How Long Does It Take to Build a New House?
You’re looking to build a new house, but you don’t know how long it will take? Here’s everything you need to know about the average time it takes to build a new construction home.
When building a new house, there is often time pressure for homeowners. That is why it’s important to know how long the construction process takes, depending on various factors such as the size and specifications of the home, your location, and your home builder.
The average time to build a new construction house is about ten months. This includes everything from breaking ground on your land to moving in:
3 months: preparing and clearing the land for building (obtaining necessary permits and approvals, etc.)
6 months: foundations, exterior shell, roofing
1 month: interior work
2 weeks: landscaping
If you are looking to build a custom home or have specific requirements with regard to exterior finishes or materials choices, this would add additional time to the project since changes may need to be made. It’s best if you plan these details before starting the build so that you can avoid unwanted delays.
This construction schedule applies to most areas in the United States, but please note there are exceptions. For example, building a home in Hawaii will take longer than ten months because of stricter regulations and high labor costs for tradespeople. The time frame may also be slower if you live in an earthquake zone or are subject to extreme weather conditions. If your general contractor also manages your housing site, this adds at least one month to the project length since they do not work on every phase of the construction process.
Average Time to Build a New Construction House
If you are building a new house on an existing lot, the time frame will be shorter than the average of 10 months. However, you should still allow plenty of time depending on how much work needs to be done to prepare your land for construction.
- A large house with many amenities will take more time to build than a smaller home.
- The location of your new home can affect the final cost significantly, especially if you are choosing an out-of-the-way place with few services available, such as roads or electricity. Depending on where you live, construction materials and labor prices will vary considerably. For instance, building in California or Texas costs more because demand is high there.
- If you’re considering prefabricated homes (manufactured houses), this can save up to 3 months on the project length since prefabs are built indoors under controlled conditions; they only require installation at their final site.
- If you are working with a design-build firm, they may use prefabricated building materials and components to reduce the build time further. That is because prefabs greatly simplify the construction process by reducing onsite work and trades needed. For instance, they minimize site grading, excavation, foundation work, plumbing runs, electrical wiring, and drywall installation since many of these tasks will have been completed in a factory.
- If your home is larger than 2,500 square feet, you should plan for an additional 1-2 months to accommodate any contingencies.
- If you are building in a cold climate, the time frame will be shorter because once exterior work is complete, you can build interior walls with minimal disruption to the construction site.
- If your new home is in an earthquake zone or wind corridor, plan for up to 6 months for structural retrofitting since this must be done when the house is empty. Local building codes require that homes meet minimum seismic standards before being occupied. Also, check with your local jurisdiction regarding zoning requirements and building permits needed to renovate existing structures.
Factors That Can Slow Down New Construction Builds
Several factors can slow down the construction of a new home. Some of these are beyond the control of the homeowner or builder, while others can be managed with a bit of forethought and preparation. The following are some of the leading causes for delay in new construction builds:
1. Permits and Approvals
Most municipalities require permits for almost any type of construction work. In addition, there are usually agencies that need to approve plans and specifications for the new house. All of this takes time, so it’s best to start the process early.
See Also: Permit Required for Remodeling Home
2. Site Preparation
Often, the site for the new house must be cleared and graded before construction can begin. This may include excavation, foundation work, and installation of utilities such as sewer, water, and electric lines.
3. Building Permits
After the site is prepared, it’s best to get all of your building permits so you know what work can legally be done and when. These will include a construction permit and possibly a certificate of occupancy (CO). Without these in hand, you may end up with unexpected delays.
Home inspections during the new residence build are required by most local authorities to ensure that all building codes and specifications are adhered to. Again, this process will add time to the project length. If you find problems such as leaky plumbing or faulty wiring, expect further delays until repaired or replaced.
5. Delays Due To Weather
Weather can present some of the most significant challenges to a new residence building. If your contractor doesn’t have a way of protecting his crew from inclement weather, you may see an increase in project length.
6. Delays Due To Design Changes
Many homeowners make changes to their new house design after they get closer to taking possession or during construction. These changes typically slow down the workflow and add time to the project length.
7. Specified Materials Are Unavailable Or Too Costly
This will add time to your new home build if you can’t find the right product. If it’s something you’ve chosen, the builder may suggest an alternative that meets your needs.
8. Delays Due To Equipment Breakdowns
The best way to avoid problems with this cause is through preventative maintenance schedules for all construction equipment.
9. Site Access Issues
Depending on the layout of your site, you may encounter access issues that slow down your new house build. If the main entrance is difficult to reach for trucks and equipment, you may experience delays getting them in place.
10. Structural Damage To Existing Buildings
If you are building up against an existing structure or already own a home that will remain standing while the new residence goes up, make sure it’s structurally sound before starting construction.
11. Local Labor Shortages
This can be mitigated with proper planning by setting start dates when the builder knows he’ll have enough crews available to complete specific tasks within set timeframes. Those timelines can then be used as milestones during construction.
12. Unforeseen Conditions
Sometimes, you just can’t plan for everything that could affect a construction build. If the weather turns dreadful or a worker is injured while onsite, it’s essential to have enough people to pick up where they left off once the problem has been resolved.
Tips For Getting a New Home Built Faster
The following tips will help you get your new home built faster:
1. Keep An Open Mind About Design Changes
This includes materials and colors. Your contractor may suggest other options if he feels there’s a chance of delays due to unavailable products.
2. Ensure All Approvals Are In Place Before Starting Work
Make sure your builder knows what information and documentation you need throughout the process so he can keep things moving forward without unnecessary waiting time and delays.
3. Make Sure The Right Equipment Is Available
Without it, your builder won’t be able to do his job properly and on time. Either find a contractor with the right tools or go somewhere else so you can get work done quickly, without delays.
4. Consider Using Prefabricated Components
Prefabrication uses techniques such as modular construction, in which houses are built from factory-built modules that are then transported to the building site for final assembly.
5. Follow Good Communication Practices
If a problem arises, a good contractor will contact you immediately to let you know what’s going on and when he expects it to be resolved. This minimizes the chance of adding more time to your new home build if things run into unexpected delays.
6. Use A Qualified Contractor
Make sure you go to someone who has the necessary experience and is aware of local customs and guidelines, as well as any laws that may affect your new residence build.
7. Permit Inspections
Don’t wait until the end before getting inspections done on different aspects of your home, such as plumbing, electrical or structural. This can help catch problems early on before they turn into costly holdups.
8. Keep Construction Debris And Waste To A Minimum
Proper clean-up and disposal will keep things running smoothly and cut down on costs for everyone involved in the project. You don’t want to make the builder go back over something because of careless practices.
9. Keep Family And Friends Out Of Construction Areas
It might be tempting to show off your new home build to relatives, but you never know what it might delay on certain days or cause accidents that can prolong the time it takes to get your house built, costing everyone more money.
10. Use Good Communication And Negotiation Skills
Your contractor will work closely with you throughout the build, so it’s essential that both of you understand each other clearly and don’t misunderstand any requests or instructions. This can save time and frustration during your new home build by eliminating needless phone calls, emails, and paperwork.
11. Keep A Steady Supply Of Required Materials On Site
This should include everything from appliances to drywall to paint to tools. Ensure your contractor knows what he needs when he needs it to avoid construction delays. If anything is lacking, it could impact the finished product if not resolved quickly.
12. Visible Evidence Of Previous Structures Remaining On The Site
Remnants from any previous work must be cleared away to protect the integrity and safety of your new home build. This includes materials such as cement foundations or shoring from addition which could become unstable.
Based on the article, there are many ways you can speed up your new home build. For instance, keeping an open mind about design changes will help alleviate any problems that may arise due to unavailable materials or colors. You’ll also want to make sure all approvals are in place before starting work so that things don’t get delayed down the line for no reason. And of course, it’s always a good idea to check with your contractor first if he needs anything special from you during construction, such as access permissions or documentation requirements.
A qualified contractor who has the experience and is aware of local customs and laws should be able to offer helpful advice too, like what equipment they need and when they need it delivered by (so delays aren’t incurred). Keeping family members out of the way can also help speed things along and is a good safety measure. Finally, the most crucial factor in fulfilling your new home build is good communication practices, saving both you and your contractor unnecessary phone calls and emails. Overall, there are many ways to ensure that you get your new house built faster, but the factors mentioned above stand out as key among them with their step-by-step directions for successful completion.