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What Is the Best Time to Build a House?

Once you’ve chosen a project, you need to decide when you will start residential construction. The time frame you choose will determine everything that happens subsequently: planning, booking contractors and so forth.

Of course, there are a lot of factors to take into account when making this decision. When planning residential construction, you’ll need to consider the typical climate in your weather, as well as the exact nature of the work that needs to be done.

If building a house is in your sights, here are a few reasons why this time may be the perfect time to begin.

Construction In Winter

If you’re doing remodelling work or other work that only affects the interior of the house, starting residential construction in winter may be a good bet. Many contractors prefer to work in the cooler months, thanks to most residential construction’s physically taxing nature.

Because most people aren’t pouring concrete or doing serious outdoor work in winter, the cost of building materials typically drops sharply. So if you can do your residential construction in winter, you may find it to your financial advantage. Keep in mind, though, that your project may be delayed due to the holiday season.

But If you live in an area that has a very mild winter season, you might consider starting your house in the winter. Otherwise, winter is not the optimal time. Although special preparations can be made to build in very cold temperatures and, even in the snow, those special preparations will usually increase your construction costs and construction time. Therefore, in the vast majority of cases, starting construction in the winter is not what you want to do.  

If, however, saving money on materials and labour is more of a priority to you, strongly consider starting construction in the winter. It may take longer to complete your house, but you could save lots of money. Here’s why:

  • During the fall, which is the off-season for residential construction, there is less demand for materials and labour, so you can usually get bargain pricing.
  • On one of the online home building forums, a small builder in Sydney commented that building in the winter gives you the advantages of a buyer’s market with regard to both trades and supplies. He said lumber prices soar in the spring and usually drop in the fall.  

That is exactly what a local contractor recently told us, which is the main reason to explore this subject. If you don’t get your excavation, foundation work, and exterior work finished by the time really cold weather arrives, you will have to make those special preparations for winter construction. 

Construction In Autumn

If you’re building a new house, many contractors advise starting your residential construction in autumn. The soil isn’t frozen yet, so it’s easy to pour concrete foundations. It’s cool enough that your contractors won’t get dangerously overheated, and while climates vary considerably from place to place, fall is dry in many parts of the country.

Starting residential construction in the fall also means that if your contractors adhere to their timeline, they can get outer and support walls, as well as a roof, up in time for winter. From there, they can start doing interior work.

Ultimately, the best time to build a home, as far as weather is concerned, is cool and dry. The exact time of year of cool, dry weather depends on where you live. In many places in the US, it’s cool and dry in the autumn. But in some areas, if it is cool, it’s raining. Therefore, when considering the weather, the best time to build a home depends on where exactly you live and the weather patterns associated with that area.

But Autumn days have fewer daylight hours as compared to summer days. Therefore subs will typically not get in as many work hours. This might prolong construction, and in turn, prolong your construction loan, which could cost you more in interest. There will probably be more weather delays in autumn.

We asked one of the local lumberyards today, and they confirmed that prices usually drop drastically in the autumn, simply because the demand for materials is lower in the fall.

The contractor suggested that I start building in September or early October. That way, the days will be cooler, and we’ll have plenty of time to get the house started and closed-in/dried-in by winter. As a general rule, as long as you’ll be at the dry-in phase before January, autumn is a great time to start construction. 

In addition to weather and pricing considerations, starting construction in the autumn gives you an advantage in scheduling subs. In the autumn, you will be offseason of a typical construction schedule, and subcontractors will probably be less busy throughout your project, making them more likely to show up as scheduled. Plus, the best quality, most in-demand subs are less busy in the autumn, and you may be able to get better quality subs to work on your house. Lining up a foundation company or a framing crew, for example, is usually easier during the autumn. Many of those crews are completely booked during the spring and summer.

Finally, banks, mortgage companies, title companies, and regional government agencies will typically be less busy in autumn, so you can usually get your permits and inspections quicker.

Construction In Spring

As winter comes to a close, spring brings warmer weather and new life. But springtime is also the ideal time of year to start construction on a new home. In more ways than one, it’s optimal for completing construction quicker without experiencing as many delays so that you can get into your new home sooner.

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While the weather in spring is comparable to the weather in autumn, starting residential construction in spring is completely different. Spring is typically very wet, and the ground may be frozen, so it’s not a good time for pouring a foundation. You may also find your ability to do serious outdoor work hampered by storms or wind.

For these reasons, most contractors prefer to stick to indoor work during the early spring months. Residential construction on new homes is typically feasible in later spring when the earth has thawed, the ground is no longer so muddy, and the spring rains are less pronounced.

By starting the spring project, your team of home builders can maximise their time with more hours of sunlight in a day. But it’s not just more sunlight that will help get your new home completed on schedule.

More Daylight

Once the summer solstice hits in mid to late June, we start heading back into winter. What that means for your home construction schedule is that nighttime gradually falls sooner and sooner as the workday gets shorter and shorter.

Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold

Wait too long to start construction, and temperatures or weather conditions may get extreme for builders. If the conditions become too difficult to work in, you could experience some serious delays to your building schedule. Snow and ice in the winter or harsh heat waves and summer storms after spring can be unwelcome roadblocks to sticking on schedule.

For optimal construction, dry and cool spring weather is the best. If you start building earlier in the spring, the foundation, framing and exterior of the home should be completed before the weather gets too hot. Then focus can be shifted to completing interior elements during those hot summer months.

The key to sticking on schedule is to avoid wasting any time. Beginning construction in the spring allows you to utilise the colder months leading up to spring for the home builder’s planning stages. When construction is more difficult, you can finalise floor plans with the architects and designers and pick out the lot. Then when spring hits, your construction team can hit the ground running.

Streamline construction even more with a design-build firm at your side. Rather than spend weeks receiving bids from several different contractors, you could save time and effort by hiring a single design-build company that houses and manages all the designers and contractors you need to make your dream home come to life. Because all sectors work together, it’s easier to avoid construction issues by addressing and resolving them during drafting. With the right planning, such a team could complete a large amount of home construction during the ideal spring months.

Benefits of Building Your Home in The Spring

  • Mild Spring Weather Means Simple Building

Spring weather is often mild, which can make building a breeze. The supple ground, tolerable temperature, and longer days are a few reasons why spring can be a great time to build. Spring is notorious for periods of rain, which does have the potential to cause delays in construction. As with weather in any season, contractors will plan accordingly so that spring rains won’t throw any wrenches into your custom home building plans.

  • Be Ready in Time for School

Summer can seem like rush hour for families with children attending school. Your kids may be off during the summer, but before it’s over, you’ll be trying to get everything together for the upcoming school year. It can start to feel hectic when you throw building a home into the mix. Thankfully, an experienced custom home builder makes the process easy! Plus, starting construction in the spring can allow for everything to be completed by the end of summer and just in time for school. That’s one more thing checked off your school preparation to-do list!

  • Have Your Home in Time for the Holidays

With dozens of factors to consider, like weather events, materials acquisition, and licensing complications, predicting a timeline for home building can be tough. Fortunately, starting in early spring can streamline the process. Beginning work on your dream home during the spring allows ample time for completion before the holiday season. What’s more exciting than entertaining holiday guests in your new custom home? Break-in your new house right by wowing your guests over the holidays.

Construction In Summer

Many projects start in summer. Summer may be ideal if you have a lengthy timeline or expect delays; your contractors will have plenty of time to complete their residential construction before the ground freezes, or it becomes too cold to work. But be aware: material costs are typically sky-high in summer due to increased demand, and contractors may find it difficult to work in the heat. And if your area’s prone to summer storms, your project may be greatly delayed.

Choosing the best time of year to begin a residential construction project can be tricky. It’s a careful balancing act that depends on the project’s exact nature, the climate in your area, and the project’s budget. 

Living in a humid area requires consideration about how higher percentages of humidity will affect home construction. More humidity in the summer means longer drying and curing times for certain materials like concrete and paint. This rise in moisture and heat can also warp wood or increase the chances of mould on-site, causing further delays.

So when exactly is the best time to build a house?  

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Always assumed it was the spring or summer because that’s when everyone seems to start construction. And depending on what your goals are, spring and summer are the best times. However, fall, and rarely winter, could be a better time to start. Again, depending on your goals.  

Let’s focus our brief discussion on whether to start construction in the spring or summer

The pros of starting construction in the spring or summer are that the weather is better and days are longer; therefore, construction will typically go faster. If getting your house built as quickly as possible is your goal, starting in the spring or summer is your best bet. 

Another thing to consider is how starting in the summer or spring will impact your move-in date. If you are having a large or complex house built or acting as an owner-builder, it will probably take you at least a year to complete your house. But an average single-family home built by a general contractor will take about 8 months to go from permit to completion.  

If you’re using a builder and want an average-sized house, if you start construction in the fall, you can potentially move into your house in the spring or summer. But if you reverse it and start your home in the spring, as most people do, you might have to move into your home around the holidays. Not only will it be cold in some regions, but it will be stressful, and most people have enough going on during the holidays. Adding a major move into the mix might not be the best idea.

So, in summary, if getting your house built quickly is your main concern, start construction in the spring or summer. 

People often wonder when the best time of the year is to start building a new home. Among all the seasons, spring is usually the optimum time to start construction on a new house due to faster timelines, better weather conditions, optimal windows of opportunity for landscape installation, and fewer delays in the building process.

That said, here in Australia, our mild weather patterns allow us to build from the ground up throughout the year. We have noticed different advantages of building homes in different seasons. While spring is an ideal time to start building a home, the fall and winter months are usually when building materials and construction costs are lowest because there is less demand.

Reasons why home buyers should consider building their homes in the spring

Get a Head Start on the Building Rush

Summer is typically the busiest time of year for general contractors and builders. Likewise, builders also have a more difficult time scheduling subcontractors, electricians, etc., because their schedules fill up, too. The later into the spring and summer you start, the more likely it is for builders to be backlogged and to put your construction project on hold. Starting your building project in the spring puts you first on their calendars – before things get busy.

Undivided Attention

Another advantage to getting the construction process started early in the spring is that builders will still have fewer projects on their books, essentially giving your project the same level of attention you’d receive if you started in the winter months but without as many weather delays. Additionally, suppose there are special considerations with your home (e.g., specialised countertops or modified floor plans or home designs). In that case, the builder can hone in on those issues earlier in the year.

Costs Remain Low as Weather Improves.

As spring turns into summer, demand for labour and supplies goes up, which can push your costs a bit higher. Starting in early spring means you have the advantage of building in better weather before costs start increasing dramatically.

Optimum Weather and Temperatures for Building.

While spring storms can cause temporary delays, Alabama’s spring weather is perfect for working outdoors, which often means longer workdays. Starting in spring means that, weather permitting, your new home may be completed in a shorter time frame than if you begin in the hotter summer months or during a cold, wet winter.

Extends Your Building Season, if Needed.

If you have a particularly large, elaborate, or complex home building project, it may take longer to complete. Starting your home in spring enables your builders to take full advantage of the best weather months of the year. They will have plenty of time to work through spring, summer, and fall, if necessary, with fewer delays.

These are just a few reasons why it might make sense for you to begin building your new home in the spring. 

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