Recently, the most common question that’s posed by new construction home buyers is how long it takes to build a house. If you’re asking the same question, then you’ve come to the right place! Here you will get to know the step-by-step process of building a new house and when applied to a general timeline, you will get a basic idea of how long it takes to build a house.
Main factors affecting the time taken to build a house
About two to three years ago, the average build time was running around six to eight months given that the home building was right on the schedule. But, recently, with the Covid-19 situation in the world, many complications introduced to the construction industry. Of course, there are a lot of factors that affect the average timeline of constructing a new home, but three factors have been the main causes of recent delays in home construction.
They are supply chain issues, labor shortages, and weather conditions. For instance, you can experience a few months of delays in the construction of a house due to construction supply and building material hold-ups, labor shortages, and heavy rain or shifts in temperature.
How long does it take to build a house?
Ideally, constructing a new house could take from three to six months, but when the aforementioned factors are considered, we can expect a few months of delay. The average time length to finish a new privately-owned residential building is around 6.8 months, according to survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2020.
When it comes to owner-built houses, the figure is doubled up to 12 months, whereas it remains the same as 6 months for build-for-sale homes. In addition, the average build time can vary based on the U.S. location. For example, while the average time length to build houses in the northeast is about 10.7 months, it could be about 5.9 months in the south area. These factors, however, are not the only things matter when it comes to building a new house.
For example, when buying new construction homes in Henderson, you must have a proper plan first because uncertainties of the plan and design and changes made during the ongoing process can cause even more delays to the building of your home.
The step-by-step process and the general timeline
The timeline of building a house is closely related to its construction steps.
· Obtaining building permits:
While the timeline of building a house for buyers starts at the point of signing the purchase contract, for home builders it starts after they received the building permits. So, before starting any building work, various permits must be obtained including for construction, electrical, and plumbing layouts, and usually, it could take three to four months. However, during this period, you will have two meetings with the builder.
The first meeting will be your design center appointment, which will be three to four weeks after you signed your contract. In this meeting, you will discuss what upgrades to include in your existing design like kitchen flooring, countertops, or light fixtures. The next meeting will be the pre-construction meeting with the construction manager. Here you will come to know about the construction process and you’ll get an idea of the expected timeline for building your home.
· Site preparation:
Then, in the next three to four weeks, the construction site will be graded, smoothed out, and compacted so that the ground will be stable for the building of your home. Take a look at the new homes in Del Webb at Lake Las Vegas as an example of site preparation. After couple more weeks, they will begin the trenching for all your underground plumbing, including sewer lines and drains. Then they again come back and smooth it out all over again.
· Pouring of the foundation and slab:
After forming the foundation framework using wood planks and post-tension cables, they will pour the slab and lay the foundation for the home. Then after, builders wait a few weeks to start the next step, because the cement needs to sit there and cure.
Once the cement is cured, the framing of your house will begin. Framing includes installing the floor systems, all of the walls, and roof systems.
· Plumbing, electrical work:
All the plumbing and electrical work will be done during the same time.
However, when all the steps that are mentioned up until now are completed, it may have been six to seven months into the building process. Now, it’s time for your pre-drywall or frame walk with the construction manager. During this step, you’ll come to know about the layout of the floor plan and all the things that are running behind the drywall, such as outlets, switches, the water and the gas lines, and so on.
When you finish the pre-drywall walk, you’re probably three to four months out from closing. After your frame walk, they will begin the installation of the insulation and drywall and this will take about two weeks to complete. Then during the next month or more, the interior and exterior of your house will be finished. After finishing the interior and exterior of your house, decorative accessories will be installed, such as cabinetry, baseboards, and door casings, and at this point, the builders can give you a pretty good idea of when’s the closing date would be. After installing these, the flooring and the painting of the house will be done. Now, you’re close to the end of building your house, and the builders will layout the carpet at this point.
Once the building of your home is finished, the city building inspector will come and inspect the whole house and inform the builders if there are any things to be fixed. If the inspection is passed, you will get a certificate of occupancy, which allows you to move into your home and live. Once all the paperwork at the closing and payments are completed, you will become the owner of the newly built house of your dreams.
Although here I have elaborated the general timeline of constructing a house using the most basic steps, this could be vastly affected by external factors that we discussed before. If one step is affected by one or more of these factors, the rest of the process will also be affected causing a delay in the whole process.
However, by being active and staying on alert throughout the building process through scheduling weekly site walks to check on progress, you will be able to keep everything on track.