Building Your Dream Home on a Deadline: A Guide to Quality Home Construction on a Tight Timeline

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Building a house can be an exciting project, and it is likeably a challenge to complete it within the desired timeframe. These two phases—planning and construction—can make or break the ultimate goal of creating a new home because, with so many stages to set up and pull off, you are potentially working with two strikes against you. 

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Yet, by taking the time to choose the right products, assemble the right team of professionals, and trust the carpentry tradition, the goal is still within your reach. If all these pieces are put together harmoniously, you emerge as the company when the construction is over, having done a job you’re very proud of.

Planning is Key:

  • Comprehensive Project Scope: Clearly and comprehensively define the project scope. Define all aspects of the home, from its basic floor plan and the different spaces it encompasses to the materials, finishes, and fixtures that will be used in its construction. This ensures that everyone involved in the project is literally on the same page right from the very start, before you even break ground.
  • Realistic Timelines: Create accurate and realistic timelines. Make them long enough to allow for a relaxed and controlled pace of construction. Don’t forget to factor in events that don’t always go as planned, from the need to obtain permits and suitable working conditions to the potential for material shortfalls and phase increases. Keep in mind that, since many hands from many trades are at work together, something that slows down one group is likely to affect all the others following after in the dominoes of construction.
  • Communiqué Central: Make sure you’ve established multiple ways of keeping everybody adequately informed and communicating on a regular basis. If you don’t already have one, now is the time to set up a builder’s book or master folder.

Efficiency in Execution:

Before the construction process can get underway, you should have all the necessary permits, approvals, and any other necessary paperwork set up and taken care of. Also, make sure to order all your raw materials before you start, so you won’t have to sit around and wait for them to be delivered, or worse, go through the process of reordering them later on. You should also consider using modular construction techniques to speed things up. If you choose to do this, you will have to have all the modules, or at least most of them, constructed off-site and then delivered and connected to the modules that were assembled on-site. Using construction project management software can also help to speed up the process, too.

Quality Assurance:

Make it a point to bring in trained professionals to inspect the work at regular intervals—that’s one quality control method right there. Another is to “field test” all systems before the project is done. This means giving an employer representative not a whole bunch of papers to look at, nor prospective users a lot of assurances. Instead, you invite them over (or you go over to their construction trailer, where, in our experience, they tend to be) for a private showing of how everything is performing (or failing) at the moment in the same way it’s going to do so once the work is turned over to them.

That’s why Gregory and Massanet [from a Houston real estate firm] put “regular and extensive quality inspections” at the top of their list. Because you can’t get a good “draw” (meaning money) on the project from the boss (the “issuer” of the bond, in this case) unless you can prove you are indeed using his (or rather, everybody’s) money to complete the public works you promised to do.

Here are some extra hints:

  •  Establish priorities. Decide what aspects are most important to you, and concentrate on those first. You’ll have to make some trade-offs on less vital features if push comes to shove.
  • Be flexible. Even with the most thorough plans, construction projects invariably encounter surprises and untimely obstacles. Don’t let these hurdles knock you off balance. Adapt and make decisions quickly.
  • Stay organized. Keep a file with all of your permits, plans, change orders, certificates, proof of insurance, inspection reports, and final payments. You may need to consult any one of these documents several times at some point or another.
  •  Communicate clearly. Work out a system of reporting and recording that suits the way you manage your life. Go for something clear, simple, and concise.


Careful planning, efficient execution, and a commitment to quality allow for a high-quality house to be built within a tight schedule. Following these strategies and tips can result in a home that not only meets your needs and exceeds your expectations but also lasts for generations. It’s important to remember, though, that a high-quality home is an investment, and it’s an investment that provides a huge return, of both the immediate as well as the long-lasting kinds. And finally, if the right team is assembled, a tight building schedule is not necessarily a problem, but is, rather, an opportunity for efficiency and an overall cost savings.

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