Anyone who's been house-hunting knows that buying an existing home is all about compromise. Maybe you can find that cute bungalow in a great school district, but the kitchen is much smaller than you want. Or maybe the price is right on that ranch home, but the layout leaves something to be desired. If you've hunted around and just aren't finding what you're looking for, new construction might be for you. But how long does it take to build a home from the ground up?

When you're building a house from scratch, there are lots of variables to consider. Part of the fun of new construction is that you get to customize your space, right? Those customizations can take more time, especially if your contractor has to special-order materials. That's no reason to cross things off of your wish list -– you just want to keep in mind that those things might make your job take a bit longer.

The other big variables when you're talking about home construction are the number of workers on the job each day, the state of the lot, permits and inspections, and the weather [source: Pacific Crest Inspections]. If you have a big crew and clear skies, your job can go much faster. If there's an old house that you're demolishing or the ground where you want to build is in bad shape, that's going to add to the construction timeline a bit. Experts estimate that building a new house can take anywhere from five months to over a year depending on all of these factors. What's most important is that you find a contractor who you trust and who communicates with you every step of the way.

When you're taking on a construction project, it's a good idea to know what to expect. Knowing the steps involved and how long they typically take can help you ask the right questions and determine if your contractor is being honest with you about his time estimates. So, what does the construction timeline look like on a typical home?