How Long Does It Take to Build a New Home?
If you’re thinking of building a new home, one of the main things that gives you pause is probably knowing that it will take some time to finish, and you don’t want to feel uncertain about when you’ll be able to move in. Understanding the home-building process can help you to get a better sense of when your new home could be ready, and while there are definitely a lot of factors involved, we think that the following information can help relieve some of those concerns.
The Short Answer
If you’re just looking for a quick estimate to help you figure out when you should buy your home in order to move in by a certain date, the general rule of thumb is that it takes somewhere between nine to twelve months from the time you sign your purchase contract to the time you get the keys to your new home.
How long will it take if we build?
Build times can vary greatly, due to circumstances that we can’t always control. Usually this just means unexpected weather, although sometimes much more serious and unexpected events affect our build times, such as the current COVID-19 crisis.
When you build a home with us, as part of the process you’ll receive a 45 Day target letter with a more accurate timeline for your build. As a general rule of thumb, under normal circumstances, the whole process would take around 210-250 days from pre-construction right up to the moment you take possession of your new home.
The below timelines are just estimated, and consist of averages. Please be aware that things can change a fair bit during the construction phase (Rain, Snow, Cold, Covid-19). As part of our process, Sterling provides customers a target letter that is sent out once our construction team starts rough-ins. This letter will provide a more accurate timeline for when the home will arrive to completion.
Normal Build Timelines:
Pre-construction phase: 210 Days
Foundation phase: 160 Days
Framing phase: 130 Days
Insulation Phase: 100 Days
Texture / Painting: 70 Days
Cleaning Home: 21 Days
Pre-construction phase: 250 Days
Foundation phase: 200 Days
Framing phase: 165 Days
Insulation Phase: 130 Days
Texture / Painting: 85 Days
Cleaning Home: 1 Month
What’s Involved in the Building Process
There are several phases to the building process:
- Pre-construction phase: When you sign the contracts and make your design selections.
- Foundation phase: When the builder digs and pours the foundation for the home.
- Framing phase: When the builder puts up the “bones” of the home.
- Interior and exterior phase: When the interior and exterior work is completed. This includes things like plumbing and electrical wiring, as well as all of the design work.
- Hand-over phase: When you finally close on the home and get your keys.
At the end of each of these phases, the builder usually needs to go through an inspection before they’re able to proceed to the next one. Builders are good about planning for this but, if there’s a hold-up with the inspection, it could delay the building process.
Factors That Can Affect Building Time
Things aren’t always under our control, and certain things can slow down the building process. Inclement weather – especially in an area with harsh winters like Edmonton – can be a big problem. Disruptions in the supply chain can also cause delays, especially when the team has to wait for a product to come in.
You can mitigate some of these factors by working with an experienced builder like Sterling. We can still work on building in snowy and rainy weather. You might need to wait for some of the finishing exterior touches like landscaping if the home is done mid-winter, but there won’t be major delays. We’ve also taken care to develop strong ties with our suppliers, and we order things well in advance so that they’re there when we need them to work on your home.
Getting a New Home on a Short Timeline
What if you like the idea of a new home, but you don’t have the time to wait? There are options available if you’re willing to forego a few options on the design of the home.
At Sterling, we constantly build homes on spec for families in your situation. Sometimes, these homes are completely finished and move-in ready. Other times, there will be a quick possession home in the middle of the building process. With a home like this, you won’t be able to make adjustments to the floor plan, but you may still have some time to customize some of the decorative options inside the home.
Don’t Forget Your Planning
Building estimates are based on everything flowing smoothly from the builder’s perspective. When buyers don’t have a clear idea of what they want, though, it can significantly delay the process. Before you get serious about buying a home, you should make some basic decisions about what you like. In particular, you should go into the process knowing what type of flooring you want, what type of cabinetry, and what you want the ensuite to look like. Sure, you might later take some time to pick exact colours for the materials, but you don’t want to take an extra week researching laminate and hardwood flooring.
Getting a brand-new home takes more time than moving into a resale, but it’s well worth the wait. You have the opportunity to customize every little detail so that your home can truly be your own. If you’d like more specifics about how long it will take to build the type of home you want, come tour our show homes and speak with one of our New Home Advisors.
*Originally published January 9, 2019; updated May 18, 2020