How long does it take to build a custom home in Toronto?

The average time for a custom home to be completed is 1.5 – 2 years. On average it’s 4-6 months for the pre-construction phase, 6 months to a year for the construction phase, and 1-2 weeks for the post-construction phase. Variables like weather, delays, changes, size, and design will all impact the timeline though.


An important step to building a home is making sure you have enough time for it. The timeline for building a custom home in Toronto can vary depending on a number of things. Delays, weather, level of detail, and size can all influence how long it will take. Knowing a rough estimate of how long a home will take is important to determine if it’s the right choice for you and your family. Here is everything you need to know about how long it takes to build a home in the GTA.


Pre-Construction Phase



Before you build a house you need to have a plot of land where it will go. The buying process has its own stress, especially in a competitive market like Toronto. Most home builders don’t include how long it takes to buy the land into their timeline. That’s because real estate can take a day or a year.

Some people choose to come into a residential builder with land already purchased. Other’s are just beginning that process and want an architect involved. Both are completely acceptable. If a lot is already purchased, additional time may be required to clear and level it.



Once the land is purchased, home builders will take the time to test the soil and analyze the lot. This gives your home builder the chance to see what your lot has to offer. Things like pollution, lighting, noise, and privacy are all considered so that the designer can create the best home for you. This step is important, as it’s where your architect will look at building and zoning laws that apply to the area. It’s recommended that this step happens before any land is purchased.

On average it takes 2-4 weeks for the analysis step.



The design stage is the most crucial, but it’s also the step with the loosest time frame. How long it takes to design a home depends entirely on the client and the builder. If plans can be agreed upon quickly then construction can start earlier. Usually, it takes some back and forth to get the right layout. Expect to go through a few versions of home plans before you find the right one. Don’t stress about this either. It’s better to take longer to get the perfect home plan than rush into building one that doesn’t suit you.

During the design stage, things like budget should be discussed. Knowing the budget will help your home designer determine what they can and should include in potential plans. It’s also a good idea to make a list of your wants and needs to show them. You may not get everything, but it’s a good place to start.

On average it takes 4-8 weeks for the design stage.



Clients often get frustrated because they don’t’ realize that plans have to get processed and approved by local officials. Not only is a detailed blueprint required, but so is tons of other paperwork and permits. Your custom home builder will take care of this so don’t worry.

The processing time can vary depending on the scope of the project, the area, and how busy they are. Sometimes there will be changes, alterations, or reviews that need to happen before approval is given. The good news is that while this is going on you can be working with your custom home builder on elements of the design that don’t need to be approved by the city such as material selection. 

On average the processing step takes 2-3 weeks.


The entire pre-construction phase of building a home takes about 4-6 months on average.


custom home building timeline 

Construction Phase



Once all the plans are designed and approved, construction begins. How long the construction phase takes depends on the level of architectural design details and how large the home is. As you’d expect, smaller, less detailed homes are completed faster.

Certain things can make the construction process last longer. The more changes a client makes to the plans, especially at later stages, will cause it to take more time. On foreseen delays like weather, materials not being delivered, or problems (like mold or structural issues) will also lengthen the construction period. Builders’ work hard to make up any lost time and they try to stay within a timeline.

The entire construction phase takes 6 months to a year on average to complete.



Post-Construction Phase



People always want to move in right away after construction is complete. Take the time to review the final product. Make sure everything is up to your standard before moving in. Home builders also will come by three to six months after construction is completed to repair or fix anything that has come up.

Expect this stage to take about 1-2 weeks.



Expect the entire process, from when the land is purchased to when you move in to take on average a year and a half to two years.

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