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What to Expect When Building a New Home: A Timeline

Whether you’re building a simple starter home or the ultimate abode, new home construction contains many unknowns and can be overwhelming—especially if you’re unsure where to start or experience a hiccup in the planning process. Depending on square footage, weather conditions, and the availability of workers and supplies, the construction of a new home can take anywhere from three months to over a year.

Things to Consider When Building a New Home

Building a home is a big deal, and from time to time, important notes or questions can get lost along the way. To help you out, we compiled a comprehensive list of things to consider when assessing your new home construction timeline.

Determining What Matters: First Steps

Determine whether you want to begin with a design or the lot.

Check your credit score before applying for financing.

Establish your criteria for an architect, real estate agent, and contractors.

Always vet and research the teams you might be working with.

Utilize resources like Angie’s List or your local classifieds.

Acquire multiple quotes for your dream home.

Weigh your priorities regarding location.

Walk the neighborhood that you’re looking to build in.

Ask your builder if the lot will require additional expenses such as septic, internet, or electricity hook-ups.

Documentation Recommendations

Establish a consistent and easy-to-record way to communicate with your builder, architect, or contractor to ensure they maintain ownership of changes, roles, and responsibilities.

Safeguard build-related documents. These items may contain sensitive information. Try utilizing any of the Safewise-approved storage solutions.

Communication Styles and Considerations

Building a new home can be a trying experience. And if you’re building the house with a significant other, make sure the two of you are on the same page in terms of decision making.

Consider your availability. You may or may not have a flexible schedule, so establish with your agent, builder, or contractor what your availability is to discuss the build.

If issues arise unexpectedly and require your immediate attention, delegate a specific point person (you or your significant other) who can answer those calls.

Do you like the communication style of the architect, builders, and contractors? You should feel comfortable voicing your opinion; after all, this is your home! If you don’t, perhaps reconsider working with that team.

Always hold those involved accountable for actions, promises, or changes


In the past three years of building our homestead from scratch we’ve gotten pretty good at scouting out deals on building materials. done the vast majority of the build for cash. To go with that, don’t have ridiculously high incomes. both worked varying degrees of full and part-time as teachers and freelancers in the course of the build.

Since not exactly rolling in cash, figured out ways to get the materials and services needed for the house for way less than buying at retail. Here are best tips and tricks for building the homestead you want, even when you have next to no money.


This should be your obvious first stop on your quest to get cheap or free materials for your homestead. It’s relatively easy to find anything from shipping pallets to furniture, lumber to appliances in the free section.


There are plenty of these to be found in rural and metropolitan areas alike. One of family members absolutely loves visiting country auction houses to find anything from vinyl records and antique toys to tools and farm equipment.


lucky to live in an area with several building reuse stores. have two local stores run by Habitat for Humanity, but there are a few other independent ones throughout the area. gotten things like wall tile, toilets, bathroom vanities, doors, and more from local reuse centers.

Resolving building disputes

When you build or renovate, things may not always go to plan. You can take steps to help resolve disputes with your builder or tradesperson. Aim to develop and maintain positive communication with them. Not speaking to each other can make any issues much harder to resolve.

Fair Trading can assist if you cannot resolve a dispute with your builder or tradesperson. deal with building-related disputes about:

incomplete or defective home building work

damage caused to other structures (including neighbouring properties) by home building work

specialist work, including electrical wiring, plumbing, gasfitting and air conditioning/refrigeration. deal with specialist work in residential and non-residential buildings.

Talk about it

Discuss your concerns as soon as you become aware of a problem. It may simply be a misunderstanding that can be quickly resolved through constructive communication.

Write a letter

Following your conversation, confirm in writing with your builder what was agreed to be done and by when. Date and keep a copy of this correspondence. Consider using registered post or email, which provide proof that the communication was sent.

Contact Fair Trading

If you cannot resolve the dispute, the next step is to contact Fair Trading to assist with dispute resolution. Either you or the trader can formally request for Fair Trading to assist, but both parties need to agree to the attempt at resolution.

Why it’s so expensive to build a house

Quite expensive, historically speaking. The median sale price of a new home in the U.S. has climbed pretty steadily since 2011. At more than $320,000 for the last three years, the median new home costs more than twice as much as it did in 1970 (accounting for inflation).

In a sense, not a lot has changed since then: to build a house, you need land, building materials, workers and you have to pay the cost of various fees associated with building. But increased expense in all of those areas a mean construction costs are historically high, helping to constrict the supply of new homes being built.

Materials and labor

The price of most of the materials that go in to building a house — things like lumber, steel, siding and windows — has gone up over time.

In some cases, companies that manufacture building materials didn’t raise prices much during the recession, and now they’re making up for it, contributing to rising costs for the parts that make up a new home

Like many industries, construction is in the midst of a labor shortage: firms are having trouble finding as many workers as they’d like to hire. But the shortage is a little more complicated in the building trades than in other corners of the economy: Lots of young workers left the industry for other jobs during the recession, when construction slowed across the economy.

How much, on average, does it cost to build a house in 2020?

Without sounding trite, the answer to this could be summed up with that frustrating yet often accurate phrase: how long is a piece of string?

There are a number of different factors that can impact the cost of building a house, including but not limited to:

the size of the dwelling

the location and availability of resources the slope of the land

the quality of the fixtures and fittings

What is Coronavirus doing to building costs?

Unlike many other industries, construction has not closed down because of Coronavirus, being considered an essential industry. However, home builders across have seen the number of sales plummet in the past few months as job losses and economic uncertainty from the COVID-19 take a hold on the housing market.

With the home building industry responsible for employing hundreds of thousands of workers across the nation, industry bodies have called for extra support. I’ve read reports of some builders suggesting their sales have dropped by as much  as 40 per cent, meaning many builders are hungry for work.

How much can you expect to pay?

First up, let’s get one thing clear: the base price that builders advertise on billboards and display on their websites are generally only a starting point, and do not reflect how much your home will actually cost when it’s 100% completed.

This is because these “starting from” prices usually only include the basics. If you are looking for a complete price that includes everything from the carpeting through to the landscaping and driveways as well as the white picket fence at the front, then you need to shop around for what’s known as a “turn-key” package – which means all you need to do at the end is turn the key and step inside.