For many people, buying an existing house was their go-to option for securing a new home. As the housing market went crazy in the last year or two, the number of available homes has steadily declined while prices went way up. Under those conditions, it’s no wonder that more people considering building a house instead.

While commercial construction accounts for some of it, 2020 saw the construction of a little over 900,000 homes. So, you might rightly wonder, just how long does it take to build a house of my own?

Keep reading for our guide that breaks down the overall timeline.


Becoming a General Contractor

There are several preliminary tasks that you must take care of that can make the process drag out a little. For one, you must acquire the land you want to build on. As a general rule, look for properties that already contain utilities, such as electricity and water for in-town purchases.

Buying the land can go quickly, but assume you’ll spend at least a few months dealing with the loans and closing the purchase. If you’re buying in-town or in-city, you may face a long journey if the lot isn’t zoned for residential construction. That can take additional months.

You’ll also want plans ready to go for the house. That usually means hiring an architect, which can add time. Ideally, these preliminaries will only take a few months.

Selecting a Contractor

Finding the Best Contractor is Worth the Effort

Selecting a contractor can prove time-consuming, so it’s best to undertake this process early on. You can even do it at the same as you’re shopping around for loans. You’ll want to look for a contractor that offer all of the services you want.

For example, if you want someone else to deal with most of those preliminary hassles, you’ll want a contractor like that offers pre-construction services.


There is no single timeline for getting permits. The wait can vary from as little as a week to a month or more, depending on the city. Ask your contractor what you should expect.

As a general rule, plan on a month.


The actual construction timeline varies based on your designs and the size of the home. In general, assume that the construction process from clearing and grading the ground to finished product will take approximately 3 to 6 months. The bigger the house and the more complex the interior, the longer it will take.

How Long Does it Take to Build a House?

House additions costs - A Huge range of Costs with Building an Addition

The answer to how long does it take to build a house proves frustrating for more would-be homeowners. The answer is that it depends on what you want and where you want it.

Everything from buying the land to getting the permits can go fast or slow. For planning purposes, though, you should expect that your home build will run from around 6 months to around a year. For especially large, complex homes, that number can go up to as high as two years.

Looking for more real estate insights? Check out the posts in our Real Estate section.

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