How Long Does it Take to Build a Custom Home?
Tags: building a new house, home building schedule, time to build a new home
So, you found the perfect lot in the ideal neighborhood within one of the top school districts in the Wichita area. You even discovered the builder who understands all of your wants and needs in a home design. You’re anxious to get started on your dream home, but now you’re wondering how long it’s going to take.
At Sharp Homes, our clients often have questions about the home building timeline. As one of Wichita’s top custom home builders, we thought it would be helpful to share some of the common issues that can impact the home-building timeline.
How Long Does it Take to Build a House?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average length of time to build a new home in 2021 was about seven to eight months. Keep in mind, this is not specific to Wichita, and it includes the timeline from permit to construction completion.
It can take longer to build a home in 2022 due to the current economic conditions, labor shortages, supply chain delays and increased demand on building supplies. If you decide to build your home yourself, the average timeline grows to approximately 17 months. However, buying a customized pre-built new home can take a little less than six months.
Overview of the Custom Home Building Process
The home construction timeline includes finalizing plans, obtaining permits, constructing the home and the final walkthrough. You can read a more detailed list of the steps you can expect when building a custom home with Sharp Homes.
Factors That Can Affect the Home Building Timeline
Size of the Home
It stands to reason that a larger home will take longer to build than a smaller one. If you’re building a 3,500 square foot home, you can expect it to take longer than one that’s only 1,200 square feet.
Soil type and topography play a major role in the types of homes that can be built. For example, if the soil is too rocky, it could take longer to build a home with a basement because extra machinery, time and labor would be needed to excavate the dirt and rock for the foundation.
There are environmental concerns to consider, too. For example, if you want to build on rural land near a wildlife habitat or preservation, you might have to seek permitting from state and federal wildlife agencies. This could delay the start of your home’s construction.
Here in south central Kansas, weather is the biggest hurdle for new home construction. When Mother Nature decides to grace us with rain, sleet, hail, snow or tornadoes, it can cause setbacks of a few days or even weeks. Aside from our local weather, major events like hurricanes or large fires in other parts of the U.S. can cause logistics issues that can delay materials.
Special-order finishes like tile, windows, doors, door knobs, faucets, bathtubs and flooring can take longer to get in. Some elements, like interior doors, can be installed late in the process so they’re less likely to hold up construction. Windows, however, need to be installed early on, so they can have a significant impact on the home building timeline. Similarly, a home that has a lot of custom woodwork may take a little longer to complete because of the time involved for the craftsman to do his or her work.
While none of us can control the weather, one thing that is in your control is the number of changes made to the plans and finishes after construction begins. Take the time to make sure you’re happy with your floor plan before you start building. We also recommend gathering ideas for finishes early in the process so you have time to change your mind before the materials need to be ordered.
Impact of Construction Delays
Many home buyers don’t realize the toll construction delays can take on the integrity of their materials. When lumber is sitting on site for extended periods, especially early in the project when there’s no protection from the elements, it’s more likely to become warped.
Theft can be an issue where new homes are being built. Often thieves take valuable tools, but construction materials and even parts from a home’s air conditioner can be stolen too. The sooner a home is built and secured, the less likely it is that theft could cause delays.
How Fast Can Sharp Homes Build a New House?
There is a popular expression you may have seen that can be applied to home building:
Your new home can be built cheap, it can be built well, or it can be built fast: choose two.
While this is an oversimplification, there is some truth in the limitation outlined here. A new home can be built well and fast, but that won’t be cheap. Or, it can be built cheap and fast but then it won’t be built well.
At Sharp Homes, we find a healthy combination of all three fits us perfectly. We strive to build custom homes quickly without sacrificing quality. In fact, most of our homes are built in 5-7 months, depending on weather, selections, and other factors.
Quality and Craftsmanship
During the 50+ years we’ve been building homes in the Wichita area, we’ve developed a reputation for quality. Our tradespeople are highly skilled craftsmen who work together to produce beautiful homes that last.
One way we stay on top of our construction timelines is with detailed planning. We work closely with our vendors and suppliers to update our schedules weekly for all of our jobs to ensure that our materials are delivered just in time for use on the site.
While it’s not always possible, we strive to meet or even beat our planned construction timelines. To date, we have received zero complaints for completing a home ahead of schedule.