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Ask the Expert: What Time of Year is Best to Build a Custom Home?

Welcome to our Ask the Expert series! In this series of articles, we will be asking our experts, Brian Sineath, co-founder and president of Sineath Construction, and our field and production managers, the most common questions we receive from customers about custom homes and whole home remodels.

We aim to help you make more informed decisions about building your perfect custom home or renovating your existing property by giving you helpful tips and advice each month from the pros.

So, Brian is on hand to answer one of the most commonly asked questions.

What time of year is best to build a custom home?

Is there a perfect time of year to build a new custom home? Well, these days – not really! Building projects can go all year round.

However, there are some things to consider when thinking of starting a home-building project throughout the year. These are outlined below.

Are some times of the year cheaper to build than others?

Brian: Technically, no. There aren’t times of the year that are cheaper as such; however, weather during different times of the year presents different challenges. Snow, extreme temperatures and excessive rain can all be factors in the timeline of a project.

January, February, and March can be a bit hit or miss because cold weather can cause delays in foundation work. Naturally, if work is delayed, it can then mean that costs for things such as a dumpster or toilet rental will be extended as they are sitting on a site for a longer period.

Clients often ask us if they should shut down a job or push things back, but sometimes that can cost more than a small delay. So, we always try and keep a project going where we can.

Many construction companies will try to get foundations poured in spring through fall so that concrete doesn’t have to be poured in January. Although weather patterns have changed much over the years, we are finding that it is possible to do foundation work in January, which would have been impossible a few years ago!

Is there such thing as perfect weather conditions for building a home?

Brian: With weather patterns being so different today than 10-15 years ago, there’s not really a bad time to start. Usually warmer months are best as this warmer weather makes the home build projects smoother, but generally speaking, our projects are year-round today.

The most ideal conditions for pouring concrete are days when it isn’t raining or snowing, as we want as little moisture in the air as possible. Ideally, temperatures should be above 50 degrees, but if temperatures are below 50 degrees, then some things can be done to the concrete when pouring a foundation to help it cure, such as adding antifreeze or elasticizers.

If there’s lots of rain, snow, or ice, then this weather brings added challenges on-site, and often jobs will need to be shut down until it stops. It’s crucial to have a site plan in place before a build starts to mitigate risks, including an erosion control plan.

Are there pros and cons of building in spring/summer vs fall/winter?

Brian: When building a custom home in spring through fall, you have longer days and generally an easier climate, which means the team can be much more productive.

One of the negatives of building in spring and summer is that you might then need landscaping work done through winter, which can present its own challenges. Whereas if you’re finishing the project in spring, you at least have time to get plants in and finish things like driveways in warmer months.

When should you start building your custom home?

Brian: Any time of the year!

Generally, most homes take around a year or more to build, with different stages of the build happening in all seasons.

There’s so much to do before breaking ground, such as pre-construction, design, cost estimate, and finalizing the schedule of work. The pre-construction phase can take around 6 months to one year depending on the size, location, and requirements, and then another 12-14 months once the concrete hits the ground.

For bigger custom homes, the build can take as much as two years, but any timeline for construction will consider a lot of different factors. We work with our clients, architects, designers, and engineers to put together a realistic time frame. The more planning and preparation the more likely we are to hit the target finish date.

Does location impact a custom-build project?

Brian: Yes! Location matters when building. If a building site sits at 3,500 feet of elevation or above it’s more likely to be affected by weather. Accessbility also impacts a project’s timeline. For example, remote sites, sites with difficult driveways, little staging areas, or other obstacles can lead to increased timelines.

Ultimately it’s exciting when building a custom home at any time of the year.

Building a New Home is Exciting

Building a custom home is exciting no matter what time of the year you start!

If you want to talk to us about building your dream home, book a free consultation with us today.