How Long Does It Take to Build a Single-Family Home?


The 2014 Survey of Construction (SOC) from the Census Bureau shows that the average completion time of a single-family house is around 7 months, which usually includes around 25 days from authorization to start and another 6 months to finish the construction. The timeline from authorization to completion, however, is not consistent across the nation, depending on the housing category, the geographic location, and metropolitan status.

Among all the single-family houses completed in 2014, houses built for sale took the shortest time, 6 months to completion after obtaining building permits, while houses built by owners required the longest time, 11.5 months. Single-family homes built by hired contractors had around 8 months from permit to completion, and homes built for rent normally needed between 9 and 10 months. Compared to a prior 2012 analysis, the average permit-to-completion timespan of single-family houses built for sale and for rent was one month longer in 2014.

A large proportion of single-family homes built for sale and on owners’ land built by either owners or contractors began construction within the same month after obtaining building authorizations. However, homes built for rent typically had a one-month lag between permits and construction start in 2014.


The average time from authorization to completion also varies across the nation. The Middle Atlantic division had the longest time of 9.5 months, followed by New England of 9 months, Pacific and East North Central of 8 months in 2014. These four divisions all had above average time from permit to completion. The shortest period, 6 months, happened in the Mountain division, which also had the shortest waiting period from permit to construction start.



The metropolitan status indicates how long it takes to build a single-family home. Houses in metropolitan areas, on average, took nearly 7 months to completion, which was 2 months shorter than those in non-metropolitan areas. This pattern was quite consistent across the nation, except for the Middle Atlantic division where the average month to completion in metropolitan areas was longer than in non-metropolitan areas in 2014.


The SOC also collects sale information for houses built for sale, including the sale date when buyers sign the sale contracts or make a deposit. In 2014, the share of single-family sold while under construction was almost 70 percent, with 30 percent even sold before construction start and 12 percent sold during the same month of completion. The percent of single-family houses completed in 2014 stayed unsold at the first quarter of 2015 fell to 5 percent from 6 percent in 2012, indicating an improving sale market for single family homes.





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19 replies

  1. Wow!!
    Im a builder in Dallas. I am at 120 days from permits to finish. Thanks for the information.

  2. In the town of Verona N.J. 0044 how much time is allotted to build a new
    home from the time of getting the building permit
    Thank You
    Lou Sisbarro

  3. I’m building my house in Winchester it’s been a year since I got my permit. Having fun

  4. Six months actually seems like a short time frame. I want to build a new build home, so mine might take a little longer. It’s hard to get something like this planned because you have to get the tools, like bobcats, and materials to do the job.

  5. The graphs really helped a lot, thank you! I didn’t realize that there were so many factors that went into building a new home. Do you have any more information about a home development that I could look over?

  6. I am in Calgary Alberta and work with one of the top builders, their timeframe is usually around 9 months from ink dry on contract to keys and moving truck 🙂

  7. realistically looking between 10-12 month to completely finish, Nature of this job always brings up surprises.

  8. im a builder in new hampshire.2 guys.from permit to pillow 4 months.hammer down

  9. It was helpful when you said that a single-family home built by contractors takes around 8 months from permit to completion. My husband and I are thinking about building a home. This is good information to know.

  10. I like that you mention that the average time it takes to complete a home from start to finish takes about 7 months. My husband and I are wanting to build a house specifically for our family. I think we should look into finding a professional with experience in custom residential design to help us get started.

  11. My husband and I are looking to build a 25,000 square foot home. What is the average duration to which a project like this takes?

  12. Does the 7 months mentioned irregardless of the possible factors? Like the size of the house, design and etc. You may also include weather and the workers doing the house. Anyways, the duration of building your family house is actually important to take account to, that’s one of the most common neglected things to consider.

    Dart Henry – building companies north shore

  13. I didn’t realize that it took about 11.5 months to build a house if you are doing it on your own. My brother-in-law has always had the goal that he wants to build his own home. Is this time extended if he lives in a climate where it gets quite cold and snowy in the winter?

  14. My brother and I are looking to build a 20,000 square foot home. What is the average duration to which a project like this takes?

    • My son-in-law and I built a 2140 square foot home and 3 car garage in 6month 20 days. My son in law had framers help put up the wall trusses and sheeting on the roof and he had a group ruffin on the plumbing and a group stucco the house. I work 7 days a week for 6 months and my son in law work 4 week and then after work and on the weekends. Went well but you willbe tired after you hand the keys over

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