How long does it take to build a House?

Building a house in New Zealand is an exciting venture, but how long does it take to build a house? 

The short answer – allow between 10-12 months for a fairly normal size and style home, excluding the design and consenting. 

The long answer? Read on…

It’s essential to understand the timeline involved in this process. The duration to construct a house in New Zealand can vary significantly based on a range of factors, such as the size and design of the home, location, resource consent and building consent hurdles, and the availability of resources in that location. In this blog post, we will delve into the various phases of house construction in New Zealand and give you a general idea of the time it takes to build your dream home.

1) Pre-Construction, Design & Consenting 

6 months, on average. Although here at Arcline we work on a wide range of home designs, from small baches to large stately homes, the average time it takes from starting the process to getting foundations underway is usually around 6 months. Remember, around 6 weeks of this is used up by the building consent going through Council. 

This includes site visits, designing your home, gathering necessary reports from engineers, town planners, surveyors and other professionals, and getting an issued Resource Consent (if needed) and Building Consent (always needed) from the local Council. 

2) Site Preparation

2-4 weeks. This depends on the slope and size of your property and the home you’re putting on it. Some sites require large retaining walls and differing amounts of hardfill (otherwise known as metal) to be bought onto the site. This is before the builders can start laying their foundations. 

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3) Foundations

4-6 weeks. Depending again on the site, complexity of the foundation engineering and the foundation type, of course! And if you’re building a two story home, the ground floor walls need to be erected prior to building the second story floor. 

Read our ‘Concrete Floor or Timber Floor‘ article to learn more about foundation types. 

4) Framing, Cladding & Roofing (Lockup) 

2-4 months. This includes all the walls, trusses or rafters (the roof structure) of the home. Some homes are made from timber or timber bi-products, others from concrete or bi-products like concrete blocks. 

A common term used in building is ‘lockup’. This is indicating that your home is completely lockable, with roof and walls clad, and all exterior doors and windows in place. No burglars allowed!


5) Plumbing, Electrical & HVAC

2 months, but this overlaps with other parts of the build, and plumbers and electricians come and go through the build as they are needed. These are broken down into different phases like ‘pre-wire’ which is where the electrician is installing all the wiring in the walls and ceiling before the GIB goes on. 

6) Interior Finishing

2-3 months. Again, this greatly depends on the finished material choices and the overall size of the home. This includes installing GIB or timber sarking on the walls and ceiling, laying tiles, timber overlay flooring and carpet, installing the kitchens, bathrooms, laundry, and final fit-off by the electrician and plumber of your chosen fittings. 

7) Exterior Finishing

2-3 months, and overlaps with the interior finishing. Includes painting or plastering the exterior of the house, fitting off exterior lights and other feature fittings. Weather has a big impact on the timeline of exterior finishing on a new home. 

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8) Final Inspections and Landscaping

1-2 months. Local authorities will conduct inspections to ensure your house complies with building codes and regulations. At the same time, you can be working on landscaping, driveways, paths, planting to enhance the look and feel of your property. 

Then it’s time to get the Code of Compliance Certificate (CCC), and move in! 


Other Factors That Impact – How long does it take to build a house?

Council inspections, bad weather, material supply issues, and builder availability. Each of these topics alone we could write an entire blog post on, but we’re sure you understand by now that you’re building a custom home exposed to the elements with thousands of small parts to bring it together. 

It takes time to build a house in New Zealand and as a general rule it’s between 10-12 months. Some of the larger, more architectural homes we’ve designed have taken up to 2 years to complete, due to the level of complexity and size of the home, and even difficult location in some instances. Other transportable homes built in factories we’ve designed have been built and onsite within 6 months. 

It’s a collaboration between architects, builders, project managers and all the sub-trades like electricians and plumbers. By carefully planning and overseeing the construction process, you can help ensure your dream home is constructed efficiently and according to your preferences in beautiful New Zealand.

Your Next Step:

Contact the Arcline Team today to discuss your project!

Hands on experience you can trust.

Call Us Today: 0800 326 466

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