Every year, more than a half-million single-family homes are sold in the United States, and you can bet that every sale comes with its own set of “lessons learned” for the customer. Think back to when you were buying your current home: It’s likely that you learned a lot throughout the process—even if it wasn’t your first home purchase—and you might even do things differently the next time around.
But what if you’re about to build your first custom home? Sure, the process is different in many ways, and you might find that you have a lot of questions as you start planning. Luckily, thousands of happy homeowners have already gone through the custom homebuilding process. That means you get to benefit from their lessons learned.
Many of our previous customers say that their biggest lesson was discovering how the custom homebuilding process actually works. There are quite a few steps required to go from an empty lot to a finished, move-in-ready custom home—something you’ll soon experience for yourself. Today we’ll give you a preview of what to expect:
The Custom Homebuilding Timeline
Of course, designing and building a home from scratch requires more time than purchasing a prebuilt home. The custom homebuilding process takes about nine months to a year, from start to finish. You might experience an occasional delay due to weather, hiccups with the permitting process, and so on. But all things considered, this time next year, you could easily be moving into the custom home of your dreams.
A Proven 13-Step Process
Over our nearly 50-year history, we have worked closely with our customers to fine-tune the custom homebuilding process. Just imagine: There are only 13 steps between you and your brand-new custom home.
Here’s an overview of the 13 steps, along with the approximate time required for each:
- The kick-off – 2 to 3 days
- Meet with a Home Ownership Counselor to determine home design, estimate budget, and gain loan pre-approval.
- Evaluate location – 7 days
- Visit the site with your Construction Superintendent to determine development needs and decide where on the land the home should be situated.
- Finalize design – 4 days
- Visit an Adair Design Center and work with an interior designer to choose your finishes, including flooring and countertops.
- Finalize layout – 4 days
- Work with the design team to perfect your customized floor plan.
- Complete the contract – 14 days
- After reviewing the budget and the home design, sign your construction contract.
- Construction drawings are drafted – up to 60 days
- The drafting and design team transfers your home design onto a full set of construction drawings, which will be used to build the home.
- Meet the crew – 1 to 2 weeks
- At your preconstruction meeting, you meet your construction team and learn more about your site development responsibilities.
- Submit for permits – 1 week
- Submit your building permit package and construction drawings in order to receive all necessary permits.
- Gain permit approval – depends on jurisdictional timelines
- Getting your permits approved can take days or weeks, depending on your local jurisdiction.
- Prepare the site – about 90 days
- Now you are free to start on site development. You can partner with local contractors and suppliers on tasks that require professional help.
- Building the home – about 60 days
- Once the site is developed, the construction team pours your foundation and starts building your new home. About halfway through the build, the midpoint inspection will give you the opportunity to tour the project, verify details, and discuss any potential issues with the Construction Superintendent.
- Final details – 50 days
- Once your home is substantially complete, you can do a prewalk with the Construction Superintendent to create a “punch list”: a list of tasks that must be completed before you move in.
- Home orientation – 10 days
- The construction team completes all items on your punch list and then hands over the keys. You’ll also do the final walk-through, learn about all the systems in your home, and have a chance to enroll in a warranty program.
Understanding the custom homebuilding process is one of the most important lessons you can learn ahead of time. It will not only help you plan ahead so that your custom home is completed on time, but it will also let you rest easy knowing that your build will go smoothly.
Ready to discover more “lessons learned” about custom homebuilding? Download our new guide, 7 Things You Should Know Before Building a Custom Home.