How Long Does It Typically Take to Build a Custom Home?

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One of the most common questions prospective homeowners ask when looking to create a home from scratch is “How long does it take to build a custom home?” Unfortunately, the answer isn’t so straightforward. Many factors determine the time it takes from finalizing the house plan to moving in.

At Versa Homes, we’ve worked on various custom home and estate projects. As a result, we have a solid understanding of the timeline of custom home construction. More importantly, we stick to our standard operating procedure, which ensures that each stage in building a client’s dream home is finished on time.

Use the Versa Homes quick budget tool to get an estimate and take the first step toward your new home today!


How Long Does a Custom House Take to Build?


Building a custom home from scratch can take anywhere from 12 to 24 months. The bigger and more complex the project, the longer it may take. Construction alone can sometimes take 10 months, but when you add steps like planning, designing, sourcing materials, and getting city permits, the project’s total time can easily go beyond one year.

It’s not uncommon for the move-in date to get delayed, especially if you’re managing the custom home independently. That’s because working without engineers, contractors, and designers can often complicate the process. Plus, dealing with all the paperwork on your own can also cause delays.

You also need to consider the time it takes to secure financing if you’re constructing a home with a loan.

A bigger home, upwards of 10,000 sq. ft, would normally take longer. However, the duration can be shortened with a bigger workforce.


Typical Timeline of Custom Home Building


Each stage of creating a custom home requires considerable time. And the time required must be respected. Rushing any stage of your custom home planning and construction can result in issues later on.

To give you a better idea of how long it takes to build a custom home, here’s a timeline of the entire process:


Pre-Construction (6 to 12 Months)

Before the home’s construction can even begin, you have to explore the site, plan the design with an architect, hire contractors, and file for permits. All these steps take time, and collectively, you can expect all these pre-construction tasks to take up to a year.

Here’s what pre-construction processes include and the corresponding duration:


Securing the Site (1 to 3 Months)

Unless you already own the lot where you plan to construct your home, the first order of business is locating and buying the site of your home.


Assembling the Team (2 to 4 Weeks)

Next, you need to build a team to construct your custom home. To create a beautiful custom property, you typically need an architect, contractor, and interior designer.


Discovery (2 to 4 Weeks)

During the discovery phase, the home architect will complete due diligence to determine which zoning laws apply to the proposed property and whether the home’s plan must be approved by a review committee. They will also create a site plan to be approved by the city.


Programming (1 to 2 Weeks)

This is the stage where you’ll establish all the design or functional requirements of the home and work with the architect to create a vision for the home. This may involve showing sample homes you may like, or the architect may show you homes they’ve designed in the past.

You’ll also intimate your budget for the home at this stage because it will play an important role in its design and construction.


Design Development (One to Two Months)

After all the requirements are established, the architect creates the schematic design. This is the stage where your vision begins to take shape on paper. If approval is required, it’s usually for the schematic design.

Once the schematic design is approved, the architect can create a more detailed design and provide floor plans.


Fixed Pricing (Up to 8 Weeks)

Although this stage can begin as soon as schematic designs are ready, most builders will want to see a complete drawing to provide an estimate. The builder may also suggest design changes (typically for a fee) to make the design more budget-friendly.

Use the Versa Homes quick budget tool to get an estimate and take the first step toward your new home today!


Permits (Varies)

Once everything is finalized design-wise, you can apply for the necessary building permits to start construction. This time may vary depending on the jurisdiction.


Construction (10 to 18 Months)

Construction itself is a multi-step process and proceeds in stages. Here’s what the timeline of construction may look like:

  • Clearing and excavation (2 to 6 weeks)
  • Founding and Framing (10 to 24 weeks)
  • Plumbing, HVAC, and electrical work (12 to 16 weeks)
  • Insulation and drywall (8 to 12 weeks)
  • Interior and exterior finishing (12 to 36 weeks)
  • Final fixtures and cleaning (2 to 4 weeks)


Factors Impacting Time to Move In


Custom home construction can be impacted by delays, which may or may not be in control of you or the team you’ve hired. Here are some factors that may impact the time it takes to build a customized home from scratch:

  • Changes in design
  • Material/supplies shortages or delivery delays
  • Labor shortage
  • Construction mishaps
  • Delays in permits
  • Unfavorable weather conditions (for example, too much rain or snow)


Doing It the Versa Way!


Delays in custom homes are expected because homeowners work with different parties. That often results in miscommunication, which in turn, pushes the move-in date back. Versa Homes addresses this very problem with its top-down approach.

We take care of everything from planning to getting your home ready to move-in. Our team works directly with architects, engineers, and builders who have decades of experience to ensure your custom home is built on time and within budget. As a result, we strive to uphold the move-in date we’ve committed to and reduce the chances of delays by working on schedule.




How long does it take to design a home?

The design of a custom home can take anywhere from a month to four months, depending on the complexities of the requirements and the time it takes the engineer to create the drawings.

Clear communication about requirements and budgets can accelerate the process.


Do architects also build their designs?

Architects typically create the home’s design by drawing up a plan, which a builder then constructs. They’re not typically responsible for the project’s actual construction but may collaborate with the builder and oversee the process.


Is building a custom home expensive?

Custom homes are usually more expensive, but the difference in cost depends on the level of customization and complexity of the design. If the overall design is simple, even if custom, building it may not be more expensive than a spec or production home.


Use the Versa Homes quick budget tool to get an estimate and take the first step toward your new home today!

Curious about the cost of building your dream home?

Use the Versa Homes quick budget tool to get an estimate and take the first step toward your new home today!

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