how long does it take to build a house
Jun 16, 2022
Publish by Brett Murrell
Category: Buying, First Home, Luxury Homes

How Long Does it Take to Build a House From Start to Finish?

Are you looking to have your own place soon? As a future homeowner, you’ll have two options: buying an already-built house or having it constructed from the ground up.

Buying a house could be more convenient in some instances since you won’t have to wait for long before you can get the keys to your new home. You’ll also see the actual property before deciding whether it’s really for you.

When building a house, you have to trust the process. It could take roughly a year, depending on your budget and the complexity of your house design. Here’s a general timeline for building a house in Alberta.

Header image source: Unsplash

Timeline of Building a House in Alberta

Mortgage Approval

The first step to having your house built is having your mortgage approved. Some people would opt to take care of this matter after they’ve selected a lot and model for their home.

A mortgage approval right at the start of the home building process would make things easier and smoother.

Lot & Model Selection

Before construction starts, you have to choose a lot for your home. Look through different neighbourhoods to find a lot that’s perfect for you. You may also want to talk to different home builders so that you can go with the one that could best assist you throughout the process.

Once you’ve selected a lot, you’ll also have to choose a model for your home. You can look through existing designs and go with the one you like best. Or you could also have a home designed according to your preferences. Just remember that the process could take longer with custom-built homes.

Contract Signing & Deposit

Once you’ve decided on the lot and model for your future home, it’s time to sign the contract. Make sure you carefully read through all of the terms and conditions stated in the contract. If there are some things you wish to change, discuss them with your home builder. Sign the contract only when you’re completely satisfied with it.

After signing, you’ll have to make a deposit for the home. This is to secure your new home for construction. It could either be a one- or two-time payment, depending on your deal with your home builder.

Home Design Finalization

Once the deposit has been made, you’ll go over the home design and see if everything’s okay. Make sure you approve of all the materials to be used for your home.

If there are changes you’d want to make, you should inform your home builder immediately. Once the design has been finalized, you’re almost ready with the home construction.

Building and Other Permits

Before construction actually starts, you’ll first have to obtain the necessary permits for your home. It’s usually the home builder who takes care of the permits, but it’s still good to be involved in the process.

Get your documents ready so that the permit application process wouldn’t be such a hassle.

All these processes may take anywhere from 1–2 months. Communicating properly and working closely with your home builder makes the process easier and faster for both sides.

House Construction

Once the permits have been issued, construction can finally begin. The house construction process may take anywhere from 4–6 months for a conventional home. For custom homes, the building process may take up to a year (or a couple of months more).

Final Inspection

After the construction has finished, you’ll get to see your new home. Your builder will show you through the whole house and orient you about it. You’ll also want to take a home inspector with you just so you could make sure that everything about your new home is “up to code.”

House Possession

After the final inspection, you’ll finally be able to acquire your new home. On this day, the title will be handed over to you along with the keys to the house. Trust us, you’ll want to document this day. Owning a home is definitely a milestone to celebrate!

Is it Cheaper to Buy or Build a House in 2022?

Now that we’ve walked through the home building process, it’s time to talk about another important aspect—the costs.

The average cost of building a house in Alberta is around $125–$200 per square foot. Let’s assume that building a 1500-square foot home costs $200 per square foot. This means that your total will climb up to $300,000.

The projected average cost for a home in Alberta this year is $431,116. You may find cheaper homes in some of Alberta’s smaller neighbourhoods, but for the sake of comparison, let’s stick with this ballpark figure.

Even with building a 2000-square foot home, you’ll only have to pay around $400,000. Thus, it’s cheaper to build than buy a home in Alberta in 2022.

Buying a house will cost you more, but at least you’ll get to live in the new home much sooner than you can. You’ll probably want to renovate at least one part of the preexisting house, so keep in mind that these also add up to the costs.

Our advice? Buy a home only when your circumstances necessitate you to move immediately.

But if you don’t mind the waiting time, it would be more practical to build a home in Alberta. You can design your home to your liking. So, once the construction is done, all you have to do is move into your new home.

Living in Alberta

build a house from start to finish

Image source: Griffin Real Estate

In 2022, you might want to consider living in Alberta. Trends have shown that more and more people are buying into the Alberta market since the conditions are better.

In a small town like Okotoks, the cost of living is cheaper compared to Calgary or Edmonton. If you love coming home to a quiet and peaceful community, Okotoks just might be the place for you.

To recap, here’s a general timeline of the home building process in Alberta:

  • Have your mortgage approved before anything else so that you can enjoy a smoother process throughout.
  • Select a lot and model for your home. You can go with either conventional homes or custom homes.
  • Sign the contract for the construction of your new home. Pay the deposit to secure it.
  • Go over the home design and see if everything is to your liking.
  • Obtain the necessary permits for the construction of your new home.
  • House construction finally begins. It could take anywhere from 4 to 12 months, depending on the design of your home.
  • After construction, you’ll be able to finally see your new home. Take a home inspector with you to make sure everything’s good with your home.
  • If there are no more changes to be made, you should be able to finally get the title and keys to your new home.
  • Celebrate it with your loved ones because owning a house is definitely a milestone you should be proud of!
Written By
Okotoks Realtor | Griffin Real Estate | Brett Murrell

Founder/Realtor® Team Lead/CIR REALTY Okotoks Owner

Brett Murrell

I grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan, where I’ve brought dedication, hard work, trustworthiness, and loyalty with me into life and work. Farms and acreages have always been a big part of my life, and I bring those values and knowledge to my clients who seek my help. I care about what’s best for my clients, and I don’t stop until they’re happy.

Helping others goes beyond assisting them in viewings or paperwork, sometimes it’s lending an extra pair of hands unloading a U-Haul, helping with home repairs, or watching their pets.

My background in construction along with first-hand acreage living gives me an advantage over other REALTORS®. Whatever your acreage concerns are, I’m the expert on it.

There’s nothing more satisfying than helping people and teaching them along the way in their real estate journey. It’s satisfying to help them find a place they’re truly happy with.