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How Long Does It Take to Build a Custom Home

How Long Does It Take to Build a Custom Home

By Garabedian Properties |

January 10, 2021

When we start the home building process for our owners, we take the time to meet them in their current home to get to know them on a personal level. This allows us to understand their personal style and to take a look at their current home to see what they like and don’t like as we take that into account when we are designing their dream home. Without fail, during this initial conversation we are always asked the inevitable question: ‘How long will it take until we get the keys to our home?’, and our answer is always the same: ‘It depends’; and here’s why—

Alignment Of Expectations

The very first step is to get everyone’s expectations in alignment.  When we meet with a family the husband has a vision of a house and budget in his head.  The wife has a vision of a house and budget in her head.  The children have a vision of a house in their heads and honestly the budget is not much of a concern to them.  The builder has a vision of the house and a budget in his head as well.  None of these houses are the same house or budget.

Open conversations have to be held amongst all the stake holders on what is the desired home and budget.  There must be open frank conversations about home size, finishes, location, amenities and style.  Failure to have these conversations early in the process often leads to angst, confusion and project delays as the project moves forward.

Once all have expectations in alignment a decision can be made on to move forward with the project.

Before We Break Ground

As soon as we are given the green light, we start designing the home and securing contracts and permits for the build. We also secure the lot (if the owners do not yet have one) which includes the site survey, soils test and topography & trees surveys. In addition, we work closely with the owner to make selections, price out the home to ensure it is within budget, secure financing, draft contracts, create floor plans, generate renderings, and finalize details to give to vendors. Once the contract is finalized and the lender does an appraisal and home approval, we are able to close the construction load.

This process is completed under our Professional Services Agreement which specifies the entire process leading up to the final contract.  For our typical 5,000 square foot homes, this process covers everything we need before we break ground and takes around 4-6 months to complete.


We are now able to break ground! This is the fun part because all of the paperwork and dreaming the last 6 months really comes to life as we clear the lot, lay the foundation, and go vertical. Each month, the owner’s dream home comes to life little by little and is exciting for both the owner and our team to see. The actual construction process takes about a year to complete for a luxury home and a bit longer for estate homes.  This, of course, is subject to weather and can also be delayed if the owner’s design decisions are prolonged.

Overall, we like to say that a good estimate is around 18 months from the time we are sitting in your home discussing the owner’s dreams to the time they have the keys in hand.

Common Questions

We are also often asked about how proactive the owner should be prior to reaching out to a builder to start construction on the home. Such as, ‘Does it make sense to design the home first and find the builder later?’ and ‘Should we buy the lot first then reach out to the builder to construct the home?’. The answer to both of these questions is no.

At Garabedian Properties, we pride ourselves on providing a full-service experience before, during and after the build. We will fine tune designs and make suggestions to make sure we are giving you what you want and need while staying within your budget. Additionally, as a builder with nearing 30 years of experience, we notice things that owners sometimes miss. Potential owners should always consult with the builder prior to purchasing the lot to reduce any roadblocks that can appear from issues often missed (elevation, vegetation restrictions, etc.) when evaluating a lot.

Having a builder fully engaged from the earliest days of the process will more often than not save a family time, money and aggravation as they make this custom home journey.

For more information on the custom home building process, contact us at and speak with an experienced member of our team!

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