So how long does it take to build a brand new home?   Building a home is a relatively lengthy process – from site investigation to signing agreements to obtaining approvals etc…

To answer the time question, let’s break down your build steps first.  These build steps are from the point where you pay your builder some money to the point where they give you the keys to your home.

Any step(s) prior to that is part of your overall building journey and is not included in the following build process breakdown.

Stage 1:  Investigation

How Long?  6 to  8 weeks*

This includes obtaining all the reports, selected design, compliance checks, detailed drawings and signed agreements.  The time range assumes that:

  1. you have selected a standard design OR
  2. you have completed your custom home design

However this time range is subject to nature of your design, complexity of your site, type of builder you are engaging and other factors.

Design

If you pick an existing design, then great.  However if you decide to go with a custom home design, then you are in the driver seat.  How long does it take to create a custom design home?  Well, how long is a piece of string?!!!

Site

If you have a fairly complex site then this will naturally add to the timing of this stage.  Complexities include but not limited to:

  • bushfire
  • flood zones
  • acoustic implications (building next to a main road)
  • heritage affected
  • etc…

Process

The time it takes to complete this process will also depends on the type of builder that you selected to build your home.  Working with a small builder vs. a medium size builder will not yield the same experience (generally) and will have implications on completion time.

Stage 2:  Pre Construction

How Long?  CDC:  6 to  8 weeks.  DA:  unknown.

As the name suggests, this is the stage before your construction stage starts.  There are two processes usually happening at this stage:

  1. Home Inclusions Selection
  2. Authority Approvals

Home Inclusion Selections

This is where you get to select your wall colours, location of your powerpoints, etc… The main “appointments” usually include:

Electricals

This is where you select the type of lights, location of lights and powerpoints, types of powerpoints and anything electrical.  The result is an electrical plan looking like this:

Air Conditioning

An important consultation is where you have an air conditioning consultant discussing with you how you are going to be living at home.  It’s important to understand how you use your living spaces and bedrooms, times of day and night, automation, etc… 

That way, you can zone your home properly and choose the right system for you.

Internal & External Selection

These sessions will be based around wall colours, tapware, brick, render, door stops, door handles, ceiling colours, types of architraves, tiles, timber or carpet, etc…

Kitchen

Another appointment is where you get to design your kitchen and select kitchen colours.  You can select the type of finish, doors, cupboards, etc…

Authority Approvals

While the above is all happening, your builder will be busy obtaining your building approvals via DA or CDC.  If the plan is to obtain your CDC approvals, then you are looking at a total of 6 to 8 weeks for this stage.

This includes your home inclusion selections of course as they are happening at the same time.

However if you are indecisive around your selections, then the process can take much much longer of course.  This will also delay obtaining the final CDC approval as the builder will usually wait until you have signed off on your selections before obtaining the final CDC.  

If you are obtaining your approvals via DA, then there is no definitive time.  Councils can literally take however long they want to take to have your plans approved.  Once your DA is approved, then add another 6 to 8 weeks to obtain your Construction Certificate.

Stage 3:  Formal Loan

How Long?  2 to 8 weeks

Now that you have your plans approved, your tender finalized and you finished all of your colour consultations; it’s time to get the money.  It would work really well if you have a really really really good broker who understands construction loans and can help you with obtaining your finance.

If your broker says you cannot get a loan, always get a second opinion.

It’s hard to say definitively how long this should take, but ideally it would take 2 to 8 weeks to obtain your Letter of Formal Loan Approval.  However this is bank dependent and subject to your personal circumstance and to the lending institution you are using.

Stage 4:  Construction

How Long?  3 to 15 months

There is a time-lag between obtaining your finance approval to when your builder can actually start on site.  Generally the builder is able to get to site within 2 to 4 weeks.  However depending on their business processes and operations, this might take longer.

The longer it takes the longer you are paying in holding costs…

Factors that may affect the build period include but not limited to:

  • Site Complexity
  • Design Detail
  • Site Access
  • Council Imposed Restrictions
  • Location

Your construction stage can generally be broken into:

  1. Site Start
  2. Slab
  3. Frame
  4. Lockup
  5. Fitouts
  6. Practical Completion
  7. Handover

One thing I must say here is that if your builder takes longer than 18 months to build your home, something is seriously wrong!  

Stage 5:  Maintenance

How Long?  Not Applicable

There is usually a 90 day maintenance period that is provided by builders.  Hopefully there are no major issues with your home at this stage.

A Note

It’s important to note that the duration of your build will depend on a few variables:

  1. type of builder
  2. builder’s operations / processes
  3. design complexity
  4. site access
  5. council restrictions
  6. site conditions
  7. flood / bushfire / heritage / etc… implications
  8. etc…

The key in all of this is to partner with the right builder.  I cannot stress enough the importance of having the right builder to help guide and support you throughout your building journey.

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