This article originally appeared in the La Jolla Light.
It would be so much easier to go into any project knowing exactly how much time it will take to complete. For many people who are ready to build their luxury dream home, they want it ready yesterday, which is understandable. The construction process is long, it’s messy, it’s hard, and it is expensive. It can strain healthy relationships. But one thing your luxury home construction timeline won’t be is as precise as a Falcon 9 rocket landing.
That being said, you want a licensed and practiced professional working on your luxury dream home. Aside from being knowledgeable about what you’ll need during the planning phases, your highly experienced architect and builder will be able to give you an accurate general timeline because they know how to build luxury homes, all the ins and outs of what needs to be dealt with, and they have the teams on hand to actually do the work.
If you’re building your luxury home by using a personalized construction plan, your luxury home build might take anywhere between six to ten months to build. However, for a custom plan with many unique features and details, don’t be surprised if your build takes closer to a year or more to complete. It took three years to complete construction on Tom Brady and Giselle Bündchen’s 22,000 square foot mansion and moat and ball-inflation room. And while that was well before Brady had all that time off from work, he did probably have an experienced team working continuously on the project.
Your exact timeline will be dependent on the size of your home, as well as working around fine and specific detailing, i.e., do you want a mosaic-tile floor installed by hand? Do you have many unique angles? All custom designing will take extra time, as tiles or wood will need to be cut exactly to the shape they’re filling. There can always be delays in a project, but your builder should be able to give you a fairly accurate estimate up front.
So once you get through the concept and design phase, including planning, price estimation, value engineering, and evaluation, you and your team (including a designer, if you hire one), will move into the phase of purchasing materials.
Permits will be required before the process begins. Your builder will be able to walk you through all the specific needs required for your area and type of structure.
Then comes the budget approval and finalization, loan approval, and, at last, the construction phase begins. Often, your contractor will want to have another meeting to make sure everything is set to start smoothly.
One of the benefits of new construction is that you do not have to worry about the surprises you might find in a remodel (bad plumbing, mold, faulty wiring, etc.). There will be a geological survey to make sure that the foundations are solid, and your house is up to date on all the codes (especially the earthquake codes here in California).
Many construction companies will have a dedicated project manager keeping you up to date on all the developments throughout the construction process.
In Southern California, we have the benefit of being able to work year-round, with only a few stops because of significant rain. In freezing or near-freezing climates, you have to wait for warmer weather to pour the concrete foundations. While it takes about 27 days for the foundation to fully cure, framing can start two to three days after pouring, as it will take a long time (more than 27 days) for the structure to be heavy enough to require full concrete curing.
Inspections occur after each phase of the building process: after foundations are poured and cured, the complete rough framing and exterior drywall installation, after the rough plumbing and electrical and HVAC and all ductwork, after which the roofing goes in and the structure is considered “dried in.”
If you have lots of elaborate framing, including arches or vaulted ceilings, this will add to the timeline. But the bigger your builder’s company, then, technically, the more hands you will have on deck and the quicker the process will go.
Once the inspections for these have been conducted, the complete insulation and interior drywall installation and surfacing takes place, followed by the exterior finishes, such as stucco, plaster, or masonry. Next up in the process is the completion of interior trim, including windowsills, frames, moldings, doors, as well as the paving of walkways and driveways.
After this, all the hard surfaces go in. Here’s the fun part, where the structure starts to really look like the luxury home you’ve been dreaming of. Floors go in, as well as cabinets and countertops. Next up comes the installation of the mechanical and bathroom fixtures, and your electrical panel is completed.
Then, all the mirrors, doors, and extra fine detailing go in, followed by the cleanup.
During this phase, landscaping will also take place. You can decide whether you want to move in before the landscape and external details are completed, or whether you want to wait for all your external features to be completed before you move in. Keep in mind that even external work will be messy and likely increase the dust and dirt levels in your new home, especially if you are adding features such as outdoor rooms or a casita or solarium, or if you are adding features to a pool such as waterfalls, which will likely require tile- or stonecutting, which automatically equals mess.
The last requirement is the final inspection by a building code official, who will then fill out a certificate of occupancy. If the building code official finds anything wrong or missing during this final inspection, the builders will need to make any corrections and a final walk-through will need to be conducted before the certificate of occupancy is awarded.
To get started on your luxury home build or remodel project for 2017, or for any questions about the luxury home design and building process that our expert team can advise you on, contact us at www.murfeyconstruction.com.