Understanding Construction Build Time & Factors Causing Delay

Blog, Construction

Building a home is a very big undertaking for first-time homeowners and seasoned home builders alike. Before committing to the building process, many potential homeowners want to know exactly what they are signing up for. The questions “How long will the home build take?” and “What is the estimated construction build time?” are common questions asked.

A lot of things go into building a home, and calculating the cost of building the home and the construction build time is a very technical task. Other factors, such as the complexity of the project, the location, and the soil nature, can also affect the building timeline.

In this article, I will write on construction build time, how long building construction takes, and factors that affect the building timeline. Let’s dive right into it then.

How long does it take to build a home?

As I stated earlier, a lot of things go into building a home, and estimating the date of completion is a technical task. The general rule of thumb for construction projects is that build time is somewhere between 6 to 12 months. However, this timeline is not fixed as various factors or complexities can affect the construction build time.

What factors can affect a construction timeline?

Many factors can delay the completion of a project. The following are some of the most common factors that regularly cause delays in construction.

1. The nature of the soil

Before any construction process begins, soil testing has to be carried out first in order to know the properties. If the soil is conducive, the foundation pouring would be simple and not require any special practices. On the other hand, if the soil is not conducive enough, the timeline will be affected because a special foundation has to be drawn up first.

2. Site topography

The topography of the land is another factor that can affect the construction timeline. The architect and design team will have to consider the condition of the land, site slopes, and stormwater runoff. If there are any issues with the site topography, then chances are the timeline of the project will be affected.

3. Building location and environmental dangers

Depending on the location or region in which your building is to be constructed, you may have to deal with certain environmental dangers. For example, if the area is prone to flooding or earthquakes, specialty features will have to be installed to ensure the safety of the building. These extra structural components to be built will make the construction process longer.

4. Inclement weather condition

One uncontrollable factor that can delay any construction build time is the weather. For example, if the foundation is poured and it rains heavily, it automatically means that the concrete will take longer to dry the plan on the schedule. The same can be said about other phases in construction, which can cause significant delay.

5. Preconstruction and permit approval

Before construction commences, preconstruction has to be carried out. This includes getting rid of trees, rocks, and any other items that may get in the way. It also includes leveling the land for the foundation. Any unexpected issue while clearing the lot can cause a delay in the timeline.

Additionally, getting permit approval can cause delays. The process varies between locations and can take a lengthy period, affecting the construction build time.

6. The season and workers’ availability

Surprisingly, the season in which your project is to commence can also affect the timeline for that project. Summer months are mostly the busiest, so you might see your project delayed as a result of waiting for the necessary labor to be available.

7. Construction style and owner’s preference

Making personalized modifications to the already chosen home style will alter the normal time it will take for the project to be completed. When the homeowner makes a request or a change during the construction phase, the construction company has to meet this expectation, and at times, it affects the project timeline.


What are the steps involved in construction?

The steps include groundbreaking/site excavation/footings, foundation, framing, mechanicals, insulation/drywall, flooring/trim/paint, exterior façade, fixtures/appliances/interior finish, more exterior work-driveways/walkways, interior clean up, landscape work, and inspection.

How long do large buildings take to build?

The answer depends on the complexity of the building, but it can take anywhere from 8 – 16 months.

What is the construction build time for multi-story buildings?

On average, it takes somewhere around 15 – 20 months.

Which is faster, building a new home or buying one?

Generally, it is faster to buy a home than to build a new one from the ground

In summary – Construction Build Time

The construction journey is a very complex one often full of unpredictable events. On average, building a standard home should take anywhere from 6 to 12 months from start to finish, and more so in cases of large or multi-story buildings.

However, with potential delays due to weather, worker shortages, and other unforeseen events, it can take longer than expected for a construction project to be completed. Buying an already-built home is actually faster than building one, but the end result is well worth the wait. 

I hope you enjoyed reading this article; you might also find this article on “Why buildings collapse” interesting.

Thanks for your time.

About Samkins

Samkins Construction Inc specializes in custom home building, general contracting, design-build, architectural design, construction management, and real estate services.


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