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House Building Timeline

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A house building timeline is a very rough estimate, and very few of them are accurate at all, due to weather delays, variations in materials and construction methods and the use of modern technology on some homes and not others. The size of the home and the type of foundation also create variations. This house building timeline is designed to give maximum and minimum times, and an explanation of the differences.

Example House Building Timeline

House Building Timeline Planning, Saving and Budgeting: 1 to 5 years
Planning for and designing a home can take years. Just arranging your finances to the point you can get a good loan can take years for most people. Use this time wisely to save money, pay off debts promptly and establish an excellent credit rating. Spend time discussing the future home with your family, and researching all the different aspects of construction.

House Building Timeline Finding a Builder: 3 to 9 months

Finding just the right builder for your home is a long term project. Discuss builders with other experts in related fields, and seek information on line. Visit open houses of various builders and look for construction sites of their unfinished homes. Learn as much as possible before making a final decision.

House Building Timeline Obtaining a Loan: 1 to 3 months

The process of obtaining a loan can have many variables. To save time, be completely honest and give very factual information on your loan application. Never stretch the truth and do not just estimate or guess on the answers. Use your tax returns and other records to be sure your information is accurate.

House Building Timeline Land preparation, Grading and Foundation work: 1 to 3 months

More than any other step this part of building requires good weather, and also depends on soil conditions and how much grading is necessary. If there is a delay in this step usually the weather is to blame, or some other act of nature, such as an unlevel lot or the need for extensive landscaping. Of course it also takes longer to build a basement than it does to create a crawlspace foundation, and pouring a slab is quickest of all, but it is well worth the extra time to get a good foundation. The foundation is truly the most vital part of a home.

House Building Timeline Building a Shell: 1 day to 4 months

With some of the newer structural insulated panels and concrete insulated panels it is possible to put up a shell in a day or two. Similarly a modular home can be assembled on site in a few days or perhaps a week, but with stick building on site construction it really depends on the weather, the size of the home, and how many people are on the crew. A small shell may take one month or two, while it is possible that larger homes may exceed four months.

House Building Timeline Roofing: three days to two weeks

This depends on the size of the house, the slope of the roof and the weather. Once the roof is ready to accept the shingles it is vital to get it on before it rains. Spring and summer are the best times to install a roof, but the heat may cause delays and slower work.

House Building Timeline Exterior Siding: A week or two

How long it takes to install exterior siding depends on the weather and the size of the house. Still there are few other variables.

House Building Timeline Dry wall: A few weeks

Dry wall is fairly predictable and how long, depends on how much of it there is to install. A very small home could be done in a matter of days, while a larger home may take several weeks.

House Building Timeline Finishing the Interior: 2 to 9 months

Interior finishes can be completed either quickly or slowly, depending on the degree of detail and quality, the size of the home, and whether you intend to do some of the work yourself or let the builder do it all. It may take longer for inexperienced home owners to complete this project. My advice is that if you bought a shell and plan to finish it yourself, take your time and enjoy the project. Take pride in your work.

In general, home builders and contractors try to be finished with the home in less than one year. If one step takes too long, they tend to hurry along the other steps, by hiring more sub-contractors and crews. While most homes can be completed in well under a year, determining the exact timeline is difficult to predict. This house building timeline is a practical guide to just how long or how short a time it can take to build a home.


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