How long does it take? #ArchiTalksIE

This is an ‘ArchiTalks – Ireland’ post where blogging architects in Ireland post on the same subject on the same day/time

The topic of this post is “What’s a typical timeline to design and build a house”

The problem and I’ve hinted at it in the post’s title is that you could also ask “How long is a piece of string” – the answer can vary considerably.

We had one project where the couple was expecting a baby and they wanted to be on site-building with the planning granted within 9 months. At a very minimum, just for the planning process, once the drawings are lodged the process is 8 weeks minimum with a further month after a request for Further Information is submitted. In the case of the couple expecting a baby, we were lucky that the design was fixed within a month and the planning went through within 3 months and we were able to meet the ‘baby’ deadline comfortably.

So let’s look at a worst-case scenario. No names and dates have been altered slightly to allow for client anonymity…:

• Initial contact by clients to architect looking for a house – March 2014

• Confirmation of appointment of us as architects and commencing sketch design – April 2014

• Completion of Sketch Design #1 – May 2015 (so you can see we’re pretty quick at getting our side done)

• Sketch Design amendments on clients changes & submitted for pre-planning consultation – June 2014

• Response from Council regarding the sketch design – not happy regarding the site and request a new house location: July 2014

• We redesign and resubmit revised pre-planning application – September 2014

• Submit revised design on a new site for planning – March 2015

• Planning Granted – June 2015

So up to this point, it has taken (in this worst-case scenario) over a year to get the design and planning in place.

• Detail design including Passivhaus calculations using PHPP and going out to tender – August 2015 (again you can see we’re pretty quick on our bit). Trying to find builders in the West at the right price is currently problematic – so this can also take time

• Agree contract with the builder – June 2017

• Commencement Notice submitted & ground excavated for foundations – August 2017

• Building works finished & house complete – October 2018

So you can see the build process from initial ‘turning of the sod’ to completion is also pretty quick – A year and 2 months – We have done a new house quicker than this (7-8 months) but allowing for Mayo weather – this is fairly reasonable.

The bits that are beyond our control somewhat are:

• Planning (we do our best to design in the right place with the right design but sometimes this can be impossible or difficult)

• Obtaining prices from builders – we spend a lot of time sending out drawings for pricing and even more time chasing up. And then trying to match the builder’s price against what is available can be difficult

Comments welcome…

Below are links to how other Architalkers from Ireland have interpreted the theme.

Paul McNally – PMN Architecture – House Design Timeline

Zeno Winkens – Winkens Architecture – Timeline for dwelling

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