Debunking the Timeline for Building A Home

Debunking the Timeline for Building A Home

How much time does it really take to build a new custom home or a take on a full-home renovation?

We get this question a lot. And our answer is not what clients want to hear….“It depends.”

On what?

Well, on decision-making timing of clients, on town regulations and responsiveness to permits, on weather, and most of all, on the scope and size of the project.

Here’s more on these variables:

Permits & Approvals

Timing to get the necessary permits and approvals from the town government not only vary from town to town, but they are often the cause of delays. Typical range is 6-10 weeks. The size of the project is a big driver for a longer time range. Be certain that the contractor you’ve chosen is familiar with the town’s regulations and processes for permits, zoning and inspection.

Location & Weather

Your home location can be a significant variable. For example, if you are building in an area that is heavily laden with trees and rocks, this can cause delays before laying the foundation.

And then there’s winter and severe weather patterns – a real risk to the most steadfast timeline. Beyond preventing progress, severe weather can cause unpreventable flooding or damage.  

Scale/Size of the Project

Here’s one that’s fairly intuitive – the larger the addition/renovation or custom home, the longer the time frame.

A kitchen renovation will certainly take less time than a full-home remodel/addition. The scope of the project drives most of the variation in the timeline.

And the more complex the design, the built-ins, the ceiling and wall treatments, the longer the timeline. Specialized materials often take longer lead times as well. While these timelines may seem daunting in the short-term, you will be grateful for your patience in the long term!

Unique ceiling, floor and wall treatments as well as architectural details such as arched hallways will add time to your project but the results will give you a lifetime of enjoyment.

The Client – You!

An indecisive client can be the timeline’s biggest enemy. Changing architectural plans, material selections, or budgets mid-project all have serious timeline implications. We always recommend using Ellie Mroz Design Construction Consulting to give client’s an expert’s selections and guidance, taking out the stress and guesswork of decision-making.

Our Time Frame Estimates for New Home Building and Renovations

With all those caveats, if we were forced to commit to a time range, we’d say from 8 months to 1.5 years. That’s a significant variation, with the majority of the range attributed to the size/scope of the project. If we had to generalize, most large scale renovations/additions we take on take about 6-9 months in the construction phase. New custom home construction will likely take around 10-12 months in the construction phase.

Here’s a break down of each phase in the Michael Robert Construction design/build process and how long each takes:

PHASE 1  / Vision, Design and Estimate / Timing: 2-4 months

  • Concept development
  • Priority establishment
  • Measurements + Drawings of Existing Conditions
  • Zoning Analysis
  • Feasibility Study
  • Schematic Design + Line Drawings
  • Construction Estimate


PHASE 2  / Plans, Construction Contract and Permit / Timing: 2-4 months

  • Plan Detailing + Elevations
  • Structural Engineering
  • Electric/mechanical details
  • Construction Agreement
  • Elective Renderings
  • Permit Drawings + Application Review


PHASE 3  / Construction / Timing: 10-12 months

  • Site Work + Demolition
  • Structure + Framing
  • Exterior Finishes
  • Mechanicals
  • Interior Finishes
  • Substantial Completion