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Building a new house is extremely rewarding, but there’s also a lot to learn! We’ve written this article about the process of building a house to help you understand the different stages of house construction, how building a new house works and the average time to build a house in Australia.

What’s the average time to build a house in Australia?

Experts say that the average house in Australia can take roughly six to 12 months to build, but custom homes can depend on the size of the home, and if the builder is completing all the external works such as paving and landscaping.

If you’re going to build, you need to understand that while builders work very hard to get your home built to the timeframe you desire, there’s many factors that can impact the time it takes to build a house:

  • Delays with approvals
  • Availability of trades
  • Supply of materials
  • Location of the build (metro or rural)
  • Unexpected weather events, or inclement weather
  • Bank delays with progress payments
  • Variations from an engineer or client
  • Other restrictions that impact normal operations

What are the steps to building a house?

So how does building a new home work? Once your designs are approved, your building manager or contact person at the building company will keep you in the loop of the progress on site. At MyHomeBuild, we give our customers access to an exclusive portal where they can monitor the progress of their home.

Some build stages for new houses require inspections by surveyors and other professionals before they progress to the next stage, but here’s a quick overview of the different stages of the house construction process (remember that every build is different and this is a general guide only):

1. The base stage

Demolition and/or clearing the site

If you’re doing a knock-down rebuild, you obviously need to clear the block first! This includes removal of any asbestos, knocking down the existing building, and clearing the site from the demo (or clearing the site from any plants/shrubbery that’s grown on a vacant block, as these do not make a good base to build a foundation on). Sometimes this can all be done in as little as a week, depending on the size of the property, but factors like access issues can impact the average time to build a house in Australia.

Gary and Tammy discussing different stages of house construction

Laying the foundation

The type of foundation and footings your new home needs will depend on the soil quality and the type of build (such as double storey, construction materials, etc). Laying the foundation involves:

  • Benching the site, by adding additional soil to create the required level as per the engineers requirements.
  • Excavating any areas where needed
  • Putting in the underground connections for all your utilities (e.g. water, electricity and gas)
  • Placing steel reinforcing in the trenches, which significantly contributes to the structural integrity of the concrete and assists with preventing the concrete from cracking
  • Pouring footings (trenches filled with concrete to reinforce the foundation)
  • Laying the actual foundation slab that your home will be built on

2. The framing stage

This next stage in the process of building a house refers to the construction of the skeleton of the home – both the exterior walls and the interior partition walls. It’s not just the walls though that you see go up during the framing stage; the roof trusses, windows and door frames are included in this stage.

Finishing this stage is exciting because you’re able to ‘walk through’ the floor plan you spent so long perfecting, and it helps you to get a sense for how large different areas are, and what the view from your windows will be! Some trade work for plumbing and electrics happens at this stage, but more happens once the home is locked up and weatherproof!

3. The lock-up stage

As the name implies, at this point in your build, the focus is on securing the exterior of your home, rather than leaving it as an ‘open shell’. This means: windows, doors and gutters are all installed (even if the doors are temporary!), your home’s exterior is weatherproofed, and the home’s façade starts to emerge. Because it can be locked up, trades can really get stuck into bringing your new home to life.

4. The fixing and fit out stage

This is the stage when all your hard work and selection decisions during the design process come to life, and the property really starts to resemble a home and not a construction site (although there’s still plenty of construction taking place!). Your interior walls and ceilings will be plastered, kitchen cabinetry, other joinery and internal doors can start being installed, and all the design features that need to be fixed in, such as cornices and skirting boards. Other important things that happen in this stage include waterproofing the wet areas of the home, painting, tiling, and installing all your bathroom and kitchen fittings (taps, mirrors and benches, etc.).

Process of building a new house

5. Practical completion inspection

Once the builders consider that the home is able to be used for its intended purpose (being lived in!), they’ll arrange a practical completion inspection (PCI). There will still be some work to be done after your PCI, and minor defects to address, but this is a critical stage where homeowners get to inspect their home, and check that everything appears and functions as it should: windows, doors and cupboards opening and closing smoothly, paintwork up to scratch.

From here, your handover won’t be far away (this varies house to house, but expect at least two weeks from PCI to handover).

6. Handover

Pop the champagne, and have the camera ready for a family photo. The day you get the keys to your new home is one worth celebrating and remembering! This is undoubtedly everyone’s favourite part of the process of building a house.

7. Post-handover

Different building companies have different post-handover/post-construction agreements, but there’s always a period of time (normally 3-12 months) where things that need fixing or finishing can still be addressed. At MyHomeBuild, every home we build is engineered, and approved to the National Construction Code (NCC). We offer a 25 year structural guarantee for your peace of mind.

[CTA] Want to learn more about the different stages of construction and the benefits and process of building a house with us? Book a free consultation today.

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