How Long Does It Take To Build A Custom Home?
The truth is, it depends.
At L. Patten and Sons, we build custom homes for discerning clients. This means every house is unique, and every timeline slightly different. As an average, the houses we build take between 9-14 months. This is taken from the time the shovel is put in the ground to begin excavation, to the day the clients move in. This average does not include the time required to design the house, which can take anywhere from 4-12 months. If you are looking to build your custom home today, contact L. Patten and Sons.
Let’s say you have full plans in hand and are ready to begin the process. Here are a few key places where the timing can vary:
Permits: Conservation and Building
If you have any sort of conservation authority regulating your property, their approval must be granted prior to a building permit being considered. There is no set timeline for their review, and if you have waterfront or moving water you can expect it to take some time. You may even be required to have engineering studies done. Conservation approval can take anywhere from 1 week to many months, though the average is in the 2-4 week range.
Once conservation approval is received, or if it is not required, you are ready for the building permit. Upon receipt of a completed building permit application, your local building department is generally required to respond within 2 weeks. The application must include ALL of the required documentation, or this timing is not guaranteed. If they have questions or issues with the application, this timeline is extended. Generally, you can expect a building permit to be issued within 2-3 weeks of application.
Living in Ontario means dealing with widely changing weather. We schedule all of our builds to start somewhere between May and late October; ideally, we want the foundation poured, and if possible the house framed and closed in, before the cold and the snow arrive. While it is possible to excavate and pour a foundation in the winter months, it is risky and expensive and often the results are not optimal. So while this is a large window it is still somewhat restrictive, and we have to plan accordingly. In addition, heavy rain can affect progress, as the sites can become thick with mud or flooded out. Mother Nature is unpredictable, and there must always be allowances for her finicky mood swings.
At L. Patten and Sons, we have been using many of the same trusted trades for years. We have built strong loyalties with these companies, and we have confidence in their abilities and their commitment to our clients. Sometimes, however, the best-laid plans are upended due to extenuating circumstances (ie weather), and their schedules get jammed up. In these cases, we all work together to get the work done as quickly as possible, but timing can be affected.
Client Decision Making
While 9-14 months may seem like a long time, it’s surprising how quickly (and how often) decisions must be made by the client. Flooring, windows, cabinetry, trim, plumbing fixtures…the list is long. The smooth progress of a build requires that these decisions are made in a timely manner. Any delay in decision making can result in a delay in progress; this is particularly true of decisions regarding plumbing fixtures, windows, and cabinetry. We provide our clients with a schedule, so they know what we need and when we need it. This helps keep the project on track.
We all want every project to go as quickly and smoothly as possible, but we must prepare for things to encounter bumps along the way. We recommend that clients don’t pin their hopes on a particular completion date (Christmas is a common one, and almost always results in high levels of stress all around), but rather enjoy the process and know that in the end it will definitely be worth the time invested.
Trust The Professionals At L Patten
Whether you’re considering a remodel or new build, trust the professionals at L. Patten to help you make your decision. Case-by-case we evaluate what the best solution is for you. As experts, we can help you make an educated decision. Contact us today to find out what the best option is for you.
"Over the years, we have come to know Jerry and his group very well. They are a joy to work with and will deliver whatever they say they will. Jerry is trustworthy, dependable and responsible. He is also a very nice guy. For any building project he is our choice."
- Gerry and Gail