How Long Does It Take To Build A Custom Home?

For those of you looking for the simple answer, it’s about 7 months. That answer may suffice for some of you but if you’re still reading then chances are you’re interested in what happens between month zero and seven. Two reasons why you should know the building process when your builder starts building your home:

  1. You will have an idea of what is taking place and what comes next. Nothing is worse than asking a stupid question to your builder when they are building your house for you.  You want to be constantly engaged so you know you’re not being taken advantage of.
  2. If you want to make any changes you will know if you can. Being informed doesn’t just make it easier for the builder, but it is beneficial to you. If the foundation is already poured and getting framed the chances of you being able to add a bathroom in your basement are slim (depending on your site) to none.

Being able to talk with your builder and speak his\her lingo can help ease any hesitations you may have about this big decision. If you’re going on a road-trip across the country you should probably have an idea of what direction you’re going, even if you’re in the passenger seat. Same idea here. You don’t need to know every detail but have a good enough understanding of what the big plan is with your home. Below we provided a step-by-step approach to building the common house so you can have a decent understanding of the steps that it takes to build your own.

Meeting Your Builder

Meeting Your Builder

  1. Prepare Site and Pour Foundation – The first step is creating the skeleton. They clear the site of any debris and this is where you will commonly see bigger equipment being used such as a backhoe. They dig out your basement and create the foundation. In some instances this is where they put some “utility runs” such as drains of electrical chases. Concrete will then be poured into the holes and the crew won’t be able to work on the site. Once the concrete is solid they waterproof the walls, put in water taps, drains, and plumbing that goes into the basement floor.
  2. Complete Rough Framing – Walls and roof systems are done here. Plywood is applied to the outside walls and roof while the doors on the outside of the house are installed. Windows as well. These are then covered with house wrap protecting the wood from any liquid seeping in.
  3. Complete Rough Plumbing, Electrical, and HVAC – This stage is where a number of things can be constructed. Roofing, plumbing pipes, siding, sewer lines, and any ductwork for HVAC systems. Larger items such as the tubs\shower fixtures are put in now in case they need to be moved again. Electricians can now do some wiring. Lights and outlets can be connected to the breaker panel, along with any television and telephone wiring.
  4. Install Insulation – This provides your home with an even layer of protection from severe weather – if done correctly. The types your builder may consider are probably going to be either fiberglass (more traditional) or cellulose and foam. They may choose a different kind if the climate calls for it.
  5. Complete Drywall, Interior Fixtures, Start Exterior Finishes – Drywall is now hung and the contractors can start putting on the exterior of the home. Finishes like brick, stone, or classic siding.
  6. Finish Interior Trim, Install Exterior Driveways and Walkways –  Doors and windows are finished. Cabinets, fireplaces and the nearby areas are put into place. The walls will now get the finishing coat of paint. Here it is common for driveways and walkways\patios to start to be built. Driveways are poured towards the end so that heavy equipment doesn’t damage them, but if the plan doesn’t include any equipment then it may be formed right after the foundation so it will track less dirt inside.
  7. Install Hard Surface Flooring and Countertops – Your choice of countertop will be installed along with flooring. Generally done when the whole team wont need to be in the house this way less people not living in the home wont be walking on it.
  8. Finish Mechanical Trim and Bathroom Fixtures –  Electrical panel is fully finished, HVAC equipment is installed, and toilets, faucets, and sinks are set into place. Most of the home is fully functioning at this point in the process, except for things such as the showers and other amenities.
  9. Install Mirrors, Shower Doors and Finish Flooring – Mirrors and doors are installed, the cleanup crew finishes their final touches, and the details of the landscaping can begin or be set fully in motion.

Here’s a cool video that shows the process

If you want more facts about the length of time it takes look here:

Being able to talk with your builder about the ongoing process will help on so many levels. Your builder will love to be able to talk through and explain the process, along with any type of changes they may have to make. Knowing that you understand what they’re doing may keep them on their toes. You will also have a heightened level of comfort knowing why certain things are happening. The last thing you want is to be left in the dark when someone is building your dreams right in front of you. In the end you will feel more connected to your custom home if you have been there with it every step of the way from start to finish.


If you’re ready to move onto the outside of your house you’re gonna want to read this:


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