by Ken Pieper


Most of my clients are ready to move in immediately after most of their decisions have been made. Sounds about right. When we finally make a decision to purchase something we usually want it and want it now. In the fast paced world we now live in, we are accustomed to getting our way. I just witnessed a man unreasonably upset because there were three cars ahead of him in a McDonald’s line. Yep, that’s a stretch but not that unusual.

Below I will outline a simple path and timeline for a couple of scenarios and this blog will be longer than most; but I feel it’s important for my followers to understand just some of the hurdles one must cross before the shovel digs the first dirt.

1.)  Financial Considerations.
      A. If this applies, you will need to pre-qualify for the amount you feel is comfortable for your budget. Timing is a minimum of two weeks.
      B. Secure in writing this commitment from your lender. Another week or two of time.

2.)  House Plan Design
      A. Timing selection of a Pre-Designed House Plan should take as long as it takes to search out the right plan for you.  If you make alterations, add at least 3-4 weeks.
      B. Timing of a Custom Design. If you want to create your Custom Home from scratch, this can take anywhere from a few months plus. I have completed custom designs in as little as 3 months and up to 18 months. It just depends on how many versions you require and the size and level of detail you request.

3.)  Engineering

The house plan you either select from us or others and the Custom House you have created must be structurally engineered. I say must because I know there are places in our country that don’t require engineered and wet stamped plans by a licensed service, but when you don’t you are taking a huge risk of not having the best and structurally sound house you need. Plus the other liability here, your homeowners policy in today’s world will use this omitted and important issue against any unfortunate claim against a structural defect in the home. Additionally, if your homesite is in a rural area or even in a planned development, I always and strongly recommend acquiring a soil test from the center of your building platform from a registered Geotechnical Engineer for the Structural Engineer to base their calculations accurately from this data. These items can take anywhere from 30 to 60 days dependent upon many factors such as location, time of year, available services etc.

4.)  Construction Appraisals, Loan approval, Cost Analysis from Contractor

You must receive a final Appraisal on the Construction Documents before you will receive the final commitment for your loan if applicable. You will need to present the final architectural construction documents to your chosen builder for them to accomplish a complete cost analysis for your home. Allow approximately 6 weeks for this to be completed.

5.)   Building Permits

After you and the Builder have agreed on the cost and timeline to construct your new home, they will present to the appropriate governing authority for an actual Building Permit allowing you to start construction. This timing is totally dependent upon the authority that you are dealing with. This process can require a time line from a couple of weeks to more that a year. Yes, a year in California…

“When we finally make a decision to purchase something we usually want it and want it now. In the fast paced world we now live in, we are accustomed to getting our way.”

So to sum this “long” article up, these timelines can add up to a sizable amount of time and one that just must be tolerated with much patience. This process has not become the select and click service delivered by Amazon the next day yet, so prepare yourself and muster up the patience to endure. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me as I really enjoy discussing these and other issues during your construction process.

Until next time enjoy the journey, it will be exciting!

Ken Pieper

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