Many people who are looking to construct their dream homes and stop searching through existing home inventory have one key question in mind: How long does it take to build a home? The timeline of home construction is variable, especially in a post-COVID world, and understanding just how long you might wait for your dream home may be a key factor in helping you make decisions.
A Simple Answer
How long does it take to build a home? In simplest terms, you can expect your new home build to take six to twelve months. Just a few years ago, you could have had a home ready in 90 days. Today, though, thanks to supply chain problems, labor shortages, and the increased cost of materials, you should always plan on a delay of up to a few months.
A Closer Look at the Timeline of Home Construction
There are a number of steps involved in the process of home construction. Initially, you’ll need to find the perfect location for your home. You’ll want to work with your builder to find a piece of land that helps accommodate your home design. For example, if you want a lot that allows for some handicap accessibility to the grounds, that could affect your overall choice. The time frame here should be fairly short – usually just a week or two.
The next step is for your team to prepare the site itself. They’ll work to get rid of any trees, bushes, or other natural problems on the land that will affect the construction of your home. Often this step can take one to two weeks as well, particularly if extensive removal of stumps or roots is necessary.
The foundation of your home is the next step in the process. Your team will create a watertight foundation to help secure your home. This stage can usually take two to four weeks, as the concrete will need to cure properly before your home can be framed.
Framing the home comes after the foundation, and this is where your house will begin to resemble the design you created. At this point, your team will begin building the exterior walls, roof trusses, and ceilings of your home. By the time they’re finished, you’ll be able to see a rough skeleton of your design. Expect this stage to take two to three weeks.
The creation of the systems that make your home comfortable comes next. Your team will begin laying water pipes, sewer pipes, electrical wiring, and HVAC systems to make your space more comfortable. This step usually takes around two weeks.
The home’s thermal envelope is the next step. This is the insulation and barriers to the outside world that will help keep your home cool during the hot Florida summer. Typically this step takes just a few days to complete.
The next steps all take some time, but they really begin to make your home complete. Drywall is installed throughout the house over a period of several days, then the flooring and countertops are installed the following week. The finishing touches can take around a week or two, and they make your home look complete. These are things like light switches, molding, bathroom fixtures, and more.
The last step is the final home inspection and your closing day. This process usually only takes a week or so to complete.
What You Can do to Speed Things Up
How long does it take to build a home? Many different things affect the speed of a new home. Initially, the location itself can affect the speed. Permitting requirements and legal issues surrounding home construction may change the speed with which your home is built.
Additionally, environmental factors like the type of soil and the topography of the site can affect how quickly your home is built. For example, constructing a home with a slab on a level site that drains well is no problem. Building the exact same house on a lot that’s a bit hilly or that has particularly porous soil may take quite a bit longer.
Weather, too, can create delays for contractors, particularly at the earliest stage of the build. Florida can experience some fairly extreme weather events, and when those happen, the timeline slows down considerably.
Additionally, the clients tend to cause delays. If you’re not responsive as a client, you could create problems for the schedule. For example, if you delay selecting the finishing touches, the order could take longer, leading to longer delivery times, which leads to longer installation times. Changes to the order are common too. Imagine you suddenly decide you want an additional bathroom. It can be done, but it’s going to take quite a bit longer. Clients who stick to the home design plan are in their homes far sooner than those who choose to make changes to those design plans.
Planning everything well in advance is the single best way to shorten your build time. While you may still experience delays thanks to materials shortages, if you remain an active part of the process, doing what your builder needs you to do at the right moment, your home will be completed far faster.
Contact us today if you have more questions about building a home.