Purchase to Closing: A New Build Timeline
With existing-home inventory still very low in 2020, many home buyers are looking seriously at new construction and asking how long does it really take to build a house? And does it cost more than buying resale? From the time you sign your purchase contract, to moving in – here’s what can you expect when you buy a new build instead of an existing or resale home, and some questions you can ask along the way.
Let’s Start at the Very Beginning
In the beginning, the builder will pull permits and finalize plans for your home according to the floor plan you picked and the elevation you chose. The site or lot will be cleared of brush, rocks and other debris. A surveyor will study the lot and based on property boundaries and the plan or home design you chose, stake out the foundation location.
Sometimes alterations are made to a property with earth-moving equipment to ensure adequate water flow across the site, and then the excavation for the foundation. Then you can expect an electrician to show up to hook up a temporary electrical panel. (Week 1)
The Three Fs
The footing and foundation work is next, which adds time for curing concrete, installing drain tile, waterproofing, back filling, and creating holes to allow for routing water supply and drain lines.
Next up is the third F: framing. Once footers have passed inspection, and the foundation is in place, you now have a stable structure for framing the floors, walls and roof of your home. Inspection speed bumps and inclement weather factors into this phase which can cause unavoidable delays. (Weeks 2 to 12)
Filling in the Gaps
Subcontractors will now descend on the property to install important mechanicals like the heating and A/C units, plumbing and electrical systems. Once all of THAT work is completed, more subs will close the walls with insulation and drywall which will be sanded, primed and sometimes painted. The roofing and flashing work will be performed, as well as chimney installation. Windows need to be mounted now and doors and siding with trim are added to your home’s exterior.
During the initial weeks of building, design decisions will come into play, based on early conversations you had with your builder. Items like carpeting, flooring (hardwood or engineered), kitchen and bathroom cabinets, tile, interior trim and mouldings will be installed now. (Weeks 13 to 20)
Fabulous Finishes and Final Countdown
Tradesmen and women will make frequent visits to the new home to install faucets, countertops, light fixtures, door hardware, mirrors, shower doors, rails, and appliances. If landscaping was an incentive or part of the whole purchase contract, the landscapers will be transforming your front and/or backyard with rocks, plants, bushes, trees and grass. (Weeks 20 to 32)
The last few weeks of a home-building timeline include final inspections by the permitting agencies and a walk-through with your builder and/or contractor. You’ll want to make a “punch list” of things you’d like the builder to amend and once that punch list is completed – you’ll get the keys to your new home and move in! (Weeks 33 to 34)
Questions to Ask Your Builder
Selecting the right builder who can keep contractors and subcontract work happening on time and on schedule is a key step in building your dream home.
Here are a few questions you can ask your builder up front and along the way.
- How often can I visit the home during construction?
- What warranties do you provide?
- What standard features do your homes include?
- What are the major energy-saving features of the homes you build?
- Can you prewire my home for a security system?
- What about a smart thermostat, outlets or smart bulbs?
Keep in mind that even though builders have the process down to a science, in Colorado there can be unexpected weather delays that push delivery of a home past its projected due date. But for the most part, builders agree that the average start-to-finish timeframe for new home construction is approximately nine months.
Building New in Crystal Valley
With four of Colorado top home builders plying their craft in the master-planned community of Crystal Valley, there are lots of homes to fall in love with in these outdoorsy neighborhoods. The new homes here, from Richmond American Homes, Kauffman Homes, Century Communities and D.R. Horton are set in natural surroundings with easy access to nearby amenities. Find a new home that’s a perfect fit, in either a ranch or two-story model, priced from the $300s.