How Long Does It Take To Design and Build a Custom Home

Do you want to build a custom home, but you’re not thinking of moving in for 18 months or so?

Did you know it can take that long to get your design, budgeting, approvals and construction done?

Planning to build a new home is all about looking to the end result you want and working backwards through the steps required to get there.

Designing, costing, Council Approvals and construction of your new custom home takes a lot longer than you might think.

Today we share with you our timeline to construction and highlight the areas where this timeline can grow unless you are working with a professional builder.

We break up this timeline to completion of your home into five stages;

Stage 1 – Initial Site Meeting and Preliminary Design – Duration up to 8 weeks

This stage is where it all begins and you get your first glimpse at the realities of having your custom home built, during this stage you will be;

  • Meeting with builders and picking your prefered one
  • Accepting their Preliminary Building Agreement
  • Carrying out soil testing and contour surveys
  • Meeting with the builders designers and discussing your design brief in more detail
  • Developing a Preliminary Design to your liking

If you meet with a builder and they don’t have a firm process for the design and Council approval of your home, this is a warning sign.  

If they can’t organise the design and Council approval, how will they go building your home?

Stage 2 – Estimating and Lodging for Planning Approval – Duration 6 weeks

This stage is where we get serious about costs and what is actually required for building your home, and I will let you in on a little secret…often this gets left to last so the budget shock comes at the end of the process, after you have spent significant amounts of money on design, so look out for builders or designers who want to leave accurate, detailed costing for later.

What happens in this stage is;

  • You get your initial price, subject to engineering and selections
  • You get access to your builders online portal system to view and discuss options and inclusions
  • You have engineering carried out for the footings and timber framing so that these costs can be accurately accounted for
  • Your builder updates your pricing and inclusions, so you know exactly how your budget is sitting

Stage 3 – Planning Approval and Selections – Duration 12 weeks

This is the stage you make your selections as your home goes through the Council Approval process.

During this stage the following milestones are achieved;

  • Granting of Planning Approval
  • Your selections of fittings, fixtures and finishes are carried out and any price adjustments made in your builders online portal (the one you have access to)
  • Your builder has the Energy Rating finalised, privately certification and final Council and Statutory fees paid in order to gain full building approval

Stage 4 – Contract and Bank Approval – Duration 8 weeks

This is it!  You’re nearly there, your builder has all the information they need to give you a firm, fixed price quote, no hidden extras, no missing items.

At this stage you can receive your final quote and sign a contract with your builder.

Your builder will then be able to provide the bank pack to get your final construction loan approval in order to pay your deposit and lock in your start date!

Stage 5 – Construction

This stage usually takes 6-9 months and you are able to monitor and be informed of progress via your builders online project management system, the same one you have been using from the start (if your builder doesn’t offer this system, its a warning sign they aren’t organised).

We have 3 hot tips for you to look out for with any builder when building;

Tip 1 

Does your builder insist on meeting with you regularly on site? (if not this is a big red flag)

Tip 2

Does your builder give you 24/7 online access to his project schedule?

Tip 3

Is your builder happy to show you projects he is currently working on?

So if you are thinking of building a custom designed home you need to make sure that you factor in the design and documentation time to ensure that you move in when you plan to.

To help you pick the right builder for your custom home, we have put together a handy guide of 7 things to ask your builder before you sign a contract.  

Click the link below to download it right now.

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Enduro Builders is South Australia’s most sought-after builder, designer, and construction company. We are ready to create your unique, modern and high end luxury Energy Efficient homes.

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