What is the timeframe for building a custom-built home?

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Myeeda Muston
Published on
November 2, 2023
How Long Does It Take to Build a Custom Home?


If you're considering building a custom home in West Michigan, you're likely wondering about the timeline and how long it takes to make it all happen. At Muston Construction, we understand the importance of this investment and take pride in offering exceptional custom home building services in the West Michigan area. In this article, we'll provide you with all the information you need to know about the timeline for constructing your custom home in West Michigan. 

Generally, the design and pricing phases can last from 2 to 4 months. The construction phase of most custom homes we build take around 7 to 8 months from excavation to the move-in date.  However, it's important to note that timelines for custom home projects can vary based on several factors. Keep reading to find out more.

Factors Influencing the Timeline

Before delving into the specifics, let's discuss the factors that can impact the timeline for building a custom home. Several variables can influence the duration of the construction process, including:

  1. Size and Complexity of the Project: The size and complexity of your custom home project play a crucial role in determining the timeline. Larger and more intricate homes typically require more time for design, construction, and finishing work.
  2. Site Conditions: The condition of the construction site can affect the timeline. Factors such as soil quality, topography, need for lot clearing or demolition and accessibility can impact the pace of construction.
  3. Weather Conditions: West Michigan experiences a range of weather conditions throughout the year. Adverse weather can cause delays in construction, particularly during exterior work phases.
  4. Permitting and Approvals: Obtaining the necessary permits and approvals from local authorities is an important step before construction can commence. The time required to secure these permits can vary based on the municipality and the specific requirements of your project.
  5. Supply Issues: The availability of construction materials can influence the timeline. Although supply chains have improved in recent months.
  6. Level of Decision-Making: Your level of involvement in decision-making throughout the process can impact the timeline. Prompt decision-making and timely communication with your builder can help keep the project on track.

It's crucial to work closely with our team of experts to assess these factors and establish a realistic timeline that aligns with your unique requirements.

Pre-Construction Phase

The pre-construction phase is a crucial stage in building a custom home. During this period, we collaborate closely with you to finalize the design, select materials, and obtain the necessary permits and approvals. This phase typically involves the following steps:

  1. Design Phase: We work with a number of architects and designers and will collaborate with you to create a customized home design that reflects your style, needs and budget. 
  2. Pricing Phase: Once the house plans are complete, we will discuss the building specifications (details and finishes) and gather the information necessary to price your custom home accurately. We will prepare a detailed construction proposal that we will present to you for your review and approval. Then we will work on any necessary adjustments to the proposal, make price and building specification revisions as needed, to transform the construction proposal into our construction agreement. Once the construction agreement is signed, we can move to the permitting phase. If you are working with a financial institution to fund the project, we will provide the required documents for the loan approval after the agreement is signed.
  3. Permitting Phase: Before breaking ground, we handle the process of obtaining permits and approvals from the relevant building authorities. This step ensures that your custom home complies with local regulations and safety standards. The time required for permitting and approvals can vary depending on the complexity of the project and the specific requirements of your municipality.
  4. Final Selections Phase: If you hired your personal interior designer for the project, we use his/her specifications for items such as flooring, countertops, cabinetry and so on.  We also have an in-house selections coordinator that is available to help you finalize your selections, if you choose not to hire a private interior designer. We will strive to make all the selections as early as possible in the process and place orders as soon as we are able to in an effort to avoid supply chain delays and price increases.  
  5. Site Preparation: Once the design and permits are in place, we prepare the construction site. This involves clearing the land, leveling the ground, demolition if needed, and ensuring proper utility connections. Site preparation sets the foundation for a smooth construction phase.

Construction Phase

The pre-construction phase is complete, so we move on to the most exciting phase – Construction. This is where your vision begins to take shape, and our skilled team of employees and trade partners go to work. This phase typically includes the following steps:

  1. Foundation and Framing: The construction begins with the foundation and framing. This involves setting the foundation and erecting the structural framework of your home. It sets the stage for the rest of the construction process.
  2. Electrical, Plumbing, and HVAC: Once the framing is complete, the electrical, plumbing, and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems are installed. This includes wiring, plumbing pipes, and ductwork. It's important to ensure that these essential systems are properly installed to ensure functionality and efficiency.
  3. Interior and Exterior Finishes: With the systems in place, the focus shifts to the interior and exterior finishes. This includes insulation, drywall installation, painting, cabinetry, flooring and other finishing touches.
  4. Fixtures and Appliances: After the interior finishes are complete, fixtures such as lighting, faucets, and appliances are installed. This is the stage where your custom home starts to feel complete and functional.
  5. Final Inspections: Before the project can reach completion, final inspections are conducted to ensure that the construction meets all building codes and regulations. These inspections cover various aspects, including structural integrity, safety features, and energy efficiency.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much does it cost to build a custom home in West Michigan?

The cost of building a custom home in West Michigan can vary depending on various factors such as the size of the home, the complexity of the design, the quality of materials and finishes, and the location of the site. At Muston Construction, we work closely with you to develop a detailed budget based on your specific requirements and preferences. Our transparent and comprehensive approach ensures that you have a clear understanding of the costs involved throughout the construction process. To learn more about how much a custom home will cost, read our "How Much Does It Cost To Build A Custom Home In Grand Rapids, Michigan And Surrounding Areas?" blog post.

Can I make changes to the design during the construction process?

While it's best to finalize the design before construction begins, we understand that changes may be necessary or desired along the way. At Muston Construction, we accommodate reasonable design changes whenever possible. We communicate closely with you to evaluate the feasibility of changes and provide transparent information regarding any cost or timeline adjustments.

What factors can affect the construction timeline?

The construction timeline of a custom home can be influenced by several factors. Some common factors include the size and complexity of the design, weather conditions, permits, availability of labor and materials, and any unforeseen issues that may arise during construction. At Muston Construction, our experienced team carefully manages these variables to keep the project on track and ensure timely completion.

Is it necessary to hire an architect for a custom home?

While hiring an architect is not legally required, it is highly recommended when building a custom home. At Muston Construction, we work closely with experienced architects as well as home designers who bring expertise in design, functionality, and building codes. Their input helps create a home that not only meets your vision but also complies with regulations. We will collaborate with you during the design phase to streamline the process making ourselves available to answer your questions and facilitating effective communication between all parties involved.

How can we make sure that the project stays on schedule?

When you build with us, we provide a construction schedule that includes a specific move-in date.  We will do our very best to stay on schedule as we understand how important finishing a project on time can be. Our schedule includes some buffers, so we can absorb extra days needed for a few change orders or for supply chain issues that may occur. Making timely decisions, promptly addressing any concerns or issues, and being actively involved in the process can help maintain the timeline as well. 

How can I ensure quality control during the construction?

Ensuring quality control during the construction of your custom home is paramount for us.  We want a happy customer.  We also hold a warranty on your home, so every phase of construction is closely supervised. We have a meticulous quality assurance program in place, which includes regular site meetings, weekly reports, phase walk-throughs, third party quality inspections and more. For more reasons to work with our skilled team read our "Why Build Your Custom Dream Home with Muston Construction" blog post.

What warranties are provided for a custom home in West Michigan?

Warranties for custom homes in West Michigan can vary depending on the builder and specific agreements. At Muston Construction, we want to see your home go through four seasons after you move-in. At the end of one-year, our office staff will contact you to schedule a home visit and take care of any signs of settling and lumber shrinkage (nail pops, grout cracking, etc), which are normal. If any significant issues arise before the one-year is up, we will promptly address the warranty item. We work with a team of well-established trusted trade partners that provide prompt service and stand behind their workmanship. During the project planning stage, we discuss warranties in detail, ensuring transparency and peace of mind.

Have more questions? Find more FAQs here!


Building a custom home in West Michigan is an exciting and significant undertaking that requires careful planning and consideration of various factors. The timeline for constructing a custom home depends on factors such as design complexity, size, and the availability of labor and materials. At Muston Construction, we understand the importance of this investment and are committed to delivering a high-quality custom home that exceeds your expectations.

With our expertise and dedication to excellence, we strive to ensure a smooth and efficient construction process from the pre-construction phase to the final inspections. Our experienced team works diligently to bring your vision to life within a reasonable timeframe. We meticulously execute every aspect of the construction process, reflecting our commitment to creating exceptional living spaces.

If you're ready to embark on the journey of building your custom home in West Michigan, contact Muston Construction today. Let us leverage our experience, craftsmanship, and unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction to bring your dream home to reality.