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How Long Does it Take to Build a New House?

Having a house built from scratch is a very special experience. After all, your home is where you spend a lot of time and your family will live there for many years to come, so designing it around your exact needs and preferences makes perfect sense.

Whilst there are countless questions that arise during the new build process, the top one by far is “how long does it take to build a new house?” The answer depends entirely on the complexity of the build method, as a pure self-build can take much longer than a new build project managed by an experienced design team.

The short answer is that the actual building of a new house will usually take between 9 and 15 months, although it will greatly benefit you to know more about the process. Read on to discover what’s involved and how it all works.


Where do I start when I want to build a new house?

A crucial part of planning your self-build or new build project is the creation of a schedule, which includes the overall duration. Although there are many variables, you should typically expect the build phase to take around one year, with an additional twelve months set aside prior to that for research and pre-planning.

This may sound like a long time, but bear in mind that all kinds of details are involved when you design and build a new house. From the size, layout, orientation and materials being used, to finer details such as glazing, lighting, energy efficient systems, internal flow and external appearance, it all needs to be carefully considered.

As a result, we’re talking two years in total that typically need setting aside for this highly demanding but extremely worthwhile construction project.


Does planning definitely take a full year?

Not necessarily, as some people allocate just a few months for the planning phase. However, even if you know precisely what you want and the schedule is created very quickly, the financing side may take a while. Some of our clients have saved up the money already whereas others take out mortgages and loans. The approach you take is entirely up to you, although we strongly recommend investing time into thoroughly examining how much capital it will require and also any additional costs that might arise.

Finding a plot and gaining planning permission can also take a while. Once your planning application is submitted you should hear back within eight weeks, although there may be a chance that it requires detrimental changes to gain planning permission. If this happens, you will need to take into account additional time to consider the changes, which is why having an experienced architectural practice on your side is so beneficial.

You’ll also need insurance and warranties in place, plus utilities will need to be available early on so that they can be integrated into your home’s infrastructure quickly and easily when the time comes.

What are the other phases when I build a new house?

Following the planning stage and deciding how the property will look and function, you will require a detailed set of building regulation/ tender/ construction drawings. These drawings go on to form a working document throughout your build and act as the bones for the 3rd party specialist to work from. Once you have a complete drawing package and all third-party information, your new build project will be split into four key phases:

Phase 1: Site preparation

This usually takes around a month and involves preparing the site for construction. The land will be cleared and levelled, followed by the marking out of areas and setting up of equipment and facilities that will be required by the contractors and wider construction team.

Phase 2: Sub-structure (below ground works)

A home is only as strong as its foundations, so these need to be laid properly before moving on to the floor structure. You can expect the sub-structure works to take between one and three months, depending on the size of the new build property.

Phase 3: Superstructure

Now it’s time for the actual structure to take shape. Needless to say, this starts with external walls and eventually moves on to the roof, although it’s a lot more complex than that. This phase also means making the structure as airtight & weathertight as possible, which can’t be rushed. The average duration of this phase is between two months & four months.

Phase 4: Building and installing

This phase requires around two to four months. It involves internal walls being built and the laying of the flooring, giving your new build home its overall shape.

Meanwhile, your home does of course need plumbing, electricity and heating, which are all carried out as part of this phase. This includes both the installation of the systems themselves and connecting them to fixtures such as toilets, sinks, showers and the boiler.

A wide network of specialists

Your architectural designer should also have close connections to structural engineers, quantity surveyors, project managers, arboriculturists, landscape designers, ecologists, planning consultants and numerous other professionals who will work to the project’s exact specifications.

This doesn’t just mean the appearance and flow of the property, as safety, stability, future-proofing and compliance are integrated throughout as well. A business that provides inaccurate, out of date or limited information will always end up causing errors that can cost the homeowner heavily either right away or further down the line, through extended project time & cost.


On-site supervision

Having the team at PJH Architectural on board throughout the entire design and build process is hugely beneficial. We monitor the performance of the building contractor, regularly speak to them about each phase, and inform you of progress in no-nonsense language. On top of this, we continue to offer our expert guidance whenever suitable, solving problems quickly and effectively along the way. Make sure to ask us about this increasingly popular service, as it can significantly speed up your new build project.


Looking to build a new house?

We’re here to help you create your perfect forever home. To find out more, get in touch on 0161 460 0382 or email the team at enquiry@pjhas.co.uk


For more useful blogs, please feel free to have a look at the following:

Open Plan Living Will Improve Your Family Life

Bifolding vs Sliding Doors

Turn Up the Heat with a New Kitchen

Thinking of starting your own new build or similar project? Check out our portfolios below.

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