How long does it take to build a Custom Home?

As you can imagine, a larger more complex custom home, according to the latest available U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction, on average, from authorization to completion in 2020 was 8.6 months for a spec home and 11.1 months for a contract-built home. In 2021 those times have increased, and we are likely to see the same in 2022.

Those figures, however, consider only construction time. It’s more than the actual construction process that is involved in building the custom home of your dreams!

With production homes, potential home sites have been pre-selected and likely already improved, the house has been designed and modeled, and all the products and features are already build in, none of this work is done in advance for a true custom home. You’re starting from scratch and completion will require a number of additional, time-consuming steps.

You will have to investigate and select an architect (we can help with this) and a builder (us, duh). We also need to find a lot (we can help with this too). Then comes the process of home design, draft plans, and selections.

Count on 12-15 months

Pre-construction activities can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months. Actual construction of your custom home will take approx 11 to 13 months.

A lot of our client’s come with a neighborhood selected or narrowed down to a few lots. We like to be involved in selecting a site; based on the home features, lot conditions, sun orientation, size, and privacy.

For the design process, a ton of pictures to communicate what they want in their new home. We have an extensive questionnaire that we work on together to make sure we get everything just right.

“We get the most questions during framing, we are on site every day, however, our clients are involved in every step of the building process as well and many interior selections are done after we’ve started construction, because it feels more real when you are in the framed house making those decisions.”

Framing, sheathing, and roofing; installation of electrical wiring, security systems, plumbing pipes, vents, rough mechanicals; and installation of insulation— all of which takes about four weeks on a production home—will take longer simply because a typical custom home is larger, more complex, requires higher craftsmanship and more extensive products and materials. The same applies to the installation of exterior brick or siding, windows, doors, drywall, interior trim, flooring, lighting, plumbing fixtures, appliances, HVAC, and landscaping.

In addition, many of our custom homes call for more sophisticated green and energy-efficient construction, high-tech sound and entertainment systems, wine cellar, fitness room, outdoor kitchen, safe room/storm shelter, slate or concrete roof tiles, granite countertops, or even elevators. Design of elaborate staircases, extensive outdoor decking or a swimming pool.

Timeline Variables

Construction time can also vary greatly due to a number of factors:

  • The size and complexity of your home design.
  • Permits. How long it takes to get building approvals and permits varies greatly depending on the local city or county building department.
  • Shortages of available supplies or subcontractors can stall construction.
  • Site conditions. Building on a terrain or wooded lot.
  • Weather. Heavy rain, snow or freezing temperatures can cause major delays in construction (Indiana is known for it!).

Finally, the time it takes the homeowner to make decisions and design selections can have major effects on the schedule. We provide our clients with a build timeline, along with a selections schedule so we can work together to keep things on track! We talk more about our process here: Integra’s Build Process

Rough Custom Home Building Timeline

Pre-construction: 3-6 months

  • Assemble the team – 2 months
  • Identify a site – 2 months
  • Plan & Interior Design – 3 to 6 months
  • Permits and loan approval -2 months

Construction: 11-13 months

  • Documents (plans, specs, bids and contracts) – 2 months
  • Site prep (clear, grade, level and stake) – 1 month
  • Foundations – 2 months
  • Framing – 2 months
  • Install Mechanicals – 2 months
  • Rough electrical, audio/video, security – 2 months
  • Roofing, exterior siding/brick/trim, windows, doors – 1 ½ months
  • Insulation and drywall – 1 ½ months
  • Prime, caulk, paint – 4 months
  • Flooring, cabinets, trim, hardware – 5 months
  • Punch list – 1 month


Are you ready to start the journey with Integra Builders? Shoot us a message, it all starts with the first conversation!

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