A house is generally the most important purchase you will make in your life. As such, it is only normal to want to know how long it takes to have a new house constructed in Western Australia. A custom home build in Perth can be a lengthy process compared to buying an existing property, but it is always worth it to end up with your dream home.
In this 2022 guide, we will give you an overview of the construction process, the duration, and different factors that could delay the construction. If you’re aiming to have your house built as quickly as possible, you’ll understand what can speed up or slow down your home build process.
You should expect building a house in Perth to take anywhere between 12 and 24 months on average. Each stage in a new home build has its own time frame, including site works, frame construction, plumbing and electrical works, bricklaying and finishings.
There are multiple factors that will affect the overall time it takes to build a house in Western Australia. We’ll explore the variables that can add or shorten your overall build timeline in this article.
Whether you’re planning on a Perth real estate development, or you’re a budding professional or family hoping to have your own home, this guide will have something for you to learn. Keep reading to learn more.
How Long Does It Take To Build A House In Perth in 2022?
The duration of building a house depends on the size and complexity of your house design and the builder you select. As a general estimate you can expect pre-construction work to take 4-5 months, while construction can take anywhere from 6-18 months.
The duration can be narrowed down when specifying details about the house to be constructed. Whether you choose a traditional home build, or an alternative method, this may impact the duration of your build.
For instance, a two-storey house will take longer to build than a single storey home. The time to build a single storey home will largely depend on the experience of the builder you select and the complexity of your home design. If your build goes smoothly and you’ve selected a simple design for a standard block size, you can expect your home to be constructed in 12 months.
A traditional double story home construction typically takes up to 18 months. However, you may decide to expedite the construction process by selecting a lightweight home construction. This method allows for a quicker and more cost-effective home build. Lightweight construction can see you move into your new home months earlier than a traditional build. The same is true for builders equipped with Fastbuild construction technology.
Of course, there are a lot of variables to consider, but regardless of the complexity, the overall building process of a house can be divided into two stages:
- Pre-construction: Generally takes 4-5 months.
- Construction: Approximately 7 months for single-storey houses, and 12 months for a two-storey house.
What Is The Process of Building A House In Perth?
The process of building a house in Perth varies between different regions and builders.
The pre-construction stage includes:
- Design and costing
- Approvals and contracts
- Site works
The construction stage includes:
- Pouring of slab
- Erection of frame
- Plumbing and electrical
- Bricklaying or plastering
- Interior finishes
Depending on who you ask or refer to, some processes are either combined into one or subdivided into smaller, more specific processes. For instance, some builders consider site works, landscaping, and pouring of the foundation as one process. Sometimes the finishing of the interior is also subdivided into smaller processes such as the installation of flooring, countertops, and exterior grading, finishing the mechanical trims, the installation of bathroom fixtures, etc.
As the client, your builder is here to walk you through the process, and can give you a clear understanding of what’s involved. Your building contract should also lay out the expected timeline for each stage of your new home construction. What’s important is to have a general idea of the building process as a whole so that you can gauge the progress of your house.
Siteworks & Landscaping
Siteworks, sometimes including landscaping, refer to the preparatory work that takes place on a block of land before any succeeding construction process can begin.
This typically involves earthmoving, stormwater disposal, as well as service connections and retaining walls, among other things. The kinds of work required will vary from block to block, and as such, will also affect the cost. For example, the type of soil found on the block can affect how the site works can be conducted. Generally speaking, blocks that contain sand cost significantly less than blocks that contain clay, as these are harder to prep for construction. Building on irregular lots will typically require a greater intensity and duration of site works.
Site works are also essential for service connections and engineering. As the first process in the construction of the house, the proper conduct of site works is critical in ensuring the structural integrity of a house.
How Long Do Site Works Take?
The block type generally dictates how long site works take. For standard lots, a few weeks is usually all that’s needed for the block to be ready for the slab to be poured. However, in rural areas where sites typically require much more retaining, it may take longer.
Building a home on a sloping lot requires more siteworks, depending on the building style you choose. You may need to factor in the time and cost of levelling the block, or building extensive retaining walls.
On the other hand, some construction projects require far less extensive siteworks, including a knockdown and rebuild project. As the block has previously been built on, the need for site works will often be reduced – instead, you’ll need to factor in time to demolish an existing home before building.
Pouring The Slab
Pouring the slab is exactly how it sounds: concrete is poured onto the block where the house will be built. This stage should be performed under ideal weather conditions, so this can delay the construction process during bad weather. New slabs also need to be cured between 7 to 28 days.
Ideally, concrete should be poured and finished during the early morning, before air temperatures and wind speed rises, and before humidity drops. Before pouring concrete, however, a slab bedding consisting of road base or crusher dust has to be placed around 6-7cm thick. The base will then be raked to a level surface and tamped down firmly to a thickness of just 5 centimetres. This is the stable surface where the concrete will be poured. In some cases, a reinforcing mesh may be required.
After the concrete is mixed, the compacted slab bedding should be soaked with water to minimise moisture loss. After which, the concrete can then be poured from the edge of the formwork, with more batches being poured working away from the edge, and spreading it with a shovel to ensure all edges and corners are completely filled.
How Long Does It Take For A Slab To Cure?
To ensure a strong finish out of a new concrete slab, it is suggested that it be cured for at least seven days after its installation. However, the ideal duration would be 28 days. Proper curing is important as it determines the strength and durability of concrete. Curing is done by continuously wetting the exposed surface of the concrete to prevent moisture loss. The concrete will weaken if the water evaporates too quickly. This will lead to concrete that easily cracks under stress.
Erecting The Frame
The erection of a house’s frame takes place after site works have been completed and the foundations have been put in place. How a frame is built will depend on the materials and building methods chosen for the home.
The majority of houses in Australia are built using light-frame construction methods, such as timber and steel frames. However, there are still houses in Australia built through different methods such as Structural Insulated Panels (SIPS), or straw bales.
The first step in erecting the frame is bracing the house frame. Exactly how this is done will depend on the type of frame, the strength of the wind where the construction is taking place, as well as the design of the house being built. Bracing involves adding elements that make the frame stronger. This usually comes in the form of diagonal steel strapping, cross-braces, or sheets of plywood installed on external corners.
The framing typically involves the installation of windows and sliding doors as well. However, exactly how and when these are installed differs between the window and door types, and from builder to builder. For instance, it makes more sense to put up the exterior cladding before the windows in some types of houses.
How Long Does It Take To Build The Frame Of A House?
It usually takes 5 to 8 weeks to build the frame of a house. But the duration will also depend on the type of house being built, its size, and its location. If the prior processes were done properly, the framing can begin in the third month of a house’s construction process.
Some of the common factors that affect the duration of framing are:
- The materials being used
- The size of the house
- The complexity of the frame
- How many people are working on it
- How experienced the construction team is
- Whether a framed subfloor is required
- Whether the frame arrives partly pre-assembled, and
- The weather
Connecting Plumbing & Electricity
The connection of your home’s plumbing and electricity is the next stage in a house build. Known as the ‘rough in’, this stage involves installing the electrical and plumbing parts in the walls before the plasterboard is applied.
Licensed professionals will be hired for this process to install the necessary fittings, pipes and cables in your home. This step generally happens during or after the cladding for your home has gone on.
- Plumbing Rough-ins – Plumbing is a vital aspect of every modern home and runs through the entire house. If your house has a timber frame, then the holes will be cut in strategically in the home’s wall studs for the pipes to run through. If the holes are deemed ‘excessive’ or too big, then the structural parts where these holes are found have to be either reinforced or replaced to ensure their reliability. If your house has a steel frame, the holes for plumbing services will already be included.
- Electrical Rough-ins – Depending on the specificities of your home, only certain electrical services will need to be roughed during this process. The common inclusions are general-purpose outlets, lighting, heating or cooling units, ovens, range hoods, hot water systems and home automation systems. Similar to plumbing, electricians will need to know exactly what is being installed and where it needs to be placed.
How Long Does Plumbing & Wiring Take To Install?
These should take anywhere between 3 to 5 days, assuming there are no problems and everything goes smoothly. Remember that this could be delayed by factors such as the weather, conflicts in schedule, the number of people conducting the installation, as well as the size of the house.
To ensure a smooth sailing electrical and plumbing rough-in, the contractors should be given access to all specifications and plans, including appliance sizes, layouts, and placements. Working with your builder’s recommended plumbing and electrical services will help ensure this stage goes as smoothly as possible.
Lock Up Stage
During the lock up stage, your house starts to finally look like a home. During this step your walls and your roof will go up, plasterboard will be applied and bricks will be laid.
Now that you have a solid frame for your house, the roof and walls can be constructed. The roof is a relatively simple job that is often completed in one day. The process of constructing your home’s walls will depend on the materials being used. This step may include brickwork or cement sheets.
Once your walls are up, plasterers will be sent in render and apply plasterboard sheets to your walls.
During the lock up stage, gutters, doors and windows may also be installed.
How Long Does Lock Up Take When Building A House?
Generally, for a simple single storey home, the lock up stage will take around 4 weeks. You can expect a few weeks to be added on if you’re building a large or double storey home. This stage may require the skills of a range of contractors, so scheduling is important to limit any delays or setbacks.
Finishing The Interior
‘Finishing the interior’ is an umbrella term that refers to anything that needs to be built or installed within the house. This can include interior doors, door casings, baseboards, mouldings, window sills, stair balusters, and other decorative trim.
This is also the process where the walls get a finished coat of paint or wallpaper, if applicable. Although it focuses on the interior, exterior driveways, walkways and patios are usually also formed during this process. Other things that fall under this process are the installation of hard surface flooring, countertops, bathroom fixtures, mirrors, shower doors, and the completion of the exterior grading, among others.
How Long Does It Take To Finish The Inside Of A House?
This depends entirely on how complex and intricate the interior of the house is, how many appliances have to be installed, and how large the house is. You can expect at least a week for smaller and simpler houses. It can take a few weeks to a few months for large and complex houses.
The lock-up stage is a key point of transition, and some budding homeowners are choosing build to lock up construction (also known as ‘finish it yourself’) to cut costs on their new home build. This means you will get the keys to your house at this stage, and take on the interior finishings yourself rather than having your builder complete the entire project.
Building to lock-up stage is seen as a less risky alternative to owner building in WA, as a licensed builder will take care of the most challenging aspects of the construction. Read more about using a licensed builder vs owner building here.
What Affects The Time To Build A House In Perth in 2022?
Building Permit Acquisition
Waiting and applying for the correct permits and paperwork required by your state or local authorities for the construction of a house is one of the biggest factors that can derail the construction schedule.
As such, it is important to know before you begin building exactly which building permits are required in WA and how to secure them before moving forward with any construction plans. It would be wise to give yourself additional time to secure and finalise these permits, and the following steps on your build all rely on their approval.
When working with an experienced home designer, you can have confidence your property design will meet Perth’s residential design codes on the very first application. If you go into this step organised and prepared, it won’t take too long to finalise.
Weather & Environmental Factors
Unfortunately, bad weather and environmental factors are elements that cannot be controlled or accurately predicted. This is the principal cause of delay for most construction projects since it is very unpredictable.
A week of non-stop rain can not only delay a construction project but also cause problems depending on which construction stage you are up to. Heavy rain or strong winds can cause damage to parts of your home that haven’t been fully stabilised yet. A prolonged season of bad weather conditions can add months to the construction time of your house.
Builder & Contractor Shortages
Although every construction worker and company that has been in the business for a while would have experienced this, this issue is now compounded by the current health crisis the world is facing.
Problems caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have caused shortages of skilled workers, which is further complicated by continually tightening borders and restrictive domestic and international travel. While we can only hope this issue won’t be around for years to come, it’s something that can impact the overall timeline for your home’s construction.
The Size Of Your House & Lot
It goes without saying that a larger house will require more time to complete. This is compounded by the fact that larger houses tend to be more complex and intricate than smaller houses due to the larger budget usually involved.
Add to this the fact that large houses will also take longer on the sensitive stages of construction such as setting the bricks after bricklaying and curing the concrete after pouring the slab. Multi-story homes and large developments will require more engineering and a longer time-frame to build.
On the other hand, building on small and narrow lots in Perth can pose its own set of challenges. Where site access is tight, movement and machinery access is restricted, which may require more manual labour on site.
Needless to say, financial constraints on the client’s end will cause delays in the construction project. Wages and the costs of construction materials have to be paid, and meeting the financial milestones outlined in your building contract is crucial to keep the project moving smoothly.
Can A House Be Built In 3 Months?
No. On average, it takes approximately 6 months to complete the build of a house. However, this can also be as low as 4 months for standard project homes or kit homes, or as high as 12 months or beyond. For pre-designed houses, the average is roughly 4-6 months, while custom designs may take longer to build, at around 10 to 16 months.
What Is The 45 Day Clause Building Contract?
Under the Home Building Contracts Acts, a builder is only given 45 days to obtain all pertinent approvals to build. This period is generally not included in the construction period.
Build Your Custom Home With Central Avenue Homes
If you’re ready to start building your dream home, get in contact with Perth’s most affordable custom home builders at Central Avenue Homes. Our experienced and knowledgeable team works hard to ensure a smooth design and construction process.
With over 500 custom homes built by our team, you can be confident Central Avenue Homes will look after you throughout the process. We’re here to help bring your vision to life, so our property designer works with you to understand your needs and lifestyle.
View our previous portfolio of completed homes for inspiration, or if you’re ready to find out more, contact Central Avenue Homes today!