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How Long Does it Take to Build a Custom Home?

by Ian Phillips

This is the question, isn’t it? Lots of builders will give you different answers when the real answer is: “that it depends.”  It Is important to note that many factors come into play, such as the complexity of the project design, the geological makeup on which the home is being built, the materials that will be used, how proactive the city is; all these and more will affect the building timeline. Custom homes typically take longer to complete then production homes, while manufactured homes typically can be completed in a few months.

The five most common factors influencing construction time include: pre-construction and permits, environment, workers and supplies, unplanned changes and construction style. Although knowing what to expect may not speed up the process, it might just help you maintain your sanity.

 

Pre-construction and Permits

Before a builder can start building your home, the home’s lot must be prepared. That means clearing trees, rocks and other items, rough grading and leveling for the foundation. Getting proper approvals and permits can also cause delays. Factors like approval on building permit and inspections process can vary between locations and can lengthen the time to a completed home.

Environment

Depending on where the home will be, building times can be affected by region of the country due to climate conditions and geological makeup. For example, homes in the Middle Atlantic Region averages about 9.5 months from start to completion, while the Mountain Region construction averages around six months. Construction in metropolitan areas is usually quicker with expected completion around seven months, compared to nine months in more rural areas.

Availability of Workers and Supplies

The summer months are generally the busiest time for home construction, so you might find your new home’s construction delayed while waiting for the necessary labor to be available during other parts of the year. However, luckily in southern California weather restrictions are far and few between.

Changing the Plan

Change orders will usually extend the build time, especially if they occur in the latter part of the building process. To limit the amount of time lost to decision delays, you should maintain open communication with your builder and keep ahead of the homes design. Therefore, there will be as little delay as possible.

Construction Style

The style of your home will also influence construction time. A design with custom items will always take longer in the construction process because they are a one of a kind piece. So a builder and their crew will spend more time designing and properly installing each personized piece. While personalized production homes will take a short time because the production builders have built this home many times before.




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