Between our YouTube Channel and our email list, every month we get hundreds of new subscribers.
Most people come to us with two questions:
- how much does it cost to build a house;
- how long will it take.
Without going into more details (what one wants to build, where and when) it is impossible to give an answer.
But even when some of the details are clarified, the time it takes to build the house (and the money you’ll have to spend) will most likely depend on how good you are to manage the project.
Here I explain…
The time it takes to build a house is measured from the moment you get your construction permits. However, the total time you’ll spend on the project has to include also the time that goes into planning.
A quick Google search for ‘how long it takes to build a house’ returns a clear answer:
This answer makes me chuckle because it is quite obvious that building time depends on a lot of factors. Consequently, there can not be a single “bold” answer that fits all cases.
As you can imagine, the size of the house plays a big part in the time it takes to get the building works done.
A hut and a mansion will obviously follow very different time schedules.
In general, if we talk about traditional custom-made homes (built entirely on-site), it can take anywhere from 6 months to 5 years.
Prefab houses, be it pre-cut kit homes or element ones, are usually built in a much shorter timeframe.
To quantify the time you’ll need to build your home, you have to understand the building process and to account for all the planning you need to do before starting to build.
To help you with that, we put together a printable checklist.
The checklist shows all the stages and the tasks which must be completed in order to get the house done.
There are 8 phases in total:
- Pre-planning & Budgeting
- Planning and Permitting
- Ordering & Contracting
- Groundworks & Foundation
- Manufacturing, Delivery & Assembly
- Technical Installations
- Interior Finishes
Sidenote: these are the very same phases you can find in our Self-building Guides, explained in more detail.
Each of these phases requires time and money.
If you want to run your project within budget and on schedule, you have to understand the activities that should be performed in each phase.
Also, as you might already know, it is very important that you get a good estimate of what the building is going to cost you – BEFORE – you start the construction works.
How long does construction take?
With an Avrame kit, as soon as you have the building permit and you are officially ready to get the works in motion, things roll out pretty quickly.
SOLO houses can be completed in a matter of a few days.
DUO houses can take up to a few weeks.
For TRIO houses, the average building time is 8 weeks (for the smallest model).
Even if you’re going for the biggest house, the structure is super quick to build. It will take one week tops.
This photo of a TRIO 75 was taken just 4 days after the materials were delivered to the construction site!
However, after you assembled the kit, the speed of the remaining activities depends on how well you planned them.
Yes, after putting together the kit you still have a number of things to do…
From the checklist you can see that, after the kit is up, you still have 3 phases to deal with. We’ll come to that in a moment… but before let’s have a look at the phases that come before starting the construction works.
How long does planning take?
The length of the pre-planning and planning phases can vary dramatically from location to location and from project to project.
In my own experience, getting approvals and permits can take over 1 year in urban areas (even 2!) while it can be done in just 2-3 weeks in rural areas.
However, besides the official documentation, the really important part is the time-plan you make for the implementation of the works.
A good time-plan and a good budget are the two most important factors in the success of your project.
Why is this so important?
With poor planning, the likelihood of running into hiccups and setbacks during the process is amplified.
Every little thing you did not plan or foreseen will add up and increase your numbers, resulting in:
- delays (and more delays);
- higher costs;
- frustration and headaches.
Note that a delay of “just a few days” on one activity can result in weeks lost for an activity that comes next.
For example: say you are late in sourcing the insulation material and you and up being a couple of days late with finishing the insulation of the house.
Your electrician cannot start his work on the day you previously agreed. Unfortunately, he is fully booked for the next two weeks and he is not going to be able to serve you. So you have to look for another one or just wait.
It turns out that, even getting another electrician, you’ll be 10 days late on your schedule. This completely messes up the interior works… you are now 1 month late.
On top of that, the guys that will make you the interior finish will be super busy at the time you want them to come, so they are now asking you more money to juggle your work together with those they already had on their schedule.
…it is very easy to drift away, both in time and in money.
Looking back at the 3 phases that come after the assembly of the kit (technical installations + interior finish + landscaping), you want to make sure you plan them really well, so you don’t end up in a situation like in the example above.
Plan with buffers
When planning it is good to add some buffer time to cope with small delays and uncertainties. You can think of buffer time as a period of inactivity where nothing is happening.
If you plan these pauses intentionally, they are not a bad thing.
If all the thinking and planning is done well in advance, the entire project should proceed pretty smoothly. Strategically planned buffer times will absorb unforeseen situations without causing out hiccups or delays.
A good time-plan and a good budget are the keys to building fast and with less money. The time you invest in planning is well spent.
Here at Avrame, we manufacture kit homes but we also strive to help people to plan their project in the best way.
Our philosophy is to help people to build homes they can truly afford… and this also means making no mistakes in the process.
With our videos and Self-building Guides, we really want to make sure you’re not only getting a house, but you’re also going to have a hassle-free experience.