It is a question often asked at Haggar Construction – how long does it take to build a house? The simplest answer is two years, on average, when you factor in a year of planning and research. The house build itself, is usually less than a year although as this article will discuss and many self-builders will testify, there are many complexities to consider and overcome before that completion date. If you need any support with finding land, contractors or just require some friendly advice, do speak to us Haggar. Employing a contractor or experienced project is likely to reduce the build time compared with an owner planned and built house.
Planning the build
As with all projects, the key is in the planning! Expect to research around 3 to 6 months, if not a year. A good place to start is evaluating and establishing your finances including a contingency fund. Knowing your overall budget will determine what type of house you can build and in what area. Websites such as Rightmove are accessible to all levels of house builders for plots of land; you also have specialist options such as Plotfinder, which target self-builders. Remember, it is unlikely that demolishing a house and rebuilding from scratch will be financially worthwhile and this would only be a possibility if you found a dream location. Consider any planning permission that could be required (and any potential objections from neighbours), the cost of groundworks and employing an architect and designer.
Haggar tip – visit any site in person to get a feel for the area focusing on facilities, amenities and surrounding properties. Look to develop a network of support in the area.
Assuming you have secured a plot of land and obtained planning permission, the next stage is site preparation for the build starts with clearing any debris and vegetation. That is obvious but you will also need to prepare the site so that tradespeople can carry out their duties. As a general guide, expect around one month and the following:
- Creating site access
- Clearing the land including any recyclable material
- Creating a site base with health and safety equipment and designs of the house
- Setting up a site toilet
- Organising a lock-up or container for storage
- Contacting the water board to supply a stopcock
- Organising a plumber for the connection of a water standpipe
- Clear marks are laid on the site by a surveyor
- Bricks and blocks, mixer station and cement store prepared
Haggar tip – coordinate all utility companies in the planning stage and ensure clear lines of communication between them and tradespeople on site. This will minimise delays.
In our experience, this is potentially the most crucial stage of a build with so many unknown variables. The most cost effective choice is typically decided by a geotechnical study and takes between one or two months to complete:
- Groundworkers to prepare foundations
- Building control and warranty inspectors give the green light to continue
- The positioning of reinforcement bars, mesh or cages and material/membranes in the trenches
- Preparation of ducts for services
- Preparation of foot scaffolding
- Concreting the footings
- Further approval from building control/inspector to continue works
- Brickwork foundation
- Installation of cranked air vents and drainage exit lintels
- Filling of cavities
- Bedding and laying damp-proofing
Haggar tip – carry out a geotechnical study of the land early and contact a groundworks specialist, as they will be able to discuss the best options for laying foundations.
Structure, Building and Installing
With the foundations and floor structure firmly in place, the next stage is building the walls and roof. As we know in the UK, the weather can be unpredictable and having a watertight building quickly will reduce any disruptions. Expect around two to three months for this followed by another two to four months to complete the following:
- Electrical and plumbing runs
- Internal walls
- Supporting structures
- Connection of electrics and heating
- Fitting and plumbing of toilets, bathrooms or showers
- Other fixtures such as flooring
Haggar tip – employ only trusted and reliable tradespeople as any delays or problems can create a chain of waiting before completing the next stage.
The final additions should not be underestimated and although it can be completed in weeks, sometimes this can extend to months. The length of time, of course, will be dependent on the size of the property and the number of tradespeople you have on site. Other tasks to be completed include:
- Removing all debris and a thorough clean
- Painting of walls and ceilings including repair of any snags, blemishes or rough patches
- Internal timber to be rubbed down and protected
- Water and/or Smart meter installation
- Removal of site toilet and storage
- Taking meter readings and connecting services such as telephone
- Installation of tv aerial/satellite
- Informing the local authority of completion
Haggar tip – stick to your budget! If your funds are reducing, consider the essentials and leave expensive finishes as they can be added in the future.
Do you need some advice?
Working with a professional company like Haggar Construction can support you with building your dream property.
We pride ourselves on delivering smart, sustainable solutions for our clients’ construction projects, giving each project the time and focus it deserves and ensuring the highest quality outcomes. We are a family-run business with a huge amount of experience in the construction industry, working on large and small scale projects, but always with the highest level of commitment and professionalism.
We seek to add value to your project with our expert knowledge, forward-thinking approach and transparent service. If you’re looking for a hands-on team to help you with the utilities for your construction project, please do not hesitate to get in touch and one of our friendly team will be happy to help.