How Long Does It Take to Build a House? What to Expect When You’re Expecting Your New Home

I get this question all the time: How long does it take to build a house. Or, more accurately, people ask me this: How long will it take to build my house? It’s a great question, and it’s something that we’ve gotten down to a science (as any great design-build firm should). For most of our customers, this is the first time they’ve built a home. Unless you’re in the construction industry yourself, no one would expect you to know how long the process takes or what it involves.

So, I’m going to give you our answer up front (our answer because we design and build custom homes much faster than the rest of the industry), and then I’m going to walk you through the process.

We Usually Finish Custom Homes in 4–5 Months

This is about 30% faster than the standard in our industry, but this should give you some idea of what to expect.

Maybe you’re sitting at your computer or on your phone or tablet right now and you’re wondering: “How long does it take to build a house? Why does it take so long to build a house?”

Maybe 4–5 months seems like a long time. Maybe you’ve heard times as long as 12 months or more to build a custom house.

I want to alleviate some of your fears.

It doesn’t have to take years to build your dream home, at least, not in Texas.

This is something I want you to keep in mind — the amount of time it takes to build a custom home varies from one state to another. Some states are heavily over-regulated, leading to long build times, usually because of all the hoops through which you and your builder have to jump.

For other states, like Texas, the industry is unregulated. If you’re building your home in Texas (or another state with few regulations for home builders), you’re going to want to choose your design-build firm carefully to make sure you end up with a quality product.

But all that aside, 4–5 months is not a small amount of time. Here’s the real reason it takes so long to build a home, even in an unregulated state like Texas:

A Modern House Is an Extraordinarily Complicated Product

If we rewind 200 years, a house wouldn’t take nearly as long to build. Even setting the regulations aside, there was just less to put in there. Foundations were approached differently, and you didn’t have to worry about pesky things like plumbing or electricity.

That being said, modern methods allow us to move at a fairly rapid pace compared to our ancestors, especially for basic things like foundations, site preparation, and framing, but we’re putting a lot more into a modern home these days, even more so for a custom home.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the process:

  1. Prep site
  2. Pour foundation
  3. Frame house
  4. Install the guts (plumbing, electrical wiring, HVAC vents and pipes, insulation, etc.)
  5. Hang drywall
  6. Finish interior and exterior (cabinets, window sills, moldings, brick, stucco, etc.)
  7. Install flooring and countertops
  8. Install and grade driveways, walkways
  9. Install electrical fixtures, HVAC equipment, bathroom fixtures
  10. Put on final touches, like landscaping or carpeting
  11. Clean the house
  12. Do a final walkthrough

And before you say, “Well that doesn’t sound like much!”, keep in mind that there are inspections taking place throughout this entire process, that there are waiting periods after certain steps before more work can be done, that the weather plays a huge role in all of this, and that it takes an entire team of workers to turn all this into a reality.

If you change your mind during any portion of the project, that can also cause delays.

However, a quality design-build firm is going to help you plan the details of the project very carefully beforehand and show you exactly how things are progressing to avoid such delays.

All in all, it’s an involved, complicated process, which is why you want someone on your side, an experienced design-build firm who is as excited about your project as you are.

Let’s talk about your dream home. Click the link to get in contact with us. We’ll make sure you get exactly the home you want.