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Building a new house can and should be a time of great excitement. However, the reality is that the processes involved with building a house can be stressful, time consuming and difficult. Budgets, building permit, ‘additional extras’ and many other issues can dampen the experience of building a new house.

How long does it really take?

The answer to this question is something that the overwhelming majority of people building a new house want to know. The fact is that the time taken to build a home depends on a number of factors that include, but are not limited to:

  • The type of building permit required and the length of time taken to acquire it
  • Whether you are building a kit home, an ‘off-the-plan home’ or a bespoke home
  • The size of the home
  • The infrastructure available at the site
  • The processes, arrangements and commitments of the builder
  • The budget you have available

Generally speaking, 11 to 14 weeks are often suggested as a guide for how long it will take to build a new house. The experience of many people is longer than this and, in many situations, it is more accurate and advisable to allow four to six months from start to finish, but this is also dependent on the size of the house.

Considerable frustration can be avoided simply by understanding the typical schedule for building a new home.

Why does it take so long?

There are a range of things that influence the length of time taken to build a house. These include:

Inspections and permit:

Inspections and the issuing of necessary permits, such as a building permit, can increase the amount of time taken, and the time frame will often be dependent on the location of the new home.

Interior design:

One of the most exciting parts of building a new home can be the selection of the different interior design elements that you want. The work of the builder is often stopped until decisions about what you want in your home are finalised. It is useful for many people to keep this in mind when considering their options.

Staking out the lot:

When the plan of your new home has been chosen, the positioning of the house on your lot of land needs to be carefully considered, as it needs to be correctly positioned and well placed on the block. Excavation and clearing of the land are also necessary before building work can begin. A number of days can be consumed by these tasks, depending on the amount of work required.


Because the footings carry the weight of the house, they are a fundamentally important part of the building process. Before the footings may be poured, an inspection is necessary and, following the inspection, the actual pouring of the footings generally takes a day or so.

Thorough preparation for building does not end here, however. Following this, the foundation of the home needs to be waterproofed, and soil will often need to be pre-treated by a professional pest-control company. The foundation also needs to be surveyed and these processes can consume considerable time — and, not uncommonly, more time than expected.


The plumbing of your home needs to be roughed in before any further work can be undertaken; it also needs to be inspected.

Driveways, parking areas and garages:

Areas that will be used as driveways, parking areas and the garage require slabs which need to be poured, and this may take a number of days.

Frames, drying-in and exterior siding, trim and veneers:

In order for your new home to have defined rooms, it needs to be framed. As well as this, a drying-in process is needed and choices will need to have been made about the exterior siding, trim and veneers you will feature on your house. These tasks can all take a number of weeks.

Chimney and roofing:

As a guideline, chimneys and roofing take approximately a week to install, but this definitely depends on the type of roof you will have and whether fireplaces are to be a feature of your home.


Having insulation placed in your walls and roof is very important and, by the time you reach this stage, you may be lulled into thinking that your new home is only a few weeks from completion. However, before your home is ready and you can move in, a number of further steps and inspections are required.

It is very difficult to estimate how long it should take to build a new house as there are so many variables, including inspections and requisite permits.