Your home is a haven, so it only makes sense for it to be built perfectly according to your taste, preferences, and style. Conventionally, this wasn’t always an option, but now, building a custom home has become much simpler and more efficient. In this guide, the home builders at DRF Builders take you through the custom home construction timeline. So how long does it take to design and build a custom home? We explain it all below. 

What to Expect When Designing and Building a Custom Home with a Design-Build Company

Design-Build construction is a method of building in which a single firm works with the project owner to offer all the required construction and design services. 

You can expect to have a full team of professionals, including architects, and home builders, working on your project. The design-build team will manage your entire project in-house from conception to completion following this construction process: 

The 4 phases of design-build construction:

  • Pre-construction planning
  • Architectural design
  • Construction
  • Post Construction

Now that you know what to expect from your team, let’s get to the major concern: how long does it actually take to design and build a custom home? 

The duration for each step is explained below. 

Pre-Construction Planning: 1 – 3 Months 

Pre-construction planning constitutes preliminary strategizing before the construction project begins. It is a phase in which the project is defined. The construction company determines the budget allocation for each step, schedules milestones, and identifies any potential issues that may occur down the line and how to strategically avoid them. 

Determine Budget Allocation When You Design and Build Your Custom Home

Your residential construction team will work with you to efficiently allocate the budget for all components and steps of the project. When planning the construction budget, your team will aim to maximize the value of every penny spent throughout the project while maintaining one hundred percent transparency with you. 

Permitting and Other Essential Documents

Before construction begins, you need all the required permits and other documentation approved by the local government, allowing you to start the construction process. Your home building team will manage all of this on your behalf.

Timeline and Key Deadlines

The pre-construction planning stage also involves outlining key deadlines and scheduling requirements to provide the most accurate timeline for the completion of the project. Some deviation from this timeline can be expected, but key deadlines should never be missed. 

Designing a Custom Home: 1 – 3 Months 

The design process is actually an essential part of the pre-construction planning phase, so these services will likely begin congruently. Designing a custom home is your opportunity to truly personalize your new dwelling to your lifestyle. 

Style & Floorplan

Initially, you need to determine the style and floorplan of your home. Some examples include Colonial, Victorian, Tudor, Cape Cod, Country French, cottage, Mediterranean, Craftsman, Ranch, and Contemporary.

Different aspects of the house plan, such as the dimensions, layouts, installation methods, techniques, and materials, will depend on the style you choose. 

Interior & Exterior 

Another important part of the custom home design process is interior and exterior features. You will consider specific design aspects such as: 

  • Textures, colors, and patterns throughout your home
  • Lighting, function, accent, ambiance, natural sunlight
  • Architectural flows, both aesthetically and functionally 
  • Landscaping design, property markers, permanent features, organic and non-organic materials

Custom Features

Apart from design, you may also have some requirements for functionality. Your design-build team will be able to provide expert advice on how to combine beautiful design and functional elements throughout the space. You can incorporate custom features such as:

  • Heated floors
  • Outdoor kitchen
  • Custom storage solutions
  • Energy-efficient appliances
  • Solar Power
  • LED lighting
  • and so much more

Dream big during the design phase, and your team will work with you to scale the project according to your budget and construction schedule.

Construction: 8 months – 1 Year

The construction process is where you will see your custom home come to life. Your residential construction team will handle everything from site prep, setting the foundation, carpentry, plumbing, roofing, painting, installing flooring, and more. 

Depending on the size, layout, and features of your home, the construction process can vary from project to project. The pre-construction planning phase will help reduce the likelihood of delays during the building phase, but some variables are simply unforeseeable and out of anyone’s control.

Construction Timeline Variables

Type of Materials

The types of materials required to build your home can impact the construction timeline. Things such as availability and supply chain hold-ups can greatly affect how quickly the construction process will take.  


Your team will always do their best to work as efficiently as possible, but if the weather conditions get dangerous, they will have to postpone construction until it is safe again. Likewise, the weather can also affect how quickly essential materials get to your construction site. A terrible storm on the other side of the county can delay the delivery of vital tools, equipment, or materials your team will need.

Project Size

A bigger house will inevitably take longer to construct than a smaller one. Moreover, the complexity of the design can also extend the project timeline. 

Post Construction 

The post-construction process is usually the quickest part of a project, allowing you to move into your new custom home as soon as the final inspections are complete. 

Site Clean-Up

Construction site clean-up will be an ongoing process throughout the project. Your team will dispose of all construction debris and will begin actively preparing the home for you to move into near the end of the construction phase.

Everything will be wiped down, any dust and debris will be removed, all your appliances will be hooked up and tested, and every surface will be cleaned. 

Inspections and Documentation

The inspection process will differ in terms of duration based on your region, but home builders will manage it all on your behalf. You will also be presented with all the necessary documentation you will need during your final walk-through.

Walk Through and Move-In

Finally, before moving in you are given a full walk-through, inside and out, of your new custom home. As soon as all documentation has been handed over, and you are completely satisfied with the work, you get to move into your new custom home.

Design and Build the Custom Home of Your Dreams with DRF Builders

The design-build team at DRF Builders is committed to providing the highest level of care, and services to all of our clients. We pride ourselves on completing projects on time and within budget while meeting and exceeding all of your needs.

We invite you to contact us today to learn more about our construction services. We would be honored to bring your dream home to life.