When it comes to constructing your home, reality TV is not an accurate guide and it’s going to take a lot longer than a week. Determining how long you need to wait for your home to be built can be a little bit of a roller coaster ride.
But do not worry, we’ve got you covered! Everything from how long it takes to build your house, variations in timelines and what factors can change the length of time required for completion.
How long does it take to build a house?
On average a new home construction will take 6 months to complete. Each stage of construction can require varying amounts of time depending on the particular requirements of your house and land design.
Now we are going to dive deeper into how long it takes to build a house, and the various factors that can influence the stages of construction.
Length Of Time
When building your house, particularly if you need to meet a deadline, you will want to know how long it’s going to take. On average it can take approximately 6 months to complete the build of a house. However, it can be as little as 4 months or potentially more than 12 months.
For a pre-designed house, you are looking at roughly 4-6 months, while custom designs can take longer at an expected 10-16 months. Construction of a house in a metro area can average around 5-7 months and a house in a rural area can take approximately 6-9 months.
If you decide to build a single storey home, on average they are completed between 4-7 months. A two-storey/multi-storey home can take anywhere from 8-12 months for something that is fairly simple and not too over the top.
If you have a more extravagant design, you’re looking at an even longer time frame.
Stages Of Building
There are 6 basic stages that all new homes are built by. These stages allow construction to be completed in a timely manner.
- Land Preparation – This is the stage where your block of land is prepared for construction. This includes soil testing, earth moving, clearing of trees, bushes and debris.
- Slab Stage – This stage is when your design is measured out on the site and the process begins. Digging, set up, pouring of footings, under slab drainage, moisture barrier, termite barriers are all done and then your foundation slab is poured. This will usually take around 1-2 weeks for completion.
- Frame Stage – The construction of external and internal walls begins. This also includes reinforcing steel and conduit for electrics and pipes for plumbing, the roof frame, gutters, insulation, roof sheeting, trims etc. On average this can take anywhere between 3-4 weeks without delays.
- Lock Up Stage – This includes the installation of piping, wiring, plasterboard, sheeting of eaves, porch and patio ceiling are completed. External walls will be rendered and all external doors and windows are installed so your house can physically be ‘locked up’. This stage takes roughly 4-6 weeks.
- Pre-Paint Stage – This is when those final details are sorted for the finishing touches. This includes plastering plasterboard joins, cornice installation, waterproofing, tiling, cabinetry installation, skirting, doors, shelving etc. This can take around 1-2 weeks.
- Practical Completion Stage – Finally we come to the finishing touches, which includes paint, fencing, landscaping, irrigation, flooring, glass, fly screens, letterbox etc. Once all of this is completed, all waste is removed off site and a thorough clean of the house is completed prior to the final inspection before handover. This last stage can take as little as 6 weeks and as long as 8 weeks if not more, this depends on if anything is required to be rectified prior to handover.
Building your house will take time and will hopefully follow a schedule set out by your builder. However, there is the potential for unforeseen circumstances which can disrupt the schedule put in place.
To prevent any possible delays you need to know the variety of factors that can influence the length of time it takes for your house to be completed.
When it comes to the block of land that you are going to build on, there are a few things that have the potential to extend the timeline of your construction. The land needs to be:
- Cleared from debris and trees etc
- Tested to ensure the soil can hold the weight of your house
- Analyzed if there is a slope
The process of ensuring that your block is safe and acceptable for you to begin construction can take time, especially if you run into something that you weren’t expecting, ie your soil isn’t stable enough to support your house without first backfilling and thorough compaction.
You also need to consider the tilt of the land, if your block has a range of high and low points, as well as water running towards where you wish your house to be built, you will need to allow for more time. This is due to the fact that the builders will need to conduct earthworks to make sure that your block is appropriate for construction.
Another factor that can eat up time in your construction is waiting for the required permits and paperwork to build. If you run into an issue with any paperwork while trying to obtain your required approvals, you should expect delays. Once this has been sorted, your another step closer to your completed house.
The design of your home can affect the length of time it takes for it to be completed. If you decide on a pre-designed home from the builders’ collection and make minimal adjustments, your build is going to be completed faster. This is because your builder and his workers know the construction, the processes and what is required for completion. This speeds up your development timeline.
If you decide on an unusual, custom or complex design, you may have problems during the build that can set you back for unknown amounts of time, depending on the issues that arise.
The number of storey’s also impacts your expected completion date. When building a two storey or multi-storey home there is more time, supplies, labour and hours required compared to a single storey house.
Unfortunately, there are some things we can not control in this world, and the weather is one of them. The time it takes to complete your construction can be influenced by unpredictable weather. If you encounter severe weather conditions such as heavy rain, extreme heat or even a storm expect your deadline to be pushed back.
Many builders that are local to your area and know what the weather is like will usually include some form of contingency into the building schedule.
Just a simple change of your mind especially later on in the building process has the potential to impact the time frame greatly. This causes a delay due to having to order in a new product, supplies, workers and even possibly re-drafting a particular aspect of your home.
If you decided to change your cabinetry it could take up to 8 weeks for the products to be delivered and installed.
If you can be certain of everything you want for your home early on, favourably before construction even begins, you will be saving time and money.
One of the longest stages when constructing your home is the finishing touches. This includes everything such as doors, painting, flooring, final irrigation work etc.
The finishing can take just under two months to complete properly, you should discuss early on with your builder what products you want so they can be ordered in ahead of time to minimize any possible delays.
The time it takes to build your house can increase depending on your builders’ approach. A reputable builder will have a process that they follow to ensure everything is done on time and there is minimal to no delays.
They are often extremely organized and process orientated ensuring your build is completed on time. If you get a builder that isn’t organized or who has no process, it could take almost double the time to complete your build, just because they aren’t organized and efficient.
You should hire a builder that is reliable and known for completion of his jobs on time and to a high quality standard. In the end, this will save you time especially since they know what they are doing and have a process they follow to do it.
Your building schedule can also be impacted by the location of your build. If you are in a metro area, your build is likely to be completed quicker than a build in a rural area. This can be due to travel, product and supplies, and labour issues.
If you are in a rural location and you want your build to be completed on time, try to pick products and supplies that are in stock and just need to be brought down to the location to minimize time delays as much as possible.
Workers And Supplies
During the summer months, there is usually a peak in building houses because of the minimized potential delay caused by rain and/or storms. If you decide to build during these months you may need to be prepared for an unexpected delay due to demand and supply issues.
This can be from products and supplies you need to construct your home, or even availability of tradesmen and labours to do necessary work.
Making your build as painless as possible in efficient time can be done by hiring the right builder. A good builder will outline the stages and timeline of your construction process, while answering any questions you may have. An exceptional builder will provide you with an outline of the steps, a timeline of when each stage is expected to be completed, answer any questions and regular progress reports so you know where you are in your build.
Maintaining open communication with your builder allows you to be kept in the loop about any potential delays and how they will be managed to keep your build on track to being completed as close as possible to the timeline provided.
Things To Remember:
- A reputable builder that employs quality staff and trades will ensure an efficient build.
- A well thought out schedule will prevent you from waiting around for products and supplies to arrive.
- Be wary of those who promise to build your home in a much quicker time frame. This is often just a ploy to get you to sign up, rather than giving you what is likely to take place.
- Take the time to educate yourself on how you want your house built and what you want your home to provide.
- You could consider a house and land package which takes care of site preparation issues for you.
- Get a builder who provides turnkey packages.
- Choose a builder who is well-known and has proof of quality workmanship so your build is stress and hassle-free.
- Plan everything out the first time to prevent any delays later on from issues or changes.
How expensive is it to build?
There are a variety of factors that can influence the cost of a build, however a rough way to estimate the overall expense is by calculating the price per square metre, this can vary from $900 – $5,000.
Can I go on site during construction?
Yes you will be able to, generally this will need to be arranged with the builder if you’re wanting access during lock up. Appropriate safety measures will need to be followed due to the risks and potential hazards that are associated with building and these will be advised to you by the builder/site supervisor to ensure safety to yourself and others.
What are some questions I should ask?
A few questions that you should ask your builder include:
How long is the building maintenance period you provide?
This is a period of time after the completion of construction to allow for any possible repairs or maintenance that may be required.
On average a house will have approximately 6 months of building maintenance.
What other projects will you be taking on?
This will influence how quickly your house is constructed. If your builder has more than one project on the go, their full undivided attention will not be on your property and perhaps even sub-contracting your build to someone else.
If they do sub-contract your build to someone else, you don’t know the competency of that new builder and could end up with something you paid way too much for.
Do you have any concerns?
If you ask your builder this they should be upfront with you and have full transparency from the beginning. If there is something they are concerned about you should ask them for other options that you could consider to prevent any issues or resolve them if difficulties do arise. Your builder should have sufficient knowledge of handling a situation if a problem does occur.