How Much Plan-Ahead Time Should You Expect Before Building Your New Home?

The short answer: more than you think!

This is a question we are often asked, and people are typically surprised at the answer! In a very simplistic way of looking at things, we like to tell people that they can usually start building 6-9 months from now (now being the day we sit down to begin planning).

For example, if you want to build a house starting in October, you need to start planning for it in January. Here’s why:

  1. First, it takes time to select a builder and/or architect. If you’ve done that, you will need to work together to conceive a design. From there, the architect will turn that design into  “construction drawings”. These plans include items like structural engineering specifics, mechanical and electrical design, etc. An engineer is also part of the design process to review and stamp the structural drawings. The engineer can often help to simplify the structural design and ensure that the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems are set up together properly. Once the plans are firmly in place and stamped, they will need to be submitted for permitting.
  2. Many people don’t consider the permitting process in their building plans. But obtaining a permit from the building department is required to submit the fully formed construction plans and can take anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks. That means that it could be a full two months of waiting for the permit approvals before any building can begin.
  3. Meanwhile, while all of that is getting done, your builder will start lining up contractors. Specialists will be required for things like tree removal, pouring the foundation for the home, and building a septic system. From foundation and septic professionals to framing specialists, plumbers and electricians to interior contractors, kitchen and HVAC contractors, all of these professionals have unique schedules that will need to be considered.
  4. Now the homeowner should start the selection process. From flooring to finishes to appliances – you will spend another chunk of time making exciting choices for your new home!
  5. Finally, contemplate the elements – like the weather – that are out of anyone’s control! Anyone who has ever built a new home can tell you they experienced downtime during a storm, or when work had to slow down due to an unexpected ground freeze in the winter. Things like that can’t be avoided, but they can be planned for early on in your process.

Proper planning and expectation setting will help you enjoy your new home building process much more.

Have questions on what to expect before building your new home? We’re happy to help so reach out to us now!

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