When you’re looking at a new home most buyers are mesmerized by cosmetic charm. Homes are staged, lights sparkle, and builders want you to be dazzled. Beyond a gorgeous kitchen, generous open spaces, there is a lot of what you don’t see. Energy ratings and Green Building are major components of your new home. You’ll want to spend some time to understand the process, and why it is so special to build right now.
While you’re dreaming over the kitchen, the bonus room, and the massive family room, the builder has a set of plans, a list of features, contractors, and a timeline. He will give you a general outline of the process, but most buyers erase that conversation from memory, and get frustrated if there is any glitch or delay. Building takes anywhere from 90 to 180 days depending on the time of year, weather, delivery of materials, availability of labor, and if you make changes. The most frequent delays are caused by buyers making changes after a project is completed, and it has to be redone. Your builder might have a ‘no change’ bonus to keep everyone on track.
Assuming that the master plan has been approved by the city, and that roads are already in, here’s a generic guide to the sequence. Every builder has their own specific time table. If any area in the beginning gets delayed, there will be back ups adjusting the final closing. How could it be delayed? Weather: late snow, heavy rains could stall out road building and excavation. Permits with the city: delayed council meetings, code changes, delayed approvals. Material or labor shortages: We faced a drywall shortage in 2004-2007, it had to be imported.
Here’s a timeline, and an explanation of how it works. The builder sets the timeline in motion as soon as contracts are signed. Before work begins, plans, permits, and labor is scheduled. Nope, you can’t skip the planning, and zoom into the kitchen. This part can take up to two months.
Every day is a juggling act for builders to keep the whole circus of 75 tradespeople on track. If the electrician is a week late, insulation and drywall have to be rescheduled until that project is complete. If the buyer makes changes after the fact, the timeline backs up and each step is rescheduled. If window delivery is delayed for even a couple days, crew has to be rescheduled. Closing dates are determined about 45 days from drywall being installed.
You’ll have several opportunities to walk through, even walk the lot before construction (you will be looking at dirt, but your mind will see yourself enjoying your new life). As you can see, most of what you’re waiting for happens towards the end of construction. Structure, utilities, systems go in before we get anywhere near design. This time table is overlayed by your choices made in the design center, and come into play with selections in flooring, lighting, carpentry, cabinets, and painting. You get a lot more than what you imagined, and you’ll be delighted with all the smart choices the design team helped you make.