How Long Does it Take to Build a Home?

by | Jul 13, 2023 | How We Build | 0 comments

The most common question our team at CMS Homes is asked is, “How long does it take to build a home?” If you’re researching home building, you’ll see that it can take up to 12 months, depending on the builder, size of the home, level of customization and architectural design, financing, the complexity of the paperwork process, labor and materials availability and shortages, weather conditions, and the inspection process.

CMS Homes builds semi-custom homes using our perfected 20-year process, so when you build with us in the Troy, Missouri, area, once you have permanent financing approved (no construction loan needed), it is possible to go from your free estimate to a build-agreement in a few weeks and 5–6 months from dig to done.

Instead of needing to find a builder, construction lender, and architect, you just need CMS and we handle the rest. This helps uncomplicate the project and lowers stress for our new home builders.

The Timeline to Build a Home

The timeline to build a home can vary greatly depending on certain factors, like those listed above, but you can speed up the process by meeting with lenders well before looking at homes or meeting with builders and architects. However, the time it takes to go from the shopping stage to the start of construction is largely dependent upon how fast you complete your tasks, including:

    • Providing all financial information and documentation to your lender so the lender can provide us with written loan approval.
    • Choosing a builder.
    • Completing your home’s design.
    • Finalizing all design modifications.
    • Making your deposit.

Completion of these steps is difficult to estimate, but once they are accomplished, then the process is more controllable and the time to build becomes much more predictable, the main variables then being weather and materials availability.

How Long to Build a Home? 6–12 Months

Though not set in stone, these are the typical timeframes for each step in the home-building process. They are estimates based on our experience and are dependent on many variables.

  1. Financing and/or mortgage (1 to 2 days up to 3 to 4+ weeks)
  2. Get estimates and choose your builder (1 day to 4+ weeks)
  3. Design your home (1 to 4+ weeks)
  4. Homesite preparation (1 to 6+ weeks)
  5. House framing and exterior (4 to 8+ weeks)
  6. Interior and finishing work (8+ weeks)
  7. Final inspections and move-in (7 to 10+ days)

Step 1. New Construction Financing and a Mortgage: 2–3 Days up to 3–4+ Weeks

When considering how long it takes to build a house, you must factor in upfront time for things like securing financing and searching for an architect and a builder, which can vary significantly. But before you do anything, it’s best to get financing well on its way. You need to go to the builder of your choice pre-approved for either one or two loans: your construction loan and your final mortgage amount, both of which need to have gone through the underwriting process.

Tony Pogrelis, Branch Manager at Guild Mortgage, advises that you work with a lender you can talk to personally; one who makes the approval process straightforward. “It’s always better if you can speak with a local lender who knows the area, has the expertise to help you get the best terms, and can meet your goals quickly.”

He adds, “It’s common for people to look at home prices and projected monthly payments using online platforms, but these are usually way off the mark. Once you factor in county and/or city taxes, homeowner’s insurance, mortgage insurance, current interest rates, and your credit score, it can change drastically from what you see online.”

Depending on which lender you choose and whether you need a construction loan and a permanent mortgage, this stage can take weeks or just a couple of days. When you choose to work with CMS Homes, there is no construction loan needed, therefore, our one-loan Easy Build process is much faster.

Step 2. Get Realistic Home Estimates & Choose Your Builder: 1 Day up to a Month or More

Assuming you’ve done your research, set a budget, arranged for a mortgage or financing, and worked out a rough idea of what you do and don’t want in your home, now it’s time to sit down with local builders and get a few estimates.

When you work with CMS Homes to build your new construction home, for example, we begin with a no-obligation, no-pressure conversation to discuss things like desired interior and exterior features, your budget, your lender’s information, a homesite location, your choice of lot, and anything else concerning your potential new home. You walk away from that conversation with a free, comprehensive estimate so you know what you can afford and where we can adjust the build up or down.

When you feel you’ve found the home building company that “gets you,” it’s time to enter the next phase of the building process. Now the fun begins! The design phase.

Step 3. Design Your Home: 1–4+ Weeks

How long the design phase takes depends on whether you are building a completely custom home or customizing an already existing home plan. From your initial meetings, the builder should already have your list of must-haves and do-not-wants and can now finalize your specific design options and selections, such as the exterior elevations and interior materials, internal layout and features, and any special design items you desire. At CMS, you get a dedicated on-site home designer who will help you and provide recommendations based on your family’s needs and wants and your budget.

We recommend visiting model homes and local vendors to confirm design details, see colors, and feel exact materials and put things like porcelain tile, fixtures, and flooring side by side to see how they look together. Some builders, like CMS, will have most materials on hand so you can do this right in their office.

One way to speed up the design process is by selecting pre-drafted home plans. For example, CMS Homes offers totally customizable base-model home plans, making the process much more efficient than creating a home plan from scratch. We help you decide which of our beautiful home plans best fits your needs, and just as importantly, which CMS community fits your lifestyle. We also work closely with you on your home’s full design, floor plan, elevation, overall build, and customizations.

Don’t worry if you make changes once you explore your options further. It is common to have several design adjustments until you arrive at the new home you want at a budget that works for you.

Step 4. Homesite Preparation: 1-6+ Weeks

If you choose a builder’s community, homesite preparation is much faster than if you build on your own land. When you select a community lot, the builder will already have certain factors figured into the price, such as internet and electric hookups, how big the driveway can be, how far it’s set back from the road, and whether it comes with a septic tank or needs minor excavating. In a builder’s community, site prep can be completed in as little as one week or up to many weeks, depending on things like the weather and permitting.

On the other hand, if you choose to build on your own land, this can be a lengthy process, as the lot will need to be prepared. This includes but is not limited to getting a current survey, looking at the topography, deciding where on the lot you want the house to sit, and how much grading is required to level the ground for building. It might also include tree removal and excavation work to prepare to pour the foundation. This is when you’ll find out if the lot will need a septic tank, internet lines, and electric hookups, which can add time and expense to your project. When you build on your own lot, you can plan on site prep taking four to six weeks or more.

Here in Missouri, the weather is an additional factor in how long the entire process takes, even when you build in a community, which we usually factor into our time estimate.

Step 5. House Framing & Exterior: 4–8+ Weeks

Once your homesite is prepped and the foundation is poured, it’s time to frame the home and add a roof. Once the frame and roof are in place, there’s an inspection (which often stops progress due to busy inspectors). When inspection corrections are made (if any), it’s inspected again, and the exterior is finished. Weather permitting and inspections going smoothly, you’ll have the exterior of your home done in 4–8+ weeks. Make sure your building company keeps you in the loop as it makes the process less stressful for you.

At CMS Homes, we assign an experienced Project Manager to each homeowner who keeps in touch with you regularly for total transparency. You are never left wondering what’s happening with your new home and you always have a person you can call to ask questions and check in.

Step 6. Your Home’s Interior & Finishing Touches: 8 Weeks to Several Months

Your home’s interior work can take eight weeks up to six months, depending on the size and complexity of the house and the availability of skilled craftsmen.

    • Interior work is very detailed and labor-intensive and includes electrical, plumbing, HVAC installations, insulation, drywall, tiling, flooring, painting, woodwork, and other finishes.
    • This is also the best time to install special wiring for unique lighting or a home security system, when it is the cheapest and fastest to include it in the project.
    • All electrical and plumbing need to pass inspections, which, depending on the inspector’s schedule, can add time to the project.
    • If landscaping is part of your plan, it would be completed in this phase, adding a possible 3–4 weeks.

If all goes to plan, this phase should take about eight weeks. However, a lot of coordination is required at this stage and different subcontractors are working at once, so it often takes a little longer.

Toward the end, you’ll be asked to do a walkthrough with your builder or project manager. This is your time to address anything that concerns you and ensure your new home is exactly as it should be. Understand that a last-minute change or alteration will likely extend this phase.

Meanwhile, when your project manager shares that your house is about 30 days from being finished, you’ll finalize your mortgage and set up a closing date.

Step 7. New Home Construction Final Inspections & Move-In: 7–10+ Days

You’ve approved your new home and can’t wait to move in, but there is one more step in the process — a final set of inspections by city and/or county building inspectors. This is typically scheduled when interior work is nearly finished to get on the inspector’s calendar. This process, depending on how the inspections go, should take about a week, but like everything else in the process, it can take a bit longer with unforeseen delays.

It’s time to move in!

Ready to Build a Home? It Can be Yours in 5–6+ Months

Ready to build a home? When you consider all the steps involved and you’re dedicated to completing each within a relatively tight timeframe, you’re looking at a minimum of 5 to 6 months to move into your newly constructed, customized home, which is about how long it can take to shop the market of already built homes and find one that fits your needs, albeit with alterations. Why not invest in exactly what you want and enjoy your home for years to come?

When you choose to build with CMS Homes, we’ve got the process down to a science. We eliminate the complicated steps of hiring an architect and interior designer and getting a construction loan. Our relationships with inspectors and knowledge of what they’re looking for help make inspections smooth, and we have a crew of highly skilled contractors that prioritize our new home builds, making the process carefree and rather fast when compared to other builders.

Of course, there’s always one unpredictable factor in Missouri — Mother Nature. But no matter what delays occur, your project manager will do everything in his or her power to ensure your home build stays on track so you can get to the closing table on time. Typically, within 5–6 months, you can be in your new, high-quality, beautiful CMS home!

Contact CMS Homes Today for a Free, No-Obligation Estimate

CMS Homes is here for you! We offer a no-obligation, no-pressure meeting to create a comprehensive, free new home estimate that fits your wish list, quality expectations, budget, and timeframe. Contact sales today for more information.

Visit our Sales Office

Orchard Grove Display Homes
602 Schapers Court
Moscow Mills, MO 63362


The timeframes listed here are estimations that can vary greatly due to unpredictable and unforeseen events. CMS Homes, LLC does not accept responsibility or liability if your home-build project takes longer than you feel it should or what is written in this blog. This information is not legally binding.

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