Building a custom home grants you the freedom and flexibility to design the space of your dreams. You can customize your exterior design and work side by side with an interior designer on every last detail inside. The question now is, how long will it be before you’ll be able to move into your custom home?

In this blog post, we will share the new home construction process timeline and what factors can affect how long it takes to build a custom home. Read on to learn more about the average timeline!

How Long Does It Take To Build a Custom Home?

This can vary depending on the builder and customization of the home, but overall it is safe to expect it to take around 2 years. It may not take this long, but planning for a longer home building process helps you stay patient. 

The pre-construction process can sometimes take up to a year with choosing a builder, finding a home site, designing the home, acquiring the building permits, etc. The actual construction process for a custom home can take around one year on average. The time can also vary depending on the location of the house, like if it will sit on a hillside or not. 

Average New Home Construction Timelines

Building a home from the ground up is bound to be a lengthy process, but exactly how long does it take to build a custom house? There are a few factors that may change the timeline, like the type of construction your custom home requires. Take a look at the following estimations.

  • Contractor built. Hiring a contractor to handle the design and construction of your home can ensure a shorter length of time for your home building process. This type of build typically takes closer to a year and a half.
  • Homeowner built. Choosing to try and tackle your home on your own will elongate the process and may even cause setbacks as you learn the way of home construction. For that reason, homeowners tackling their own home build can expect the process to take two to three years.

No matter the size and build of your new space, it’s best to work closely with your professional team of home builders to ensure that expectations are met and the process runs smoothly.

In-Depth Custom Home Construction Timeline

The average custom home construction timeline will follow the steps outlined below. Remember, there are other factors that can influence the timeline, which we will talk about in more detail later on.

Pre-Construction Phase: 9 months to 1 year

Generally, the pre-construction phase can take up to one year to complete. This phase involves the following:

  • Researching and choosing a builder/assembling a team (2-4 months)
  • Finding and purchasing a home site (2-3 months)
  • Designing your custom home (3-6 months) 
  • Acquiring building permits and getting loan approval (up to 4-6 months) 

Construction Phase: approximately 1 year

Constructing a new custom home generally can take up to a year or so for most builders. Here is a rough outline of what the construction process can look like: 

  • Drawing up plans, bids, and contracts (1-3 months)
  • Preparing the home site (1 month). If you are building on a hillside, this can take longer. 
  • Laying the foundation (1-2 months). Building on a hillside can also extend this timeline. 
  • Rough carpentry, including framing walls, roof, house wrapping, etc. (2-3 months)
  • Installing HVAC, rough plumbing, electrical units, etc. (3 months) 
  • Installing roof, siding, windows, and doors (1-1 ½ months)
  • Installing insulation and drywall (1-1 ½ months) 
  • Priming, caulking, painting, etc. (3 months)
  • Installing floorings, cabinetry, hardware, etc. (3-4 months) 
  • Cleaning and closing (1 month)

*Note: some of these tasks occur concurrently.

Now that you know the new home construction process timeline, it’s time to discuss factors that may alter this process. 

Factors That Influence the Timeline

Though you may have a rough estimate of your new home construction timeline, there are certain factors that can lengthen the home building process. You’ll need to be flexible during the building process and trust that your team will get the job done despite any setbacks.

Specialized Features

You want the best of the best materials and products, and who can blame you? You have the opportunity to build the home of your dreams! However, sometimes these products and materials can delay the process if they arrive late or are unavailable on time. You’ll have to decide if you’d prefer a longer new home construction timeline or choose different design elements.

Local Codes

When building a custom home, it’s important to keep in mind that the city you are living in may have specific construction codes that slow down the building process. Your builder should have an understanding of these codes before starting the process, but the requirements may take longer to achieve than the initial estimate.


The geography of the land can play a huge role in the timeline of your construction. Depending on where you have chosen to sit your home, your builders and architects may have to maneuver your design around certain landscaping, such as the plateaus and mountain ranges of northern Arizona.


Extreme heat or snowy conditions alike can pause the construction process. While you’ll be anxious to move into your beautiful new home, your construction team can’t work in unsafe conditions. If you live in an area with a drastic climate, you may have to extend the timeline in order to safely build your space.

Tips for Speeding Up the Custom Home Construction Timeline

You won’t want your team to speed through the process too quickly, but there are a few ways that you can efficiently decrease the new home construction timeline without cutting corners.

Hire a Trusted Team

The more hands on deck, the faster your house can come together. Hiring a trusted team of professionals who know exactly how to make your custom home dreams a reality can save you time and money during the construction process. Your team will have the industry knowledge and experience to efficiently and effectively build your space.

Simplify the Layout

While intricate layouts can be a stunning option, they can also lengthen the construction process. The more complicated your design, the longer it will take. Keeping your layout simple will speed up the building process and give you the chance to make your home pop with interior design features.

Invest in High-Quality Materials

Cutting costs for your home is not always a beneficial move. Low-quality cheap materials are more prone to breakage that can elongate the process. Investing a little extra into higher-quality materials will decrease the chance of broken elements that will have to be re-ordered and delivered at a later date.

Customize Your Space With Cullum Homes

Now that you have an idea of how long it takes to build a custom home, it’s time to begin the process! Trust the experienced team at Cullum Homes to bring your home design ideas to life. Our team is staffed with architects, interior designers, and luxury home specialists that know just how to create the perfect space for you and your family.

Contact us today to get the new home construction timeline started.