As a homebuilder I am often asked, “When is the best time to build a custom home?”
The easy answer is “anytime,” and that is certainly true. Because of new technologies and better building products in general, building through the winter months no longer presents the obstacles it once did.
Many people are under the misconception that colder temperatures are an impediment to building – especially when it comes to excavating and pouring a foundation. However, with the additives specifically designed for today’s concrete mixes, as long as the temperatures do not dip into the single digits, your foundation is going to cure normally and be as strong as those poured during the summer.
By beginning the build in the latter part of the year the homebuyer is able to use the months of inclement weather as a time to focus on plan design and interior and exterior design selections. This opens up the spring and summer months for bringing the home to completion – just in time for the beginning of the new school year in the fall.
Regardless of when the decision is made to begin building, a good rule of thumb for a custom home build is to plan six to seven months from start to finish, once the permit to build has been issued. Prior to that time your architect will be designing the house plans, guiding them through all of the necessary engineering phases, and then lastly submitting them to the building department for final approval. This process can be as short as 45 days or as long as several months, depending on how quickly the buyer is able to make decisions and keep additional last minute changes to a minimum.
Lastly, there are also market conditions to be considered in determining the best time to construct a custom build. With historic lows in existing home inventory, a custom home is a great solution. As well, current interest rates are extremely competitive and building materials are always more economical during the fall and winter than in the spring and summer.
So while any homebuilder will tell you it’s always a great time to build, several factors indicate that there’s no time like the present.
Tim King is Partner and Executive Vice President of Copperleaf Homes.