How Long Does It Take To Design And Build A Custom Home?

by Ryan Stannard | March 4, 2023

How Long Does It Take To Design And Build A Custom Home?

If you’re looking to build a brand new home, you might be wondering how long the actual build will take...

Perhaps you’ve been told that building with a volume builder will be the quickest option because their packages come pre-designed and ready to replicate. 

Unfortunately, this may sound plausible, but the reality is a little different. 

In most cases, building with a custom home builder will result in your home being completed quicker than with a volume builder due to a number of contributing factors.

In this article I am going to share with you three things to consider when deciding whether to build with a volume builder or custom home builder if you want to take possession of your new home sooner rather than later.

Ensure Your Builder Allocates A Pre-Construction Coordinator

Firstly, choose a builder that can allocate a pre-construction coordinator to manage your project.

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Volume builders hold an exceptionally large number of contracts at the pre-construction stage in order to optimise their workflow for maximum efficiency which is why they are reluctant to commit to a hard start date in advance.

This means your project is likely to be delayed multiple times as other projects take priority based on build type and location, leaving your project sitting in the pool while other jobs jump ahead.

Requesting changes from the builders standard design or inclusions package will also hold up the process as their systems are geared for volume rather than custom. 

Custom home builders on the other hand provide a dynamic process that is flexible and accommodating. Changes to a plan are actioned immediately and your pre-construction coordinator checks on the progress of your project daily. 

Council approval can become another bottle neck in a volume builder’s process again due to not having a dedicated coordinator following up on a daily basis. This is where approved plans can easily sit in an inbox for a number of weeks again before being progressed to the next stage.

Specialist custom home builders will always submit your plans to council for approval on the same day that your contract is signed, and be ready to react quickly when those plans are approved by council because they are dealing with a fraction of applications compared to the amount that a volume builder has to contend with.

Minimise Wasted Time

Secondly, choose a builder who starts on selections while waiting for council approval and uses project management software. 

Volume builders might not tell you this… But they won’t submit your plan to council until the selection process is complete, which blows out the timelines considerably.

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In this current climate, volume builders are taking 12 months or more to finalise the pre-construction phase of a build project. 

They might tell you that they can build you a standard home twice as fast as a custom home, but they are failing to disclose the amount of time it takes them to start construction once a contract has been signed. 

Professional custom home builders don’t want to delay your project by even a minute, therefore they will begin on the selections while they're waiting for council approval so that when it comes back, your project is ready to move into the next phase. 

Streamlining the process like this is only possible if your builder uses specialist project management software developed for custom home building. such as CoConstruct or Buildertrend.  

These project management solutions allow the client to stay on top of the progress of their build and keep all parties on the same page because there is only one source of truth.

Volume builders do not offer their clients the same visibility into their projects because they don’t want to be held accountable on timelines. As a result their clients are left in the dark for long periods of time.

Slow Response Times, The First Red Flag

Finally, beware of volume builders' slow response times.

Because of the sheer number of homes that each supervisor working for a volume home builder has to manage, they actively discourage any client communication.

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Instead, communication is channelled through office-based administrators whose job it is to liaise between the client and the site supervisor.

The result is that requests get lost in translation, and decisions get delayed leading to frustration and disappointment. 

Custom home builders specialise in variations and have dedicated team members who typically manage a maximum of five projects at one time, meaning that they know every detail about your home and can advise you on variations quickly. 

At the end of the day, building a brand new home can sometimes seem like a lengthy and daunting process, so it’s important that you engage the right builder who will act swiftly through every stage to ensure you don’t encounter delays and are kept in constant communication.

To ensure you get the home you desire, I’ve put together a quick guide for you to download - The 7 Things You Must Know Before Designing A New Home.

It’s completely free, and it will help you to avoid any nasty surprises that can sneak up on you when building a custom home.

Just click on the link below and let me know the email address you'd like me to send it to.


Download Our Free Guide For Building In Adelaide