When Is the Best Time to Build a House?

Evelyn Long

Sep 25, 2020


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If you can’t find your dream home on the market, why not build one from the ground up? Constructing a new home offers a world of advantages. You can customize everything, from the size of your bathroom to the number and location of living room electrical outlets. 

When is the best time to begin new construction? Several factors bear consideration, including your weather and location, budget and intended structural use — if you aren’t building a primary residence. Here’s what you should keep in mind. 

For Traditional Builds

If you are building a traditional single-family home that you intend to use as a primary residence, the weather can expedite or impede your construction progress. Therefore, you need to consider your location, climate and weather patterns. 

Spring and Summer Are Ideal for DIY, but High on Price

In most regions of the nation, spring and summer bring the most predictable weather patterns, meaning they’re ideal for the DIY set. While the occasional rain won’t prove problematic, you don’t want to build during a blizzard. Wood rot starts when the moisture content of the material reaches 20%, which can occur if your studs remain surrounded by snow. 

However, while it may seem like summer is the ideal time to build a house, you won’t do so inexpensively. Just as you wouldn’t expect to find holiday decor and gift wrap bargains between Thanksgiving and December 25, you won’t encounter low lumber yard prices in March or June. Expect to pay more if you plan a peak-season build. 

Early Fall is The Most Economical 

Given the law of supply and demand, you can save a pretty penny by waiting until early autumn to begin your home-building project. With old man winter making his travel plans, you’ll need to step on the gas to finish before the snow flies.

Fall is the best time to build a house if you plan a smaller abode, have a sizable crew or both. 

Winter is Good for Warm-Weather Locales

Winter may not be the best time to build a house if you live in Maine or Minnesota — or anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line. However, if you live in Arizona or Florida, your contractors will thank you for your kindness. So will your neighbors when it comes to constructing your roof. The summer heat means crews start hammering as early as 5 a.m. when many remain in bed. 

Remain aware that your costs may increase during this time if you live in a southern climate. Still, if you plan on doing much of the work yourself, you decrease your chances of developing skin cancer when the sun isn’t an overhead furnace. 

For Non-Traditional Buildings 

Most people think of building a house as a primary residence. Perhaps, though, you decided to erect a mother-in-law cottage on your property. Conversely, the current state of the economy might have you thinking about expanding operations if you run residential rentals. 

Commercial or Rental Properties: Use Economic Downturns 

If you are among the fortunate few with free capital during an economic downturn — like the present — you can leverage this money to your advantage. Economists expect home prices to drop by 6.6% over the next year due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

How can this benefit you? Top-quality tenants will seek newer residences as landlords with less financial savvy sell or foreclose. If you have land that you have meant to convert to multifamily residential use, this fall may represent your best time to build those houses. 

Going Off-Grid: Whenever You Have the Means 

Maybe you are fed up with modern society. Whatever your rationale for going off the grid, the best time to make your escape is whenever you have the means to do so. If you plan to build a tiny home on a trailer, you can start the project in your current backyard as a quarantine project. 

Another alternative is to live in an RV while you build. You can still score rural land deals inexpensively in some areas of the country. You could theoretically pay off your plot with your next income tax refund and start hammering. 

Determine the Best Time to Build a House 

The best time to build a house depends on your circumstances, budget, location and climate. The tips above should help you decide when to break ground.

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