How long does it take to build a home?

by | Dec 10, 2021 | Advice & inspiration, Building basics & regulations, ultimate guide

One of the questions everyone asks when building their new house is, ”How long is it going to take?” In this article, we’re going to look at how long does it take to build a home. We’ll walk you through all of the details: how long it takes to build different designs, the various steps in the building process and what happens when.

There’s no getting around the fact that building a new home is a lengthy process (six months is not a long time to build a home), but with some organisation (and a little luck never hurts) you’ll see your own home finished in a timely manner.

Average Build Times by House Type:

The average build time for a home will depend on a variety of factors including the type of house you’re building. Let’s have a look at few popular designs, and see how long you can expect them to take.

House and Land Packages

For the actual construction of the home, a house and land package is about the same as any other home. Expect it to take between 6-12 months, depending on the type of house and land package you’ve chosen. The house design will determine how long it takes to build more than how you purchased it.

Custom Home Designs

Custom Home Designs are usually going to take longer than pre-designed houses and are more prone to delays. This is because a custom builder isn’t as familiar with each unique design as other builders are with a pre-designed home. Materials for custom homes vary from current trends to very specific, which can affect ordering and shipping times. The level of involvement of the homebuyer will also make a difference to the timeframe.

Knockdown & Rebuilds

Most builders advise that a knockdown rebuild will take about 8-12 months to complete. There a lot of factors that can extend this time, such as discovering asbestos in the building being knocked down and planning approvals for the new building.

Single Storey Home

The average time to build a single-storey house (assuming everything runs smoothly) is between 4-7 months. This can vary on the floor plans and whether the home is a bespoke house or not.

Two Storey and Multi-Storey

A two-storey house or a multi-storey home can take anywhere between 8-12 months to complete if the design is fairly basic. Something like a split-level home is likely to take longer due to the extravagance of the design and engineering challenges (working on a slopping block for example).

Acreage Home Designs

On average, homes built in a rural area take longer to build than those in the city. Construction of a new home in a metro area averages around 5-7 months, while in rural regions it is approximately 6-9 months.

Building process timeline

So you’ve visited the display homes, you’ve gone through the design process, the property has been bought and you’re ready for your new construction to begin. Here’s what to expect and an idea of how long a new home build can take.

Step 1: Land Preparation

The first stage of construction is the site preparation of your property. You’ll need a vacant block of land to start, so if you’re doing a knock-down rebuild, now is the time to get rid of the existing structure. Most builders won’t do demolitions but will recommend a reputable company for you to contact.

This is also the stage where any land excavation and tree removal will be done.

Before the building gets underway, you’ll need to do a feature survey and soil testing. A feature survey is the scale drawing of your home site. The soil test is to test the foundation you’re building your home on. If you’re having a knock-down rebuild done, you’ll need to do a soil test and feature survey both before and after the existing home is demolished.

If your new home is part of a house and land package, land preparation will be taken care of for you as part of the deal.

Step 2: Slab Stage

Now is when your design is measured out on your site and things can get started. Before the foundation is poured, the following needs to be done:

  • Digging
  • Set up
  • Pouring of Footings
  • Under-slab drainage
  • Moisture Barrier
  • Termite Barriers

Expect this to take between 1-2 weeks.

Step 3: Frame Stage

This is where your house starts taking shape as your internal and external walls and roof frame are built. This stage also entails reinforcing steel and conduit for electrics and pipes for plumbing. Without any delays, this can take between 3-4 weeks.

Step 4: Lock Up Stage

This is where the following will be installed:

  • Piping
  • Wiring
  • plasterboard
  • sheeting of eaves
  • porch
  • patio ceilings

Doors and windows will be installed and external walls will be rendered. By the end of this stage, your house can literally be ‘locked-up’. Expect this to take around 4-6 weeks.

Step 5: Fixing Stage

This is where your interior will start to take shape and all your features will be installed. Plasterboard, internal doors, shelves, cabinets, skirting boards and architraves all go in now. Any baths, basins and sinks will also be installed in this stage, and if you’re building a double-storey home, this is when the stairs will be built. Should take about 1-2 weeks.

Step 6: Completion Stage

Now is when the finishing touches are put onto your new house Any painting and tiling will be finished, as well as:

  • fencing
  • landscaping
  • final irrigation work
  • glass
  • flyscreens
  • letterbox

Once done, all waste and debris need to be removed and the house thoroughly cleaned before inspection and handover.

This stage can take up to eight weeks, sometimes more. This is where anything that needs to be rectified prior to handover is handled, so depending on what this is, the time can vary a lot.

A final inspection of your home will take place. This is a thorough check to see if your house meets building codes. The surveyor doesn’t check the quality of your builder’s workmanship (ie, have they met your specifications? Have they taken shortcuts?), so you should also inspect the property to make sure everything is up to scratch. This is where having a building consultant can really come in handy, especially if you don’t feel confident in raising concerns.

Factors that impact the construction process

There are so many ways a build can be delayed, some of which are unforeseen circumstances and some which can be avoided with a little planning. Here are some factors that can cause potential delays.


Severe weather conditions are the most common reason for building delays and, unfortunately, it is a problem you can only do so much about. Good home builders will try to schedule around weather, working outside on good days, completing work inside on bad days. For safety reasons, most quoted build times allow for a certain amount of inclement weather days. However, with most builds taking six months or more, it can be difficult to predict all weather. If there is severe weather during your build, for example, a storm, heatwave, or even high wind, it will likely push back your completion date.


If you change your mind about something, especially later in the building process, it can really impact the time frame of your build. What might seem like a small alteration on paper can completely change how a build is approached. This can also happen due to a lack of preparation. The best thing you can do to avoid this is to be sure of your design early.


Following on from the above, delay in materials means a delay in finishing your new house. This is particularly common in bespoke homes, as customers will want something specific for their dream home. If you change your mind about a material, it will take time to order, which again, could slow down the home building process.

Time Estimations

While everyone wants a quick build, be wary of builders overpromising their quickness. Whenever we review a builder who promises a quicker than average build time, it is almost inevitable we find negative reviews complaining this timeframe wasn’t met. Good builders know to value an accurate timeline over an optimistic one. Be wary of those who promise timeframes that seem too good to be true, because this is likely a ploy to get your business.

It’s also important everyone understands what is being promised when a timeframe is given. Make sure you know what exactly will be done in the time the builder is quoting you.

Poor Building Approach

Sadly, some builders aren’t as good as others. Reliable builders have a process and are highly organised, assuring they’ll finish your home at a high standard in a reasonable timeframe. Lesser builders who are disorganised and have no process can double the time of your build and make things stressful. When planning a new home, do your research into potential builders and see what third parties are saying about them.


The location of your block of land can impact the construction process. Rural areas tend to have longer home construction times than metro areas, due to travel time, product and supply availability, and labour issues. One way to help your home be completed quicker is to try pick materials that are in stock and don’t need to be ordered in.

Availability of Workers

Traditionally, the summer months are the peak time for new home construction. However, since the pandemic, builders have found themselves busier than ever.


When it comes to building your new home, you need to be realistic and honest about your finances. Running out of funds mid-build and not being able to pay contractors or for materials is a surefire way to delay the process. These delays will end up costing you more money in the long run.

How to avoid time delays

Construction delays can happen even in the best building projects. Things like the weather can’t be controlled by anyone. However, there are a few things you can do to cut down on delays

  • Plan ahead. Good planning is the number one thing you can do to avoid potential delays. Try to be as sure as possible about your home design before you begin construction.
  • Research. Picking the right builder can make all the difference. Ask anyone who’s picked the wrong one and they’ll tell you what a trying (and expensive) experience it was.
  • Be organised with permits/paperwork. Know what needs to be done and when. Avoid making mistakes when filling in forms. We’ve all had something delayed because of admin troubles so do everything you can to avoid them.
  • Get regular progress reports from your builder. This helps you stay in the loop and see how everything is going with your home construction. Good, open communication is key to a happy building experience.
  • Adding either contract penalties and/or incentives can help keep your builder on track. If a builder fails to meet an agreed timeline, you may recoup some of your losses.
  • When evaluating a builder, get information and advice from outside sources. After all, the builder is unlikely to tell you what their weaknesses are.

Looking to avoid delays in your build? Buildi can guide you through the entire process. Book a free consultation today!

Builders that we’ve reviewed.


Brighton Homes

BOLD Living

Clarendon Homes

Coral Homes

G.J. Gardner Homes

Dixon Homes

Hallmark Homes

Homes by CMA

McCarthy Homes

Metricon Homes

Plantation Homes

Porter Davis Homes

Simonds Homes


What to do if your builder delays the construction of your home?

In most contracts, it will specify that the homeowner gives the builder a notice outlining the breach and also gives them time to rectify a breach. Odds are, you’ll have to allow them this time before you can take any other action, be it claiming for damage or hiring a third party to complete the build.

You can take legal action over delays, however, it would best to weigh up whether you’ll end up spending more in the long run.

How long does it take to build a house after the foundation is poured?

This will depend on the type of house you’re building. The short answer is between four and twelve months, however, various things can influence this. For example, a pre-designed, single-storey house will take four-six months whereas a custom-designed two-storey home can take up to sixteen months to complete.

How long does it take to build a house extension?

This will depend on the type of renovation you’re undertaking. The below are some rough estimates between initial consultation and final product:

Room addition: 6-16weeks

Upstairs extension: 16-20 weeks

Kitchen: 3-12 weeks

Bathroom: At least 3 weeks.

Veranda: 10 weeks

Need help finding a Builder?

Building a home can be a daunting process. At Buildi, we work with you throughout the entire build process to avoid any pitfalls and make sure your house build stays on time and on budget by following these simple steps…

  1. Free Consultation – We will sit with you to understand what you are looking to accomplish.
  2. Due Diligence – We work with you to ensure you’re buying the right block of land at the right price without hidden problems.
  3. Builders tender – We will take your requirements out to the market of builders and they will bid to win your business.
  4. Present solutions – We will compile the top 3 options and present you with a comprehensive proposal on builders’ strengths & weaknesses along with prices and specifications.
  5. Contract Signing – We will work with you and your selected builder to ensure there is full transparency in what you are entering into.
  6. Building your home – We work closely with the builder to ensure all service levels are met and your project is on schedule.

We help find you the right builder for your home build. Contact us today!

Need help with your new home? Buildi can guide you every step of the way! Book A Free Consultation!


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Building a Home

Knockdown Rebuild

Home designs

Advice & inspiration

Building a Home

Knockdown Rebuild

Home designs

Advice & inspiration