A Home Construction Timeline

new-home-constructionMany perspective new home buyers are watching Extreme Home Makeover and believe that a new home can be constructed in a short period of time. WRONG. There is Reality TV and then the real world. Constructing a new home can take anywhere from six months to one year (or more), depending on a number of factors. The size of the house, number of workers, weather conditions, and unexpected–but inevitable–delays all make a difference. Though the order of work may vary slightly and local building-inspection requirements differ, this timetable, spread over a seven-month period, should give you a pretty good sense of what to expect and when:

  • Obtain municipal and state permits
  • Begin site work and excavation
  • Homesite scraped, leveled and pinned.
  • Erosion controls in place.
  • Slab form boards set.
  • Underground plumbing in place.
  • Type II and vapor barrier in place.
  • Pre-slab pour inspection completed.
  • Slab poured.
  • In some locations, flat work (sidewalks, patios and driveways) is formed, and the concrete is poured.
  • Slab form boards pulled.
  • Rough grade completed.
  • Frame floors
  • Rough-in electrical and plumbing under floors
  • Install first-floor subfloor
  • Frame walls, roof and ceilings, including all door and window rough openings
    • Exterior sheathing installed.
    • Windows installed.
    • Roof sheathing completed.
    • Roof nailing completed.
    • Roof tiles or shingle material loaded.
  • Install remaining subfloors.
  • Apply exterior wall and roof sheathing.
  • Rough-in remaining electrical and plumbing lines in wall, ceiling and floor cavities.
  • Rough plumbing installed.
  • Rough HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning) installed.
  • Rough electrical installed.
  • Rough frame inspections (municipal inspections: mechanical, plumbing, electrical and frame) completed.
  • Apply roof flashing and shingles
  • Install windows and exterior doors
  • Batts installed (wall insulation).
  • Drywall stacked or scheduled.
  • Pre-drywall Inspections
  • Drywall installed throughout the home.
  • Drywall nailing inspection completed.
  • Ceiling insulation installed (per plan). Note: not required between 1st and 2nd floors.
  • Drywall taped and textured in accordance with the approved home plan.
  • Exterior finishes will be started (brick, cementatious finish, stone or siding).
  • Apply exterior trim
  • Apply ceramic tile in baths
  • Finish plumbing and electrical work
  • Paint and wallpaper
  • Install finish flooring
  • Garage doors installed.
  • Interior door casings and doors installed.
  • All cabinets installed.
  • Base molding installation complete.
  • Ceiling molding and chair molding installed (if required per the approved plan).
  • Staircase railing and balusters installed (two story homes).
  • Finish electrical installed and operationally tested.
  • Finish plumbing installed and operationally tested.
  • Finish HVAC installed and operationally tested.
  • All flooring installed.
  • Appliances installed.
  • In some locations, flat work (sidewalks, patios and driveways) is formed, and the concrete is poured.
  • Interior painting applied.
  • All countertops installed.
  • Mirrors and shower enclosures installed.
  • Outside landscaping is started (weather permitting).
  • Install final hardware
  • Final Inspection
  • Touch-up for final inspection by homeowner
  • Owner final walk-through
  • Move in

Most builder truly intend to build a near perfect home. The only way you can be assured of this is by having an independent inspection. This is our business and we are very good at ferreting out issues that could have a dramatic and expensive impact on your home ownership. Please give us a call @ 360-588-6956 to book an inspection.


There are several variables that can affect the completion of your new home. We have outlined some of these variables below to help you better understand how the construction of your new home can be affected.


One of the most obvious factors that can affect construction schedules is the weather. Depending on the severity of weather conditions your project can virtually stall – standing water, mud and extreme cold can take its toll. That’s why most builders will want to start projects in spring and have the home weather tight prior to fall.

While your construction site might not experience severe weather directly, weather in other parts of the country can also affect the construction time of your home. Manufacturing facilities in various locations can be adversely affected by weather, requiring temporary shutdowns or disruption of shipping. Interruptions like these can lead to a backlog of orders for manufacturers, which in turn, can create delays in receiving materials.

Permit and Inspection Process

During the construction process, your builder will work with various governmental organizations to secure permits prior to the construction of your new home. As your home moves through the stages of construction, there will be several required inspections. Inspections are generally carried out by the municipality or county. These inspection only ensure that your home meets the minimum standards set by the city or county. Most new home buyers don’t understand this and forego an independent inspection. Want to see what these inspector miss? Look at our hall of shame

Labor and Materials

However, there are times when situations beyond your builders control can affect labor or materials.
As you know, there are many different materials that go into constructing your new home. As the construction of your home proceeds, the materials for the next stage of construction are delivered. Because our manufacturers continuously review and improve their product lines, there are times when items that were available when your home was started are discontinued. These unanticipated changes can affect construction schedules. In some cases, the popularity of an item can also lead to material shortages and back orders.

In addition, the labor force in various areas of the country can be impacted by natural disasters, such as when numerous homes sustain damage from hurricanes or earthquakes, stretching the labor force thin across all construction-related industries. Labor strikes can also have a major impact on the construction process.