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nightdesigns
Gone missing, back soon
Premium
join:2002-05-31
AZ

How long does it usually take to build a house?

My neighborhood has started the next phase of development and a home builder is building 2 new model homes.

These are approximately 2000 sq/ft homes, traditional wood construction.

They are moving fast, very fast. They poured the foundations yesterday and by the end of today nearly all of the wood framing was done and were in the process of putting up the roof trusses when they ran out of daylight. And this is 2 houses being built at the same time.

The first thought that comes to mind is that anything built that fast is not built well. I guess we'll see.

The builder has an end of April opening date. At first I thought they were crazy, but this looks quite possible.
--
This Space for Rent...



nunya
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join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
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1 edit

Two weeks longer than the target date.

Seriously though - You can build an average crap cookie cutter in about 2 months.
A nicer custom home will be about 6-12 months.

(I should add: this is for average site built, stick framed construction)

The other thing is, there is a depression on right now. The builder probably has a lot of extra bodies to throw at the project
--
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Mdoc
Ehh... munch munch... what's up, Doc?
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Sterling, VA
kudos:1

said by nunya:

The other thing is, there is a depression on right now. The builder probably has a lot of extra bodies to throw at the project
They're just gonna lay off the extra bodies...!


nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12

Exactly. They lay off for a month, call them back for a week, then it's back to the couch and SpongeBob for another month.

I know plenty of guys who have worked less than 80 hours since before Christmas.



John97
Over The Hills And Far Away
Premium
join:2000-11-14
Spring Hill, FL
reply to nightdesigns

They could also be bringing in pre-made pieces like the a-frame trusses, wall assemblies, etc.
--
So put me on a highway, and show me a sign.
And take it to the limit one more time...



Jahntassa
What, I can have feathers
Premium
join:2006-04-14
Conway, SC
kudos:4
reply to nightdesigns

They're putting up houses in the neighborhood next to mine like it's going out of style. It seems like it's just less than two months (maybe five weeks?) for them to go from plumbing and foundation to moving in.

I think the only stuff pre-built is the roof framing. There's one house they poured concrete on end of last week and by yesterday they had part of the roof on. (Plywood, not the shingles)


HarryH3

join:2005-02-21
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
reply to nightdesigns

A lot of it depends on how good the builder is at scheduling. In the early 90's we had a home built outside of Houston by a builder that built just a limited selection of floor plans. They knew exactly what materials to ship to the site for each plan. There were workers on the site EVERY day and the materials were there for them. We moved in 89 days after they started clearing the lot. I was at the site nearly every day and was impressed with the build quality. We were there for 8 years and never had a single problem. Not even a drywall crack.

In the late 90's we moved to Colorado. Talked with a similar builder about a similar sized house. When they told us it would be NINE MONTHS before we could move in, we couldn't believe it. We ended up buying an existing home. I watched several new homes get built around us. And indeed, it took 9-12 months, but mostly because there were seldom any workers on site. They would show up and work one day, then no one would show up again for maybe a week. So yeah, it took a long time, but the actual work days were similar.



cdru
Go Colts
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join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7

1 edit
reply to nightdesigns

said by nightdesigns:

They are moving fast, very fast. They poured the foundations yesterday and by the end of today nearly all of the wood framing was done and were in the process of putting up the roof trusses when they ran out of daylight. And this is 2 houses being built at the same time.

The first thought that comes to mind is that anything built that fast is not built well. I guess we'll see.
A lot of it comes down to organization and planning, especially at the early stages. Plus manpower. A builders association down in Texas build a house with volunteer labor from members starting with pouring the concrete and ending with landscaping and issuing the occupancy permit in 2 hours, 52 minutes, 29 seconds. It took massive amounts of pre-planning, skilled labor, parallel building of many different components while waiting on others, etc. But it is possible.

Edited to add: Forgot the link to video. It was made into a leadership and project management training video series called 2 Hour House or something like that.


Ken
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join:2003-06-16
Markle, IN

I certainly wouldn't want to live in that house!



chmod
Premium
join:2000-12-12
Lockport, IL

said by Ken:

I certainly wouldn't want to live in that house!
The Konecto flooring on the market for consumers today was originally designed specifically for walmart stores because they couldn't wait for the concrete to cure properly.
--
Some people are like Slinkies. Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.


cdru
Go Colts
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join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
reply to Ken

I believe it was a Habitat For Humanity house. It's definitely not a custom home, but it shows how many of the different tasks can be done in parallel and brought together once things are ready. The OP doesn't say what style the house was, but if it was a single story ranch with pre-fabed trusses, I could easily see the shell go up in a couple of days.



Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
reply to nightdesigns

The amount of required to build a house is really not determined by calendar days in most cases but rather by manhours to do the work. The only exceptions to this are things that require time to dry (cure). A good example is Extreme Home Makeover where they build a custom home with many special features in a week. Even if you consider they work around the clock and make that just working days you're still only talking three weeks. I have been in one of the houses and I can tell you it's very well built and very custom.

As mentioned by others I've seen a Habitat for Humanity house framed to dry in one weekend. Granted they are smaller but you also be to consider that much of that labor is volunteer, not professional.

How long it takes to complete a home is mostly determined by the incentive of the contractor to get it finished and the amount of available labor.



djrobx
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Valencia, CA
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reply to nightdesigns

Too many variables. A lot of contractors are coordinating to build it, and things can get held up for so many reasons.

Im 98, my 1400 square foot "crap cookie cutter" (as nunya See Profile put it ) was targeted for Thanksgiving but finished at Christmas.
--
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Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4

1 edit
reply to nightdesigns

As everyone mentioned here, there are too many variables. We are in the process of building a 1738sqft ranch style home now. Ground breaking next week, moving in by the end of June. That's the plan. Will it happen? Who knows. The builder has plenty of skilled labor to choose from right now with the lull in home building. Our house is more or less a "cookie cutter" home with modifications for handicap accessibility, so it is not complicated to build like some homes can be.

If the house was a 2 story, was bigger, or smaller, a different style, of different materials, etc, the time frame would be completely different. I have seen homes take years to build by a DIYer, or 1 week in the case of Extreme Home Makeover on TV.

P.S. We have been working on this build for a few months now. The longest part so far as been the designing, coordinating, and pricing of everything.
--
"On a motorcycle, you're penetrating distance right along with the machine. In a car you're just a spectator; the windshield's like a TV." ~ Kenny "Von Dutch" Howard



Ken
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join:2003-06-16
Markle, IN
reply to Msradell

said by Msradell:

A good example is Extreme Home Makeover where they build a custom home with many special features in a week. ... I have been in one of the houses and I can tell you it's very well built and very custom.
Extreme Home Makeover is a good example of how not to build a house. I have read about several contractors that have worked on those projects, and the two overriding themes are low quality and unsafe jobsite working conditions.


aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
kudos:1
reply to nightdesigns

Organization, scheduling, and manpower are the key things. I think a house can be built in about 2 weeks if the builder *really* pushes it, in a month if he he just pushes it.
--
And the winner is:



Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
reply to Ken

said by Ken:

said by Msradell:

A good example is Extreme Home Makeover where they build a custom home with many special features in a week. ... I have been in one of the houses and I can tell you it's very well built and very custom.
Extreme Home Makeover is a good example of how not to build a house. I have read about several contractors that have worked on those projects, and the two overriding themes are low quality and unsafe jobsite working conditions.
Maybe that's true in some situations but I personally observed some of the construction of one of the homes. The only "shortcuts" I saw taken (if you could even call them that) was using hot mud and rapid cure country. All of the workmanship was of good or better quality and the safety of the workers was never an issue. Now, there were safety issues but they were caused by reporters and the video crews, not those doing the actual construction! I'm sure part of this is due to the overall work ethics of the contractors in a given area and here they are quite good.


Lurch77
Premium
join:2001-11-22
Oconto, WI
kudos:4

I think some of that is backed up by the fact there has been no major injuries in any of the many Makeover projects. At least I have not heard of any.


horsemouth
Please Clarify My CSP
Premium
join:2002-03-13
canada
reply to nightdesigns

In my market it takes about 4 months for a well built house at a good price. If money is no object you can do it "cost plus" in under one month.
"good fast or cheep" Pick any 2.



Mdoc
Ehh... munch munch... what's up, Doc?
Premium
join:2007-03-27
Sterling, VA
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said by horsemouth:

"good fast or cheep" Pick any 2.
True, because you have to partially sacrifice one to get the other. Quality versus schedule is always a trade-off and tends to be mutually exclusive.


i1me2ao
Premium
join:2001-03-03
TEXAS
reply to nightdesigns

my brothers house was completed in one day. cleared land and they rolled the double wide in. haha
--
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WHT

join:2010-03-26
Rosston, TX
kudos:5
reply to horsemouth

said by horsemouth:

In my market it takes about 4 months for a well built house at a good price. If money is no object you can do it "cost plus" in under one month.
Reminds me of [u]Blast from the Past[/u] where Brendan Fraser had a house built in a week for his parents.

horsemouth
Please Clarify My CSP
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join:2002-03-13
canada

Was that the movie with the bomb shelter parents?



Devanchya
Smile
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Ajax, ON
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reply to nightdesigns

Up here the model homes are usually up running in a month. In fact a lot of the builders are starting "Factory" housing where the house is built in-doors on the building site, and wheeled to the foundation and bolted together.

It's kind of wicked to watch actually.
--
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rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

1 recommendation

reply to cdru

How did they finish in three hours if they poured concrete? How do they make it cure that fast? I know there are additives to keep it from freezing, make it harder, etc. But is there an additive that makes it cure in 30 minutes or something even shorter. Or is this total effort time not including curing time for concrete or drywall mud?


sancraig

join:2003-11-05
Saint Louis, MO

There are mixes that can cure that fast but not usually used in foundations, The "high early" mixes are usually used on roads that cant stay closed long. Calcium Chloride will cure concrete fast.



i1me2ao
Premium
join:2001-03-03
TEXAS
reply to rradina

they do it on build this house on hgtv all the time..



cdru
Go Colts
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join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
reply to rradina

said by rradina:

How did they finish in three hours if they poured concrete? How do they make it cure that fast? I know there are additives to keep it from freezing, make it harder, etc. But is there an additive that makes it cure in 30 minutes or something even shorter. Or is this total effort time not including curing time for concrete or drywall mud?
No it's 3 hours from pouring out of the mixer to finish. I don't know if any additional site grading was done, but from the video it was pretty flat to begin with and there wasn't any crushed stone base that they poured on top of. It doesn't have to be fully cured in order to work on it. The curing can take weeks or months to be 100% complete.

The fast setting quikcrete sets in 20-30 minutes and can take 3000psi in 3 hours. And that's with "consumer" grade product where you don't want it setting too fast. As long as the edges are cured to the point where they can support the walls/roof, the rest can take it's time as it's not under the same amount of stresses. I imagine that you won't be hearing of a "3-4 hour house" that includes a basement, but who knows.


Pacrat
Old and Cranky
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Cortland, OH
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reply to nightdesigns

When we had our home built in 1975, we were told 90-120 days. And yes, it's a "cookie-cutter" 1,485 sq.ft. model in a development of a whole bunch of similar homes, built by the same builder. But it was "stick" construction, completely on site. We were in at 120 days, including a month-long carpenter's union strike.
--
Sometimes I think it's a shame... When I get feelin' better when I'm feelin' no pain


spendit

join:2006-09-08
Chatham, ON

1 recommendation

reply to cdru

since it takes about 72 hours concrete to cure before you can remove the forms, that statement cant possibly be true. Maybe partially, but not completely true. Simply put, concrete walls will fall down if the forms are removed too soon.