Estimating the Time Taken To Construct a New House

If you’re planning to construct a new home, it’ll surely take some time to get the job done. There’re several factors that determine the time it’ll take to construct a house.

Estimating the time can be quite tricky for many potential homeowners. Luckily for you, we’ve made it easier by preparing this guide to assist you in estimating the time. We’ve also included the factors that can alter the time required to complete the building process.

On average, it takes about six months to construct a standard house. There’re several stages involved in the construction process.

Each stage takes a varying amount of time. The time taken in each stage depends on the design requirements and the size of the house.

Let’s discuss the factors that determine the time it’ll take to build your house and factors that influence the time taken in each stage of construction.

couple outside their newly built two storey house

Average Time

If you’re planning to construct a house, especially when working under a strict deadline, it’s important to know the time it’ll take you to complete the work.

It takes about 6 months on average to get the work done. Some houses can also be built within a shorter period (about 4 months) while others may require at least 12 months to build.

Pre-designed houses take about 4 to 6 months to complete. Custom-designed houses take about 10 to 16 months to complete.

Building a standard house in a rural area takes about 6 to 9 months while building one in a metropolitan area takes about 5 to 7 months.

If you’re planning to construct a single-story house, it’ll take about 4 to 7 months to complete. A simple two-story or multi-story house will take between 8 to 12 months.

Expect the construction to take longer if you’re building a house based on an extravagant design.

Stages Involved In Building a House

There’re 6 main stages involved in building a new home. These stages make it possible to complete the construction work within the set deadline. These stages include:

Stage 1: Site preparation

In this stage, the land on which you’ll build your house is prepared. Land preparation includes clearing of bushes, trees, and debris, earthmoving, and soil testing.

Stage 2: Pouring the slab

The next stage involves pouring the slab. First, the site is measured in terms of the house design. Next, digging is done and footings are poured. Also, drainage is installed beneath the slab. Termite barriers and a moisture barrier are also installed in place.

Once done, concrete is poured to form the foundation. It takes about 1 to 2 weeks to complete this process.

Stage 3: Installing the frames

In this stage, the exterior and interior walls are constructed. This stage also includes installing plumbing lines, electric conduits, reinforcing steel, roofing frame, insulation, gutters, trims, and roof sheeting among others. This stage takes about 3 to 4 weeks to complete.

Stage 4: Locking up

In this stage, plasterboard, wiring, piping, sheeting the eaves, the patio, and porch ceiling are done. Also, the windows and doors are installed, making it possible to lock up the house. It takes 4 to 6 weeks to complete this stage.

Stage 5: Pre-painting

In this stage, plastering the plasterboard joints, waterproofing, cornice installation, tiling, skirting, shelving, and cabinetry installation are done. This stage takes 1 to 2 weeks.

Stage 6: Completion

This stage involves doing the final touches including painting, landscaping, flooring, fencing, irrigation, installing flyscreens, letterbox, and glass among other final touches. Once this stage is completed, waste is cleared from the site followed by cleaning the house.

Thereafter, the completed house is inspected before handover. It takes about 6 to 8 weeks to complete this stage so long as there’re no alterations or repairs required before handover.

two home builders at new house construction site

Factors That May Affect the Time It’ll Take to Build Your House

It takes time to build a quality house. You’ll hope that your builder will follow the set-out schedule when building your home.

However, unforeseen circumstances may disrupt the entire schedule and cause delays. However, you can avoid possible delays by knowing the factors that have the potential to affect the time it’ll take to complete the construction. These factors include:

  1. Land

The nature land on which you’ll build your home may affect the construction timeline. You can avoid delays by ensuring that the land is:

  • Cleared from trees and debris
  • Stabilized
  • Tested to make sure that the soil is capable of holding the home’s weight
  • Analyzed to check whether there’s a slope


It can take some time to check whether your land is acceptable and safe to start construction. For instance, if you come across something you didn’t expect, such as unstable soil, then it’ll take time to backfill and compact the soil to make it safe enough to hold the home’s weight.

Also, the slope of the block should be considered. In case the block has low and high points, and water is running toward the site you want to build your home, you should allow for extra time to prepare the block.

In this case, your builder will do earthworks to ensure the block is flattened and potential floodwater is redirected away from the construction site. That way, the site will be safe for construction.


  1. Permits

The construction time can also be affected by the waiting time needed to get the paperwork and permits for the construction.

If you get into any problems when trying to get the required permits, you’ll definitely face delays. If you obtain the paperwork effortlessly, you’ll stand higher chances of completing your house on time.


  1. Design

Another factor that can have an impact on the time it’ll take to complete building your house is the design. If you employ a predesigned idea for your builder with minimal adjustments, it’ll take less time to complete the house.

Your home builder and their subcontractors are more likely to be familiar with predesigned homes. Thus, they’ll be able to complete the work more quickly.

However, if you’re planning to build your home based on a complex, custom, or unusual design, your builder might face challenges that can affect the time significantly. This is because they’re less likely to have worked with a similar design as you’ve customized it.

Also, the expected date of completion may be affected by the overall number of stories being built. The more stories you’re building, the more the time, labor, and supplies required to complete the house. Thus, a multi-story house will take more time to complete than a single-story house.


  1. Weather

Unfortunately, there’re certain things that we can’t control in life. Among these things is the weather. At times, the weather is extremely unpredictable.

In case there’s severe weather during construction, probably a storm or heavy rain, the deadline may be affected negatively. Luckily, local builders are more likely to know the weather pattern in your area and include a contingency plan in the schedule.


  1. Variations

Even the smallest change after the work has commenced can affect the completion time significantly.

Variations in the design can cause major delays since new products, subcontractors, supplies, and possible redesigning have to be made.

If you want to change the cabinetry, it’ll take around 8 weeks to have the required materials supplied and installed.

It’s advisable to be certain about everything before the construction commences. That way, you’ll save money and time.


  1. Finishing

The final touches take most of the time when constructing a house. Finishing includes doors, windows, painting, flooring, and irrigation work among others.

Proper finishing may take about 8 weeks to complete. Discuss with your house builder early enough about the products you prefer to ensure they’re ordered in advance to minimize delays.


  1. Building approach

Also, the kind of approach that your builder will take will largely determine the time it’ll take to complete the construction.

Reputable builders have a clear building process that assists in ensuring all the construction stages are done as per the schedule with minimal or no delays.

Reputable builders have everything properly organized. They use a process that outlines what’s to be done in every stage and how long each step should take under normal circumstances.

If you hire a disorganized builder, or a builder who doesn’t have a building process, they’ll likely take longer to complete the work due to the inefficiencies involved.

Only hire a reputable and professional builder for more reliability and assurance about completing the work to the highest standard and on time. That way, you’ll save time and get the best value for your hard-earned money.

Also, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your house is being built by someone who knows what they’re doing and is following a detailed process.


  1. Location

The schedule can as well get affected by the site’s location. For instance, a site located in a metropolitan area would require less time to build a house when compared to rural areas.

This is because supplies, products, labor, and travel time in metropolitan areas are more seamless than in rural areas.

If you’re building a house in the rural area, and you’d want the work done on time, it’s advisable to pick supplies and products that are readily available in stock to minimize delays. Also, order supplies early enough to avoid delays.


  1. Supplies and workers

The number of houses under construction peaks during summer. This is due to the favorable weather as it minimizes potential delays resulting from storms or rain.

If you’re planning to build a house during summer, be ready to face unexpected delays due to supply and demand issues, especially the supplies and products needed for construction and the availability of laborers or tradesmen required to do the construction.


  1. Builder

You can enjoy a smoother building process by working with a professional builder. A professional builder will have a detailed outline of the timeline and stages of the construction process.

They’ll also answer the questions you might be having. A reputable builder will offer you a detailed process including the steps and timelines of each stage. They’ll also give you regular reports on the progress of the work to keep you updated.

Also, communicating with your home builder openly and regularly will allow you to stay updated about any possible delays and the best way to manage them to ensure the construction is completed within the timeline.

What to Remember When Building Your House

  • Take time to think about the kind of house you want. Also, know what you’d want it to offer before settling on the final design.


  • Have a properly planned schedule to prevent delays related to waiting for supplies and products.


  • Consider investing in a land and house package as it’ll handle site preparation on your behalf.


  • Hire a professional builder who offers turnkey packages.


  • Only work with an established builder who can prove the quality of their services to enjoy a smooth building process.


  • Working with a reputable home builder will guarantee you that they only employ reliable and experienced subcontractors.


  • Avoid hiring builders who promise that they’ll build your house within an unreasonably small duration. Unscrupulous builders can use all manner of tricks to get hired. Thus, be keen before signing a contract.


  • Have everything planned out before commencing the construction to minimize delays that may arise from changes or problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it expensive to build a house?

There’re several factors that have the potential to influence the overall cost of building a house.

However, you can have a rough estimate of the cost by doing the calculation per square meter. Generally, the cost per square meter varies from $900 to $5,000.


Will it be okay for me to visit the site before completion?

Yes, you can. Arrange with your builder if you want to be visiting the site, including accessing the site after the lock up stage. There’re certain safety measures that should be followed when visiting the site to prevent hazards.

It’s up to the supervisor or builder to ensure that safety measures are followed by everyone visiting or working on the site.


What questions should I ask?

Ask the builder questions such as:

I. What’s the duration of your building maintenance service?

Building maintenance refers to the period after completion during which possible maintenance or repairs are done. On average, building maintenance takes about 6 months.


II. Will you work on other projects while building my house?

The number of projects that a builder is handling simultaneously can affect the time it’ll take to complete building your house.

Handling more projects simultaneously means that your project won’t get full attention. They may subcontract other builders to complete the work. You may not know the reliability of subcontracted builders.

Thus, you may end up paying more than you budgeted for or get a low-quality job. Preferably, hire a local contractor who handles one project at a time.


III. Are you having any concerns?

It’s important to be transparent with your builder. Ask them whether they have concerns about anything and how to prevent or resolve issues whenever they arise. A professional builder should be able to handle challenges whenever they arise.