Be Picky About Your Future Home Builder

Home Building Timeline

Though the average time taken to build a home is about 8 months (as per the US Census Bureau), multiple factors affect the timeline. The geographic location, the type of home being built, and the actual construction process can influence how long it takes to build a home.

How to Build a Home: Step by Step Planning Guide

To build a home, you first identify a location, purchase the property, prepare your dream home plans (or purchase them), and get all of the permits and licenses in order. Once the groundwork is over, you hire a contractor and gear yourself up for the actual construction.

Excavation, Foundation, Ground Leveling

The very first step that a contractor takes is mapping out the layout of your new home on your purchased plot of land. This is one of the most exciting steps because your home construction officially begins with the clearing of rocks/trees/existing structures and the leveling of the site for proper drainage. During week 1, the contractor will also set in place the footings of your new home into the ground.

Framing the House & Roof Install

After the foundation is built, the next step is to erect the frame of your home. The frame consists of the exterior walls, the floors, and the roof rafters. Once all of those sections are framed, sheathing is applied to the walls and the roof. They are also covered with house wrap – a protective barrier that prevents water from breaching your house while allowing water vapor from inside to escape. Once the framing work is completed, an inspection takes place.

Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP)

After the foundation or the skeleton of the home is ready, the next step is to install the wiring and the plumbing of your home. When you visit your under-construction home during the MEP phase, you will see lots of wires, pipes, vents, and sewer lines everywhere. Some siding work will also take place during month 3.


Building your new home

Building a new home can be an exciting challenge, leading to a home that’s perfect for you and your family. This guide covers some of the basics, but always get professional advice before taking the next step

Turn-Key home and land package

Simplify your build with a complete package of home and land from a developer. An initial deposit is required with the remaining balance paid upon completion.

Build only

Buy your ideal section and engage a builder to construct your dream home.  There are various options from a standard design to a one-off architecturally designed home.

Kitset or pre-fabricated home

Choose a home design, and have it shipped to your site either as a ready-to-build kitset, pre-built components or a complete home.


You usually need to provide a deposit up front before the build starts and no further funds are required until the build ends.

You don’t pay interest on your loan until you settle, which is a great help if you’re already paying rent or a mortgage on your current home during the build.

Most design and build companies already have a portfolio of house designs to choose from and this can save time.

The price is usually fixed.


Generally house and land packages are only available at certain locations. This can limit your choices.

Limited design options means limited customisation and personal touch.


Your guide to understanding the building process


Once you make the decision to build, it’s important to be familiar with the first steps in the pre-construction stage. During this stage, there are many important tasks that take place, including choosing your home design, having the engineer’s drawings prepared and obtaining all necessary paperwork to apply for a building permit.

At this stage, it’s important to have a good grasp of your budget and the style of the home you like. While the approvals are being processed, you will get to work with a Prestart Consultant to choose from a great range of colours and fittings to create a theme for your new home. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to really start customising your home and developing a theme that reflects your personal style and preferences.

During this stage, it’s also important to familiarise yourself with the land developer requirements and find out if the block you have chosen is titled or untitled. This is quite an important element because if your lot is untitled, construction process cannot commence until titles are issued.


This is the most exciting part of the building process. There are six stages in the construction process:

Stage 1 – Slab Down

The first stage of construction involves preparing your block and working on the foundations for your home. Before your slab can be poured, your concreter will work with the plumber to ensure all the pipes are in place. Once the slab is laid, the sewerage drains will be installed so that all previously laid pipes can be connected up to the sewer.

Stage 2 – Brickwork

This stage is all about erecting the frame for your new home and ensuring all metal supporting angles for windows and external doors are in place for the next stage.

Stage 3 – Roof Cover

Once the brickwork is complete, it’s time to build the roof frame that will support your roofing materials. The electricians and plumbers will return to site to complete the installations of plumbing and electrical tubes, with the roofers now ready to work on the roof cover and gutter installation.

Stage 4 – Lockup

The lockup stage is when all windows and external doors are installed. It’s time to start on the inside – plastering, ceilings and cornices, installing the windows and fixing the entry door – so that your home is ready to receive the finishing touches that make your house a home.

Stage 5 – Practical Completion

The final stage of the construction process is when all internal works are done and completed to your satisfaction- internal doors and shelving, electrical and plumbing, cabinetry, waterproof and ceramic tiling, flooring, shower screens, mirrors, plumbing and gas fit-off, and last but not least the site clean-up.

Stage 6 – Handover

This is the point in time you’ve been waiting for. The handover stage is when your new home has been completed to your satisfaction – and to the plans, and after paying the final invoice, the keys will be handed over to you.


Building Guide

As with any large project, planning and research is key to a home that meets your needs and stays within budget. We’ve prepared this series of Home Buyer “How-to” pages to provide you with information and questions to ask, where to start your process and what to expect. It’s not an exhaustive list, as each building project has its own quirks, but our years of experience show that building a log home with Katahdin generally involves similar steps in the process.

Site Locations

Finding land or a lot site for your cedar log home can be challenging. If you haven’t yet located land, you’ll want to work with a broker in the area who understands the ins and outs of lots and land in your area. If you’re building in an area new to you, you’ll want to get a good picture of the climate as well – average snowfall and/or rain totals, temperature ranges, hours of daylight, potential for winds from hurricanes or strong storms. Here are some of the factors to consider when looking at land.

Sketching, Plans and Pricing

This initial stage of putting your dreams down on paper and developing a budget is an important and exciting step in the journey of building

Wells and Septic Systems

If you’re building in a rural or remote setting, most likely you’ll need to build a private water and waste system.

Selecting Insulation

Most people take a hard look at a car’s miles-per-gallon ratings when researching a new vehicle. Yet it seems that fewer people take a look at their home’s “mpg” or energy efficiency, especially when it comes to insulation.


Progress to your new home with the HomeBuilder scheme.

The recently announced Federal Government HomeBuilder scheme is making it even easier for home buyers and those looking to build a new home to get onto the property ladder. A $25,000* grant will directly help young families, first home buyers, upgraders and downsizers realise their goal of home ownership sooner.

What is the HomeBuilder scheme?

The HomeBuilder provides eligible owner-occupiers (including first home buyers) with a $25,000 grant to build a new home, or substantially renovate an existing one

How do I apply for the HomeBuilder grant?

You can’t apply for HomeBuilder just yet. Information on when you’ll be able to apply will be released through the relevant State or Territory revenue offices. You can contact them directly if you have questions about when and how you’ll be able to apply.

What are the eligibility requirements for the HomeBuilder Scheme?

To access HomeBuilder, owner-occupiers must meet the following eligibility criteria:

you are a natural person (not a company or trust);

you are aged 18 years or older;

you are an citizen;

you meet one of the following two income caps:

$125,000 per annum for an individual applicant based on your 2018-19 taxable income or later; or

$200,000 per annum for a couple based on both 2018-19 taxable income or later.

you enter into a building contract between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020 to either:

build a new home as a principal place of residence, where the property value does not exceed $750,000; or

substantially renovate your existing home as a principal place of residence, where the renovation contract is between $150,000 and $750,000, and where the value of your existing property (house and land) does not exceed $1.5 million (pre-renovation);

construction must commence on or after 4 June and within three months of the contract date

What if I want to buy an off-the-plan apartment or townhouse?

Off-the-plan apartments or town houses are eligible for HomeBuilder. If you sign the contract to buy the off-the-plan dwelling on or after 4 June 2020 and on or before 31 December 2020 and construction commences on or after 4 June 2020 and no later than three months after the contract is signed then the property purchase may be eligible for HomeBuilder.