2022 Forecast for New Home Builds: Timelines and Prices

No one is exempt from the unexpected price changes and delays that come with building a new home. No matter how prepared you are, something will always come up.

What to Expect When Building a Home

The completion date isn’t the only part of the home build that should be treated as an optimistic estimate. Essentially, everything about your projected timeline and budget is just a guess! However, don’t let that discourage you. If you're working with a reputable architect and/or contractor, you should be kept informed of changes every step of the way.

The Timeline for 2022 Home Builds

about the future these days. But what can you expect when it comes to building a home in 2022? While it’s hard to predict exactly how long it will take (it can vary based on location, weather, materials desired, etc…), here are some general guidelines when it comes to a construction timeline.

  • Buying land - This could take days, weeks, or months. On average, hopeful homeowners should plan for at least six months to find a plot.

  • Securing financing - This takes an average of three months, depending on the lender and the buyer (do you have equity from a previous home sale? How much can you put down? Are you getting a construction loan or a straightforward mortgage?).

  • Designing the home - The average design timeline is about two months. 

  • Obtaining permits - Getting permits could take up to two months.

  • Site preparation - Ensuring your plot of land is ready could take as little as three weeks. It will vary based on tasks such as clearing vegetation and grading.

  • Framing - Doors, windows, and the roof could be framed in just two weeks’ time. After that, additional contractors or subs will come in and handle their installations.

  • Plumbing, electrical and HVAC - Each of these systems could require about a week each (or they could be completed simultaneously if the stars align).

  • Insulation - One to two weeks.

  • Drywall - Up to one month.

  • Exterior finishes - This can vary greatly depending on whether you’re having the house painted or having siding installed. Plan on being flexible for weeks or months.

  • Interior trim work - As few as one to three days.

  • Exterior walkways/driveway - One to three days, which can differ depending on whether you go with concrete or asphalt and if the weather cooperates.

  • Flooring, cabinetry, and countertops - Each of these installs could take up to three days.

  • Interior mechanicals  - This is finalizing plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and gas. It can take five days for each system.

  • Bathroom fixtures - As long as there aren’t plumbing issues, the vanities, sinks, showers, and toilets can all be installed in about five days.

  • Mirrors and doors - One of the last elements to go into a house, doors themselves could take up to four hours each, depending on if they’re prehung or not. Expect up to five days for mirrors and doors to be installed throughout.

Throughout the building process, timelines can shift due to the need for inspections and any issues that need to be addressed. Overall, though, you can expect to spend no less than 12 months from start to finish.

In the meantime, you may still be living in your current home, in a rental, or with family members. It can be difficult to live in transition, so plan accordingly; it can be stressful coordinating your exiting your current living situation and entering your new one. Maybe a stay in a luxurious hotel is to help you feel refreshed and ready to unpack all your boxes.

Pricing for 2022 Home Builds

Depending on where you are looking to build, whether that's the East Gate subdivision near Fenwick Island and its beautiful coast, somewhere in the middle of the countryside, or a different location entirely, and the types of upgrades you add to your home, you should expect to budget differently than a friend or family member building across the country or with a different floor plan. In general, however, we’ve seen the cost of raw materials decrease since hitting a peak throughout 2020 and 2021. What can you expect when it comes to pricing for a 2022 home build?

According to HomeGuide, the cost of a new house ranges from $100 per square foot to $155 per square foot. This does not include the purchase of the land.

Cost to Build Based on Region

You’ll typically spend the following per square foot based on your region:

  • Northeast - $155

  • West - $131

  • Midwest - $109

  • South - $100

For 2022, the cost to build should be lower than it was at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, but still more expensive than before 2019. For more insight into overall costs based on the size of the home, here’s a look at the average cost according to the number of bedrooms:

  • One-bedroom - $80,000 to $400,000

  • Two-bedroom - $100,000 to $480,000

  • Three-bedroom - $150,000 to $800,000

  • Four-bedroom - $200,000 to $1,000,000

The estimates range widely due to location and upgrades; with so many variables it’s difficult to nail down a concrete estimate for any size home.

Things to Know Before You Build

Do Your Research

You’ve probably heard plenty of horror stories about contractors who don't follow through on promises to finish a job. Avoid falling prey to this by thoroughly vetting your contractor. Ensure they’re licensed and bonded to work as a contractor. Look up reviews online, and not just on their website. The biggest red flag is a contractor who asks for payments upfront; avoid losing your money to a scam and pay based on a schedule and receipts of materials purchased/work completed.

Design for the life you want, not the life you have

Within reason, you should consider the type of life you hope to have in your new home. Whether you’re single, in a relationship, or have kids, will the home serve you another 10 years from now? What type of storage or communal space will you need if your family grows or you add a pet? You may regret some aspects of your home build if you cater the floor plan to your current lifestyle.

DIY the Small Stuff

You can negotiate with your contractor and subcontractors to do some of the work yourself to help you save money. Whether it’s painting, laying flooring, or assembling prefabricated cabinets yourself, there’s probably something you can do on nights and weekends that cut costs.

Know When to Upgrade

On the flip side, know when it’s worth upgrading your custom finishes! If you don't want to deal with the hassle of replacing builder-grade light fixtures after you move in, then budget to have the builder install fancier ones from the get-go. Your priorities might dictate what you prefer to upgrade and what you don’t mind skimping on, so talk it over with your designer/contractor before settling.

Thankfully, the landscape of new construction looks more manageable than during the last couple of years. With the right preparation and a flexible mindset, you could find yourself ringing in the new year on December 31, 2022 in your new home.

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