How Long Does it Take to Build a House?
As someone who’s planning on having a house built, you should know how long it takes to build a house. This is because it’s a huge commitment and a lot of things will take a backseat while you have the house built. You’ll miss some time off of work. You’ll have to say no to invitations of friends. You also have to be careful with your finances because the house and its expenses will be your priority. This is why you have to know the timeline so you’ll know when everything will be back to normal.
Yes, things won’t be normal in your life as you’re building a house. This is why you have to plan ahead. The whole family has to plan ahead. This is why you have to know how long it takes so that you can plan accordingly.
A Lot of Factors to be Considered
Obviously, there are a lot of factors to consider so you can’t find a single definitive answer on how long it takes. First of all, do you have a land to build the house on? If yes, then you can go straight to building a house. If not, then expect the duration to be longer because buying appropriate land takes a lot of time and effort. However, you’ll be surprised to know that the process of building the house itself on the owner’s own land takes longer. More on that later.
In addition, how big is the house? That’s a major factor. How complex is the house? That’s another thing to consider.
While it’s true that there are a lot of things to consider, this article can serve as your guide. It will provide you with some basic timelines to give you a better understanding of the process.
Some Figures to Consider
Here are some timelines so that you’ll have an idea. These details are provided by the Census Bureau in their 2012 Survey of Construction:
- For a new single-family home, it takes more or less 7 months to build a house. This includes the whole process from obtaining the necessary building permit to completion.
- If the house is being built to be sold upon completion, it takes generally shorter to finish everything. It only takes 5 to 6 months from the permits to the completion.
- If the house is being built on the owner’s own land, it will take about 8 months. This is even with the help of a trained contractor. If the owner will build the house without hiring a contractor, then expect the process to last for up to 11 months.
- If a single-family home is being built with the purpose of being rented, it generally takes 8 to 9 months from permits to completion.
Where you’re located is also a factor to consider. This is because the total length of time required from obtaining a permit to completion varies across the nine Census divisions. The Middle Atlantic and New England areas generally take long and it can take from 9 to 10 months. Homes in East North Central and the Pacific takes shorter than Middle Atlantic and New England, but they still take longer since they average 8 months from obtaining the permits to completion.
Home builders located in the East South Central division finish homes with an average length of 7 months. On the other hand, the other divisions finish faster at 5 to 6 months.
Here’s a general timeline on building a house. It’s important to note that this timeline doesn’t include the getting of the necessary permits. It also doesn’t include delays that almost usually happen. This timeline is also for when you have hired a contractor and a whole team to build the house.
- The preparation of the site for the building of the house.
It’s important that the site is well-prepared for the project. This ensures a smoother process and can help prevent problems and issues. Ideally, this will take a week. Site preparation includes excavating and staking. This is also when the architect that you’ll hire will determine how the house will be situated on your lot.
The workers will prepare the lot by clearing, excavating and leveling it. Your home’s footprint will also be marked with stakes.
- The building of the footings, foundation and frames.
For about 4 weeks, your house’s skeleton will be built. The footers will be poured. These concrete footers are very important because they will serve as your foundation’s base. The contractors will make sure that everything is in place so expect a thorough inspection. Once everything is deemed okay, the foundation will be set up. Once that’s done, your home’s walls, roof and floors will be framed.
Once the footings, foundation and frames are up, you can clearly visualize how your home is going to look like. I
- The house gets its guts.
The house’s functionalities will start at this point. This is when the workers install the mechanical systems like the cooling and heating systems. The electrical and plumbing systems are also put into place. Of course, your home’s insulation system will also be put up. Once these things are done, that’s when the drywall is installed to cover your home’s guts. At this point, the drywall will also be sanded and your contractor may also choose to apply a primer and the first coat of paint.
- Your house starts getting prettier.
No one wants to live in an unfinished house and contractors know this. This is why for about 3 weeks, your home will start getting prettier since the flooring will be installed. It will also get its cabinets and doors installed. The trimmings will be put in place and of course, the second coat of paint will be applied. These are exciting weeks.
- The fixtures will be put in place together with your appliances.
You can expect a bit of organized chaos for about a week because this is when the fixtures like lighting and faucets are installed. This is also when the appliances are installed or rolled in. If you also hired a landscaper, this is when the landscaping happens.
- The final 2 weeks.
For the next 2 weeks, the contractors will smoothen any rough edges and will make sure that everything went according to plan. Take this chance to ask any questions that you may have and to pinpoint problems that you saw so that they will be taken care of.
Based on this timeline, the construction process itself will take 14 weeks. But again, it’s important to note that there are things to be done before and after the construction process and this is why you shouldn’t be surprised if it takes 7 to 9 months.