How long does it take to build a custom home?

In some ways, it’s already taken a lifetime. You’ve lived, experienced, defined your needs, refined your style, established your lifestyle. And now it’s time for space that empowers you to lead the life you have built without compromise. The far more prosaic answer to this question, however, is that you’re looking at several months to a few years of decision-making, renderings, site prep, ground-breaking, construction, and punch-listing before your vision is a fully actualized reality. Give or take.

If it sounds like a lifetime standing between you and… well, your life, don’t worry. It’s not. Armed with knowledge, a realistic timeline, and an experienced team, you can stop dreaming about your custom home and start enjoying it.

A Timeline for Your Custom Build

Remember, mental preparation is a crucial part of the home building process! When you know what to expect, you can plan accordingly. So, here’s a look at a typical timeline:

Pre-Construction Phase: 3-6 months

  • Finding your team (including architect and builder, checking references, soliciting and evaluating bids)
  • Obtaining a suitable building site
  • Design (floor plan, style, selections, etc.)
  • Permitting and financing approval

Construction: 12-16 months (+ or -)

  • Developing, approving and signing plans, specs, bids, and contracts (2 months)
  • Site preparation (1 month – depending on the state of the lot)
  • Foundation work (1 – 1.5 months)
  • Rough carpentry, framing, installing sheathing, etc. (2 months)
  • Installing HVAC (1 month)
  • Rough plumbing, electrical, audio/video, security (2.5 months)
  • Roofing, exterior work, windows, doors (1.5 months)
  • Insulation and drywall (1.5 months)
  • Priming, caulking, painting (3 months)
  • Installing flooring, cabinets, trim, hardware, etc. (4 months)

Post-Construction: 1 month

In the home-stretch, your team will work on cleaning, going through their final punch list and walk-throughs, while you prepare for closing.

All told, this timeline could extend to a year or even two.

More Or Less

We mentioned that building a custom home takes several months – give or take. Here’s a few reasons why: Many of these tasks are tackled concurrently (for example, roofing and exterior work can be handled at the same time as insulation and drywall). Others must be complete before the project can progress (e.g. the foundation has to be set before framing can be done). It can also hold up the schedule when there are frequent change orders; work stops, plans change, and then you’re back on track, hopefully without major impact to your timeline – or budget.

And, of course, a significant timeline-influencer is… you guessed it, the weather. If Mother Nature isn’t cooperating, many items on this list must be delayed. You cannot do much about the weather, but you can take steps to streamline the timeline for your custom home build.

A Different Approach

The timeline described above is not the wrong way to build a custom home – but there is a different approach. You should never speed through the process of selecting a builder. Doing your homework here is arguably the most important step because while you’re not yet “building” the home, you are building the relationship that will facilitate exceptional results. Take that time.

The G&G Difference

Going ahead with G&G ensures that pre-construction activities are faster and more efficient, particularly if you choose to build on a lot that is already prepared (see Where We Build on our website). The evaluation, access assessment, clearing, grading, compacting, drainage/irrigation installation, and other essential work is done. Applicable permits are ready to go, and you can start visualizing your home in that space.

Our design phase typically takes one to two months. You may choose to work with your own designer on the interior, or you can leverage our in-house style expert, Hilari Goris. Another key difference here is that you will work directly with G&G owner Joe Garcia each step of the way. We intentionally limit the number of houses we build each year, allowing personalized, one-on-one attention. Joe will start to feel like a member of the family – but more importantly, he’ll make sure your project stays on track. This relationship also minimizes last-minute change orders because he, and his team, listen to your needs and truly understand your goals.

After breaking ground, it typically takes 8-9 months to complete your house. We can’t make concrete cure or paint dry faster, and we respect Mother Nature enough to let her do her thing. We can, however, utilize time as effectively and efficiently as possible to ensure that work is always moving forward. You may not be able to see it at times (watching paint dry is just as riveting as they say)… But when the frame starts taking shape and the roof installed, the doors and windows put in, the floors laid, it feels like everything is kicking into high gear. We’ve been in high gear the whole time; we’re excited that you get to see it coming together at this point.

Your Timeline from Vision to Reality

Whether you’ve spent years or a lifetime envisioning your ideal house, when it’s time, G&G is here to bring it to reality. It all starts with a chat. Let’s get started.