In looking at a sample new home construction timeline it is important to realize there will always be variables. Building a new home can take as little as two months, and as long as one year, however most are completed in six to nine months. There is a certain order of operations, but due to financial situations, delivery schedules, red tape, and weather conditions some of these can unexpectedly take an inordinate amount of time. It is impossible to predict exactly how long the whole process will take, but this sample should help you understand what needs to be done and why there could be necessary delays. One thing is for sure you need to definitely create a timeline in collaboration with your builder. I recently posted an article you should check out later called Home Building Timeline: Why You Need To Create One and What it Should Include.
Below you’ll also find a pretty thorough sample new home construction timeline.
New Home Construction Timeline
New Home Construction Timeline Day 1: The Contracts
On the loan closing day all major contracts must be complete, and presented to the loan officer. These include the lot sale agreement, construction agreement, contract plans, site plan and contract specifications. At this point the construction loan settlement will be drawn up, and the funds for building the home will be secured.
New Home Construction Timeline Month 1: Review and Finalize Contracts and Specifications
During the first month you will go over the final plans with your contractor or home builder. All the house plans, specifications, site plan, and construction drawings will be reviewed, possibly revised, finalized and signed off on before construction can continue. This process may take up to a month of appointments and verifying every detail.
New Home Construction Timeline Month 1 & 2: Bids and Contracts
Even as you decide exactly what you want, subcontractors are preparing to make their bids. As decisions are made, your contractor will make copies of your plans and specifications, and distribute them to various subcontractors who will bid on the jobs. Sometimes though, contractors and home builders will hire certain contractors they generally prefer to work with and omit the bidding process. They will still give the subcontractors a copy of your plans though. Agreements will be signed between the contractor or homebuilder and subcontractors.
Grading and building Permits
Gaining permits can be simple and quick, or very complex, irritating and time consuming, depending on where you live, and the type of construction you wish to build. Most contractors dread trying to get a building permit, simply because it could be denied for some reason or changes required. They are always relieved once they have a permit. Even under good circumstances getting a permit can take from two weeks to a month.
New Home Construction Timeline Month 2: Lot Preparation
Lot must be cleared, and the area of construction stripped of topsoil. The lot must be graded, and excavated.
New Home Construction Timeline Month 3: Foundation
This process is very much dependant on the weather. Rains, or freezing temperatures can slow things down a lot. If the weather is good this process should take about a month. First the footings must be laid out, then dug. The reinforcing materials are installed in the hole, and then the inspector must come out and see the holes for the footings. Finally the footings can be poured, and once it dries the foundation can be built. Then the foundation must be inspected and certified.
New Home Construction Timeline Month 4: Framing
This is a very weather and time sensitive project and the driest months are by far the best time for this. Walls must be framed quickly and accurately, 18 inches on center is the code for most locations, but this may vary. 2×4 should be the smallest lumber used for anything involved in framing. If you see anything smaller, ask and correct the situation if necessary. If other materials, such as insulated concrete panels, are being used progress will be made really quickly. It’s very important to observe the jobsite during this crucial period to make sure the right materials are being used, and that everything looks right on the building site. This is the absolute most crucial part of the job. You will not be able to see the studs clearly during later phases of the construction so inspect now.
After the walls are framed, the roof trusses are set and the roof framed. Then the roof sheathing plywood, roofing felt and shingles are applied. In dryer climates roofing may be postponed but in wet climates the roof is applied as soon as possible.
If there’s a basement they may work on it while the framing is being done. They will prepare and pour the basement slab, and treat the area for termites. If there will be a garage slab to pour, they will do this also at the same time as framing.
New Home Construction Timeline Month 5: Plumbing Electrical, HVAC, and other Rough ins
Subcontractors will go to work, heating and air ducts will be installed, electrical work, and plumbing will take shape, as roughed in wiring and plumbing are installed. Finished outlet work will be done later, and plumbing fixtures aren’t ready to go in either, but the wires and pipes are put in during the fifth month. Vacuum systems, Alarm systems, Phone systems and wiring for electronics, and computer networks are also roughed in during this period. The reason for all this activity now is easy access to walls before the sheetrock or other wall board are installed, and while the rafters are still exposed. In general the hidden areas of the home are exposed, but will soon be covered.
New Home Construction Timeline Month 6: Exterior Finish completed and Insulation and drywall are installed
Exterior finish is applied, whether brick veneer, vinyl siding, stone veneer, or stucco this is time for finishing the exterior. Insulation is put into place and the drywall installed on interior walls.
New Home Construction Timeline Month 7 and beyond
At this point the big heavy parts of construction are finished, and all that’s left are the details. Floor coverings, plumbing fixtures, cabinets, electrical outlets, paint and wallpaper, installing trim, and all the finish work are to be done. Porches and decks may be built, or sidewalks and driveways poured. Some contractors and home builders include additional landscaping, planting grass and shrubbery and such while at some point most contractors will turn it over to the owners to complete the rest of the small stuff. It depends on the agreement you have made with your contractor or home builder.
This article should give you a good idea what is involved in new home building. How long it actually takes, is up to building inspectors, local government officials, subcontractors, building materials vendors, and most of all the weather. This sample new home construction timeline includes all the things that need to be done, but how long they take varies considerably.