Every time we meet with a prospective customer, the question of time comes up. How long DOES it take to build a house?
We like to pride ourselves on running an efficient operation with good communication between our company and the trades that work for us. We have technology driven tools that help us schedule and communicate with everyone throughout the process. However, we’re still building a home outdoors. It’s not inside a warehouse, under a roof with a nicely temperature controlled environment like the couch or chair you’re sitting on. Besides that, each home is built for it’s future owner which means that as this is all happening, there are questions, changes and things that need to be picked out by the customer so that we can order them in time for installation. While you might see a house that the shingles just went on, behind the scenes your cabinets are being ordered, dimensions verified, flooring estimated, drywall counted, fireplaces on their way to the jobsite, etc.
That leads me to our answer… generally speaking, we build most homes in 4-6 months. Why 4 to 6 months? Well, it’s human nature, understandably so, when building your home you’re going to have a couple tough decisions, where you and your significant other can’t make up your minds on, let’s say the hardwood flooring. This particular hardwood flooring takes 3 weeks for the supplier to ship across the country to our distributor and then another few days for someone to drive it out to the jobsite and unload it. Now we have a great online portal for our customers, which keeps you updated on the selections you need to make as well as the deadlines to make those selections. Now of course, we’re not going to get angry with you when you don’t make that selection on time as it’s understandable that you want to make sure you end up with your new home just the way you want it. But that extra week now, while the shingles are going on the house, doesn’t seem like a big deal. In reality, it has just pushed back the cabinet installation, pushing back the countertop fabrication, pushing back the plumbing installation which is done just a few days before your final walkthrough. See how a missed or undecided selection can have a waterfall effect and delay completion of your home?
In addition to this, depending on the time of year that your home is built certain things can take a little longer. For instance, when the temperatures are cold or below freezing, concrete takes longer to reach it’s maximum strength. We don’t want to backfill (put the dirt back around the foundation) as soon as we might when it’s a nice 80 degrees outside. When it’s cold, windy day and our carpenters are supposed to be putting the plywood on the roof, they might not be able to do so without getting blown off the house. Imagine shoveling your driveway after a 12″ snow. Now imagine being the carpenter who has to shovel off the entire floor of the home after a heavy snow in the middle of winter. All of these things can add up to additional time over the winter months.
As professional homebuilders, we employ a critical path project management system to look forward and try to be a step ahead of the weather, the winter, the unselected flooring. Our efficiency in scheduling and project management allows to build a home in as little as four months. That doesn’t mean our trades are rushing or cutting corners, it’s just that some builders take longer to build homes because they’re simply not that organized and haven’t embraced technology to solve some of these problems. They show up at the jobsite each morning and evaluate what they need to do next. When we show up to the jobsite in the morning, we know what day the drywall will be installed when there isn’t even a roof on your house yet.
We invested heavily in our online customer portal (see that red button up in the top right corner?) which as a customer gives you and Silverthorne a central point of communication and real-time access to the schedule of your home, the selections that need to be made, your expenses thus far and a place to ask all the questions you want 24/7.
When selections are made in a timely fashion and the weather cooperates, your new home could be ready to move into in as little as four months from the time you sign a contract. In the event you take a few extra days here and there to make a selection, it might take a little longer. When your new home is being built over the winter months, rain, sleet, temperatures, wind and snow can delay the production of your home. That’s why we say 4-6 months. There are many moving parts to building a home and while we do our very best to run a tight ship, we haven’t figured out how to control the weather just yet….