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    What are the stages of building a house and how long does it take?

    Published on August 31, 2018

    We are often asked “if we are building a house in NSW how long will it take?”  This can only be answered by asking “how long is a piece of string?”  The truth is, that there are so many factors which can determine how long it will take when you are considering building a house in NSW. The same can often be said when asked about cost.  Many factors determine the cost as well as the time it takes.

    Land and Home Design

    We have discussed in previous articles that there are often two different ways that most people enter the process of building a house in NSW.  Some choose their block of land first, whilst others fall in love with a house design which perfectly suits their needs.

    Whichever way you decide to start the process, both of these decisions need to be made at the start.  So here is the first reason we cannot give you a firm answer.  In many areas it is often difficult to find a block of land to suit a house design. Whilst it can also be hard to find a design to suit a block you may have already purchased.

    If you have your land, but cannot find a house design which is exactly what you want, then you may need to have your home planned specifically for you. This can add at least a couple of months to the process as well as increase the price.

    Soil and Contour Tests

    When planning on building a house in NSW and you have your land, then you will need to have soil and contour tests done.  This is to ensure your home will have a solid foundation.  It will also determine if your chosen plan will fit on your block.  If there is too much slope to provide a flat foundation, then this will necessitate considerable cut and fill – another added cost.  You may also have to have your house redesigned to ensure it will fit on the land.  This again will add extra time.

    Plan Draw & Building Contract

    When it has been determined that your house design will fit on your block of land, the next step to building a house in NSW, is to have your plans drawn.  Full working drawings are what the builders will use to construct your home and include the site plan, floor plan, side elevations and the electrical plan.   This process will usually take a couple of weeks.

    At the same time, assuming you have agreed to the final quote from the builder, a building contract will be prepared.   When all is completed you will be presented with the Building Contract together with the full set of working drawings.  Part of this contract, will also be all the inclusions you can expect to receive as part of the construction.

    This is a really important part of the process of building a house in NSW and it is imperative that you take your time reading all the documentation.  As with most contracts when you sign these documents, then both parties are bound by their obligations.  However, any delay in changing items, will again add to the time involved.

    Lodge the Plans with the Local Authority

    The next process is to lodge your plans with the local authority.  It has been our experience that this part can take anything from four weeks to four months.

    Every different local authority has their own processes in place.  Determining factors as to how long this can take vary considerably. If you build in a declared fire zone then the council will want to ensure all your plans are compliant.  This is also the case if you are building a house in NSW in a flood zone. The list goes on. The time the local authority takes to approve your plans, is totally out of the control of the builder.

    Colour Selection

    Whilst your plans are in council, there is something you can do to move the process along.  This is the really exciting time when you get to choose the colour scheme you want for your new home.

    One of the reasons  people choose to build their own home, is so they can select the inclusions and the colours.  Now is the time to choose all the inclusions – not only the colour scheme, but other things such as taps, tiles, carpets etc.

    When building a house in NSW, most project home builders will have help available to you to make the final decisions.  However it is important to have an idea of what you want before you make the appointment for the final selection.


    When your plans have been approved and you have made your colour selections, then finally construction can begin.  Reaching this stage in the process of building a new home in NSW, can take at least three months. However as we said early it can also take up to a year, depending on many factors.

    Construction time to building a home in NSW, will depend on the size and complexity of the house design.  A small three bedroom home, on a flat block of land will take approximately 16 weeks.  However building a house in NSW on a sloping block with difficult access can take much, much longer.

    Other factors determining the construction time, include but is not limited to, the availability of tradespeople; supply of materials and the weather.

    If you are considering building a house in NSW, then you should start the process as soon as possible.  Call in to see one of the Perry Homes, new homes consultants at a display home near you.  They will give you all the advice you need, to make it easy for you.

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