How long does it take to build a Custom Home?

Usually larger and more complex than a production home, according to the latest available U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction, the average time it took to take a new home from authorization to completion in 2019 was 7.6 months for a spec home and 10.1 months for a contractor-built home.

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 and a builder for your new home (Integra Builders). You’ll also locate and purchase a site for the home (Integra Builders can help with this too!). Next is the process of home design, draft plans, and selections.

Count on 12 months

Pre-construction activities can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months. Actual construction of your custom home will take approx 10 to 12 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, we like to help them make the final decision based on the slope of the site, the sun orientation, size, and privacy.

For the design process, a ton of pictures to communicate what they want in their new home. A list of how many bedrooms, bathrooms, and garage space they need, but pictures better communicate the feel of the home.

Actual building time of a custom home can take twice as long as an off-the-shelf production home. “We get the most questions during framing, so during framing we are out on the site every day, however, our clients are involved in every step of the building process and a lot of interior material selections are done after we’ve started construction because it feels more real when you are in the framed house making those decisions.”

Prepping the site and pouring the foundation, normally three weeks for production homes, may take longer since custom home locations tend to need more tree removal and/or are on sloped land that may need erosion controls and more extensive leveling.

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 an elevator. 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 hilly or wooded lot.
  • Weather. Heavy rain, snow or freezing temperatures can cause major delays in construction (Indiana is known for it!).

A common and serious contributor to the time it takes to design and build a custom home is the length of time it takes the homeowner to make option and design selections and decisions as required, says Scott. Following product and material ordering and lead times is vital. Delayed decisions – or worse, late change order requests – can seriously impact the completion of your custom home, Scott adds.

Rough Custom Home Building Timeline

Pre-construction: 3-6 months

  • Assemble the team – 2 months
  • Obtain a site – 2 months
  • Design – 3 to 6 months
  • Permits and loan approval -1 month

Construction: 10-12 months

  • Documents (plans, specs, bids and contracts) – 2 months
  • Site prep (clear, grade, level and stake) – 1 month
  • Foundation – 1 ½ months
  • Framing – 2 months
  • Install Mechanicals – 2 month
  • 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 – 3 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!