You’re planning to build a house on your property, but you’re still uncertain about the timeline. You may have a vague timeline for home construction, accounting for the various stages of construction like design, permit acquisition, contracting with tradespeople and construction itself. But you can’t move forward on guesswork.
If you start construction without a strict schedule, you’ll spend far more time and money on the build than you initially planned. Deadlines are critical to maintaining a steady pace, and without that structure, the proverbial wheels will come off your project. You need a clear way to track your progress if you want to stay on the right path.
Of course, you can and should give yourself a little room when setting your goals. Though deadlines are essential, you’ll inevitably encounter a range of setbacks over the course of the build. Inclement weather, unreliable subcontractors, unexpected changes and budget shortages cause delays for even the most experienced builders.
So how do you manage some common setbacks? What’s the average timeline for the home building process? We’ll walk you through everything you need to know.
The Average Timeline for Home Construction
Before you start on the build itself, you’ll have to work out the details of your home’s design. This stage can take anywhere from one to three months depending on the scope of the project and your ideas. You’ll speak with a designer and develop a basic outline, deciding on the criteria of your final design as you refine your early concepts.
Once you’re confident in the design, you’ll estimate the cost of construction and sign the contract, a process that takes between two and four weeks. The paperwork isn’t over, however, as you’ll need to pursue the necessary building permits. This alone can take another two to four weeks, but you can’t afford to cut corners here.
Obtaining the right permits is a crucial part of the home building checklist and one you need to keep in mind. That said, the builder will usually reach out to the local municipality to ensure all of your permits are in place. You should still triple-check to confirm you have the correct permits, acquiring them on your own if you have to.
You’ll then move into the pre-construction phase, where the project manager on your team starts the process of setting up the schedule and contracting with tradespeople. You should expect to spend one or two months in pre-construction as you speak with an interior designer about the aesthetic details of your home.
After you’ve determined your design, acquired your permits and managed the preliminary work, you’ll enter the construction phase. The total length of time will range from four months to a year or more. You’ll likely have to readjust your timeline to account for delays — but that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for them.
The Top 3 Strategies for Managing Setbacks
The builder you hire will no doubt have experience in handling setbacks on a jobsite. But they’ll still benefit from a little assistance every now and then. Here are a few simple ways to help out.
1. Maintain an Open Line of Communication
Ask your builder about their approach to dealing with delays. Do they have procedures in place for weather, resource shortages and similar issues? How do they address these problems, and how can you provide support?
2. Check the Forecast, and Check Again
You have a diverse variety of weather apps to keep you updated on weather patterns in your area. Make sure to check your app of choice and check it often. Don’t let a sudden storm catch you by surprise.
3. Remain Flexible With Your Deadlines
As mentioned earlier, setbacks are practically inevitable. The most you can do is prepare for them. With that in mind, give yourself a little flexibility with your deadlines so you don’t fall too far behind.
A Reliable Timeline for Your New Homestead
You now have a clear picture of the construction process. Look at how it aligns with your current plans and make an adjustment if necessary. You may need to spend more time in one phase than you initially thought, or less in another, and you should change your schedule to match the estimates above.
Soon enough, you’ll have a reliable timeline you can use to structure your project.