How long does it take to build a house? Add to the severe building supply shortage caused by Covid-19-related shipping delays affecting more than half of existing building projects, and you may be wondering how long it actually takes to build a home in 2021. In this blog, we gradually unfold the expected time frame for building a new home, taking into account the disruptions that the industry is currently facing.
How long does it take to build a house? While the actual construction of an average home usually takes between 5-6 months, there are many other steps in the process that should be included in the overall timeline. From its first meeting to the day you move in, the full construction process (including concept designs, municipal permits and editing services, etc.) usually takes close to 12 months. However, there are many variable factors that affect the time it takes to complete a residential construction. These include:
● Leave periods at the local council
● Speed of decision making and number of changes required
● House size and design complexity
● Current building supply shortage
● Foundation quality and necessary earthworks
● Weather conditions
● Project management and client-regulated sub-processes
● Holiday cuts
● Bank financing and pre-approval
Doing background research online will help you gain industry knowledge and identify companies you want to work with. Understanding the construction process and setting realistic expectations around the timeline and budget is also critical to the success of your project. There are many stages on the road to your new home, some much faster than others. We’ve broken down each phase below so you can get an idea of the expected duration after giving the project the ‘green light’.
New Home Contract Signing – 1 Week
How long does it take to build a house? After meeting with your chosen construction company, deciding on a floor plan, implementing all features/changes, and happy to proceed with the proposed proposal, it’s time to sign the dotted line!
While the actual signing of the construction contract is a fairly quick process, the timeline to get to this point can often be as long or short as you make it. While it’s important to clearly outline your wishes and budget at this stage to get it right, going back and forth can take significant time.
The contract should include details about warranties, payment schedules, and completion dates so you can have an estimated time frame for when you can move. This can help you finalize rentals, take care of your current home sale, or simply pack up and get ready to move in. Significant changes you might want to make later are typically doable, but will most likely result in a change in the bid and time frame.
A project manager will be hired for your new building during the signing of the contract with Enhar Prefabrik. They will see this through drafting, council approval and ensure the necessary materials and specifications are available and build. You will also work with a design consultant at this stage to complete some of the colors and materials not covered in the concept design.
Design and Selected Materials – 2 to 3 Weeks
If you have purchased a ‘turnkey’ home solution, you will review samples and color swatches with your chosen supplier for finishes, materials and fittings such as floor coverings, handles, paints and joinery.
How long does it take to build a house? At Enhar Prefabrik, our qualified and experienced staff helps you design your new home, from layout to color and material selection. This phase does not have a fixed timeframe as these details only need to be confirmed and ordered towards the end of the build.
Draft House Designs – 3 Weeks
How long does it take to build a house? All structures must comply with council requirements and building standards, so a draftsman or architect is used to make sure the plans outline these details. These are official designs submitted to parliament for building approval.
With Enhar Prefabric, the final drawing of your house is completed after the site has been marked and the final design details have been approved.
New Building Council Approval – 4 to 5 Weeks
Once your proposal has been approved and the contract signed, your plans will need to be submitted to your local municipality for approval. Sometimes permits can be granted fairly quickly and other times it can take longer than usual if the council team is busy and not in a rush.
At Enhar Prefabric, we handle this process for you by presenting the necessary documents and, if necessary, commuting with the municipality. Because our constructions are prefabricated in our Timaru-based factory, the building approval process is easier for most projects.
Construction and Installation – 14 Weeks
Once you have your construction approval and your construction site has been allocated, construction can begin. You must tell your council as soon as you know the start date. This date is important as you must begin your project within 12 months of receiving your construction approval and finish within two years as part of the municipality’s final project signature. Your build build range will depend on factory waiting times and this will be discussed in the previous stages. The construction work must also be completed within the time specified in the construction contract and, if no date is given, “within a reasonable time”. A traditional build usually takes about 5-6 months to complete, including about 4 weeks to pour the concrete slab. However, a buffer must be added to this as it can often be longer during the winter months or when there is unforeseen earthworks and building material shortages.
How long does it take to build a house? Weather can often be an unreliable variable for traditional structures, as heavy rain or strong winds can cause shopkeepers working outside a home (such as builders, painters or bricklayers) to stop their work. This can have a domino effect on the timeline of other transactions, delaying the schedule and increasing costs. Because prefab houses are built in a factory, every element of the structure can be tightly controlled and work can continue year-round, in the rain or the sun. Therefore, it reduces your temporary accommodation costs or means you spend less time with your family waiting for your home to be built.
With Enhar prefabric, each prefabricated house is built in a purpose-built factory that speeds up construction, streamlines processes and eliminates external disruptions. They also have a steel subframe which makes them strong and portable. With an internal construction team accustomed to creating our designs, we can act efficiently and quickly to get your home ready as soon as possible. Once your plans are on the production line, the process from construction to site delivery typically takes about 10 weeks, with an additional 4 weeks of onsite work until the keys are delivered.
During the construction phase, we send regular photos and progress reports of how the construction of your prefab house is tracked. However, if you want the experience of watching your home come together like an on-site structure, you can still do it by visiting our factory and seeing your new home come together!
Enhar can also ensure that your prefabricated house is built to the highest quality standards, as all construction is carried out at the factory under close supervision. All aspects of the building and its equipment are also closely examined before the house leaves our factory. After the roof and walls are made of crate, covered with Gib and painted, the interior of your new home, kitchen and bathroom is equipped with all plumbing and electrical fixtures ready to be installed on site, with color and mounting options. Then, after the house is delivered, we aim to complete the construction site works within 20 working days. Most of the site work is done before the home is delivered. Once the house is in place, the Enhar prefab team will connect it to the services, adding the deck, baseboard, car garage and other extras of your choice.
Compliance Rules and Handover – 4 Weeks
Once construction is complete and in place, we will have local shopkeepers come and finish the house. Typically this is to fix any wear and tear from transportation and connect your home to services before council arrives before issuing your Code of Compliance certificate confirming that your building is in compliance with a construction permit. The approval process can take up to 20 working days from receipt of the application . For those who build with Enhar prefabric, our team will take care of the approval process.
Because we use local artisans for on-site touch-ups, it can take a week or more to procure suitable swaps and have the job booked. While we do our best to ensure that their work is of the highest standard, it is always worth checking this carefully in the next step.
Once the house is ready and inspected with our Site Manager, it’s time to hand over – and the final phase of the move begins!