Are you building a new house? Congratulations! Maybe you’re inspired by the uptick in home-building activity this year or you feel the time is finally right to build your dream home.
Once you get over the initial excitement, it’s time to get to work on a new home construction timeline. If you’re wondering, “How long does it take to build a house?” the typical time frame is between three to six months if everything goes to plan.
But the actual timeline can depend on many factors. Curious about what those may be? Even if you’re mostly on the sidelines, you can keep up throughout these common steps in building a house timeline.
Steps to Building a House
Not everyone knows how to build a house. That’s why we rely on the experts to get the job done. Still, as homeowners, you can take ownership and stay involved by learning as much as you can about the building process.
Here’s an overview of some of the common phases you can expect along the way.
Devise a Plan
Before you get the ball moving, it’s important to prioritize with a project plan. There are many moving parts involved in the new home construction timeline, so it can be easy to be lost or overwhelmed without a solid plan of attack.
Important planning steps include:
- Knowing and deciding on your budget
- Obtaining quotes for services like design and construction
- Finding the right partners for design, architecture, landscaping, and real estate matters
- Figuring out exactly what you want in your home and working with an architect to build blueprints
- Acquiring/deciding on your build site
This planning phase is a critical part of your new home construction timeline. Take your time to solidify plans and find partners you trust before moving forward.
It may seem like overkill, but it never hurts to be thorough with home builder questions such as asking for references from other customers and learning about all the possible costs involved.
Once you feel like you have the right building, design, and real estate partners in place, the next hurdle involves all the permits you’ll need to break ground.
Your builder should be familiar with various zoning laws in your area that determine aspects like how the land can be used and any restrictions on construction. Your contracting partner can apply for permits on your behalf from the city or town where you live. You can also do this on your own.
You may have to apply for multiple permit types. You may need separate permits for your electrical work, another for plumbing, and another for construction.
After you get the green light from your local government on the permit or permits needed, you’ll also receive a certificate. This document is important to post throughout the building process to confirm you have the proper permission to build on the site.
Prep for Construction and Lay the Foundation
The major steps after receiving the right permits include preparing the site for building and laying the foundation. This phase typically takes about a month or so to complete—provided you don’t run into too many inspection obstacles or rainy weather.
Prepping the build site involves clearing away trees and debris. Contractors will also work to make the land level so that it can provide a good building base for your home.
Before your builders lay the foundation, they will install footers. These are concrete bases that support the home’s foundation. During this process, you’ll also probably see a visit from an inspector to make sure the footers are good to go and ready for the foundation.
It will take a little time—typically a month—for all the concrete foundation to dry and for building to resume.
Construct the Frame and Roof
Once the foundation is completely dry, your building team can return to the site to construct some of the other important structural features of the home: the frame and roof.
This can be an exciting phase to witness since you’ll actually be able to see the outline of your future finished home. The builders will create a temporary exterior along with windows and doors.
Nothing will be polished at this point. And you’ll notice that since it’s an active construction site, careful measures are put in place to keep workers safe. Builders should be wearing protective gear like helmets.
The build site will also have preventative measures in place like a safety swing gate that prevents falls from high elevations like roofs. A second inspection is common at this step to confirm that the frame is safe and stable.
HVAC and Wiring Setup
During this phase, the builders can work on the guts of your home. All the mechanical work involving heating, air conditioning, ventilation, and electricity are put into place at this point. Plumbing will also likely be a part of the process.
Drywall and Exterior Details
And once this critical internal work is approved, your builders can install insulation and drywall. This is the phase where the house truly starts to look more like you envisioned it.
The building team will also complete work to the exterior of your home at this point to add siding, brick, or other design finishes.
Interior Finishings and Final Touches
At the time same, you’ll see the interior of your home come together. This phase includes:
- Adding flooring
- Installing hardware and trims
- Putting in light fixtures, cabinetry, and major appliances
After you’ve ironed out all the interior details of each room, you may also move on to outside touches like landscaping or finishing the driveway.
Final Inspection and Walk-through
There’s one last inspection to pass before you can officially move in. Local building inspectors will take a look to make sure it’s completely safe and meets all construction standards.
Before this happens, it’s also important to do your own walkthrough and resolve any issues with your contractors.