Designing your own custom home can be a dream come true, but how long does it take to build a house?

This question tops the list of most people desiring to build a home and defines many aspects within the process of home building.

In 2016 a Survey of Construction estimated that the average building time for a home took six months.

However, the majority of the time, most contractors will shrug their shoulders and say, “It just depends.”

So before you purchase that perfect piece of land, let’s explore how long this project may take.

How Long Does it Take to Build A House?

Many things play a part in building your dream home. Is it a custom or production home? How much work will go into levelling the land? How long do you wait for permits?

How much of a role do I play in the decision making process? What about the contractors and the architects – how do they help me? How much will this project cost?

Asking these and other questions can help you gauge a timeframe to having your home furnished and finished.

Custom Homes

Custom homes take much longer to build than production homes. Their building time is anywhere between 10-16 months for completion.

The main reason for this is because clients who want custom homes often have their own ideas and floor plans which can lengthen construction, while production homes already have floor plans available that the client can choose.

Another consideration in the time frame is how complicated the project is and the desired size of the home. Larger homes will take longer, while smaller homes take a shorter amount of time.

Decision Making

Most contractors understand working under pressure, but the client may be forced to make many decisions in one day or in a short amount of time. These decisions will often revolve around personalization, layout, architectural hiccups and other things.

This can further delay construction by several days or weeks if decisions are not timely.

When preparing to build a custom home, be prepared to make those last minute decisions sometimes. The best course of action is (if everything goes as planned!) to stick to a plan and not change anything if it’s not necessary.

For example, when choosing your kitchen cabinets keep in mind that they often take about 6-8 weeks to arrive and up to two weeks to install.

If you suddenly discover a different kitchen idea than you previously selected, and those cabinets have already been ordered, your time frame is going to be longer.

Stay in contact with your contractor to so they can help walk you through any decisions you need to make.

Clearing The Lot

The builder needs a blank canvas of level land before they can begin. This consists of clearing the area entirely and removing trees, gravel, and other items that may be a hazard or roadblock and then, levelling it out to begin the build.

If there’s a problem with debris removal, or if there’s more work involved than previously expected, the time frame may lengthen.


Acquiring a permit to build and getting approval can factor into how long it takes to build a house.

Contact your municipality’s office to make sure you have all the necessary paperwork before filling out the application for a permit, as there are many different types of licenses.

The length of approval can depend mainly on the season. May through Septemeber is a busy building time so that the approval process may increase during these months.

Environmental Conditions and Location

One of the most significant issues when building a house is the environmental conditions.

The unpredictability of the weather can slow down building time. You cannot pour concrete in freezing weather. Surprisingly, though, some work can be done in the rain and snow, while other work cannot.

Your location makes a difference, too.

Some soil is easier to work with than others. If your land is level, the building time is typically shorter than building on a hill or mountainous land. Coastal regions and areas more prone to fires will generally take longer.

For those home building in Edmonton area, summer and spring would be an ideal time to build, as the colder winters may delay the project for a month or two.

Contractor and Architect Schedules

Though the best time to build would be in spring and summer, those are often busier times for contractors and architects.

If the contractor has many projects at a time, the work may stall because the labour is not available.

Aside from contractors and architects, you may need to call in other specialists like plumbers, electricians, and the like. If the summer months are busy, they may not be available promptly.

Speed Up Construction Time

If you’re building a custom home and you want it finished quickly, the easiest way is to stick to your decided plan and make minimal to no changes. Deciding to move the bathroom, or change the face of the cabinets or tile in the kitchen, will all require more time, and possibly money.

Of course, making changes is something you, the owner, have the most control over. If you do need to select different items or make changes, be sure to do so quickly, as dragging your feet can slow down construction time.

Also, plan, plan, plan as much as you can! Avoid a long build by planning everything you can down to a T, taking into consideration your region, environmental concerns, piping, land, and others.

Your contractor will be the best person to advise you on how to shorten your time if you have a specific deadline you’d like your project finished.

By far, the most significant hurdle will be the weather, which, unfortunately, no one can control!


The question of, “How long does it take to build a house?” can be answered easily, but not quickly.

Building a new home comes with its stressors. However, it doesn’t have to be lengthy. With a lot of planning, advice, and sticking to your plan, you will be cozy in your custom home in no time.

Take your custom home dreams to HR2 Construction. HR2 Construction specializes in custom-built homes, with experience in building agricultural buildings and light commercial shops. Their primary focus is on building relationships with their clients to help them achieve their vision.

Contact Us today to schedule your consultation.

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