      Stucco

4.      Siding

5.      Rain gutters

6.      Site Concrete

7.      Driveway Concrete

8.      Decks and Landings

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Interior Finishes

After the painting is completed things seem to go rather quickly, and you know its time to start packing your bags to get ready to move.  Typically you can expect a closing date within about four weeks of painting completion.  If you haven’t already, make certain that all your applications are completed and in place for utility connections, (see Preparation for Closing on page 18).

Activities you will see in this phase include:

1.      Vinyl or other hard surface flooring

2.      Tile work, if not already completed

3.      Cabinet installation

4.      Countertop installation

5.      Plumbing fixtures set

6.      Fireplace mantle installed

7.      Electrical wiring completed

8.      Light fixtures installed

9.      Shower enclosures installed

10.  Mirrors and other bathroom hardware installed

11.  Door knobs installed/ closet rods installed

12.  Rough clean prior to carpet installation

13.  Carpet installed

14.  Heating registers are installed

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Preparation for Closing

Following your pre-drywall inspection, and certainly by the time painting is completed you should make all applications for utility service to your new home.  While we physically connect most utilities during construction, it is your responsibility to arrange for service to be provided.  Your Community Sales Manager can provide you the names of service providers and phone numbers to contact for the subdivision you are moving to.

Here is a quick checklist:

Electrical         (Rocky Mountain Power: 1-888-221-7070)

Gas                 (Questar: 324-5111)

Telephone       (Qwest: 1-800-244-1111)

Water              Contact City Government (maybe included in HOA)

Garbage          Contact City Government (maybe included in HOA)

Sewer              Contact City Government (maybe included in HOA)

Cable TV         Contact Local Cable or Satellite Company

At this time you should also touch base with your lender for permanent financing and make certain your lender is ready to close your loan.

Confirm the following with your lender:

1.      Has all personal selection choices and that the total price is correct

2.      Has all information from you required by underwriting

3.      Has made contact with Surety Title

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Detailing of Home

Your home will be cleaned prior to the Company and Buyer Orientation Tour to clean all construction related “dirt” and “debris”.  This includes wiping out cupboards, cleaning flooring, washing bathroom fixtures, cleaning windows inside and out, removing stickers from windows etc.  This will be completed approximately one week before your closing. 

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Company Inspection

When the home is complete, and ready for the final inspection by the city, the house is inspected by company management, typically the Vice President of Construction.  We will review the completeness of the home, and make sure the home meets our high standards of quality.  When the Company Inspection is scheduled, a Buyer Orientation Tour and Closing Date are also set.  These dates are typically set after the installation of countertops, which provides approximately 2- 3 weeks advance notice.  The following table summarizes the events and time table leading up to closing and move-in.

Approximate WORK Days following Counter Installation

Event leading to Closing and Move-In


Final Inspection


Company Inspection


Buyer Orientation Tour




Keys / Move-In

In some rare cases, it may become evident that the home will not be ready for a Buyer Orientation Tour on the scheduled date, usually two days after the Company Inspection.  In such circumstances, the Buyer Orientation Tour, and subsequent Closing and Move-In dates will be rescheduled accordingly. 

Although we recognize that rescheduling Orientation Tours and closing dates can cause a great deal of inconvenience and frustration to you, we have learned that delivering a house that is not ready, with too many “punch list” items will be an even greater inconvenience and frustration.  For these reasons, we encourage you to make alternative housing, storage, and moving arrangements, should there be unanticipated delays.

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New Home Orientation Tour

Prior to closing you will be invited to an Orientation Tour of your new home.  The purpose of this tour is to provide you an opportunity to become familiar with the operation of many features and appliances in your home.  Brief instructions on caring for your new home are also shared. Also, any questions or concerns regarding construction of the home should be resolved at this Orientation Tour.

As is common with all new home construction, there are items which are not warranted if not noted at the time of the Orientation Tour.  It is recommended that you become familiar with the standards as outlined in the Limited Warranty prior to the Orientation Tour. 

Usually the Orientation Tour is held two days after the Company Inspection.  It is held during regular business hours with the last appointment starting no later than 2:00 p.m.  Because the Tour can take as long as three hours we ask that you not bring children.

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“Closing” actually refers to a variety of activities that must occur to transfer Ownership of the property to you.  It involves the following:

1.      Your lender being ready with all documents delivered to Surety Title

2.      Buyers signing documents at Surety Title closing office

3.      Buyers providing down payment to Surety Title (Cashiers check)

4.      Any lender insurance such as FHA may require paperwork to be completed.  This is also coordinated by you through your lender.

5.      Your lender must fund the loan; meaning the money must be sent to and received by Surety Title

6.      Sellers sign closing documents provided by Surety Title

7.      When all of the above are completed, Surety Title personnel will personally visit the County Recorder’s office and “record” the deed conveying title to you.

Only when these have been completed, is the transfer of Ownership complete.  The keys to the home are scheduled to be given to you at 4:00 p.m. the day after closing at your home by the construction superintendent.  Any delays in the above “closing” process will also delay the delivery of keys.

Typically, the appointment for signing closing documents is set for two days after the Orientation Tour, and is held at:

            Surety Title

            9948 South Redwood Road

            South Jordan, Utah 84095

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Completion of Orientation Tour Noted Items

During the Orientation Tour, there may be a few items noted which require adjustments or corrections.  The superintendent will try to complete as many items as possible prior to your move-in date.  However, some items may require more time.  The target date for all items to be completed is two weeks after closing, although a few may take a little longer.

When the superintendent meets you to give you your keys, you will “initial” all items completed.  These sheets are then turned into the office and reviewed to insure your home has been completed as agreed.

The Superintendent will correct only items noted at the Orientation Tour.  Any other items should be directed to the Warranty Service Manager (see details in your “Limited Warranty”).

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Warranty Service

There is a complete section covering the Limited Warranty.  Please review the material provided prior to requesting adjustments for your home.

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Homeowner Maintenance

For many people buying a new home, a major concern is how to care properly for the different products which are part of their new home.  To help in part, we have assembled some maintenance tips, and do’s and don’ts to get you started.  Carefully following the steps won’t ensure you will never have trouble, but hopefully it will help to avoid serious or frequent damage.

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