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The speed of construction

Building projects can be complex and full of moving parts. Materials need to be in the right place at the right time, and properly cared for in the interim. The construction team might not have a certain specialist on their regular staff, and this person may only be needed for a day or two of the project – but work won’t be able to proceed without them. The speed with which your outbuilding, extension, or even whole house is built will vary from project to project. Sometimes projects go over schedule. In this post, we discuss what can affect the speed of construction, both before and during building.


With any project, the first step is to sit down and have a discussion with your architect. It’s imperative that you give the architect as much information about what it is you want. Even small details are important. If you want something specific you need to let them know.

Are you after a modern extension that features the latest technology? Or are you trying to extend an older period property? If you get this meeting done right, there’s less chance of needing to make changes later, and less chance of being disappointed with the final result.

Using the information you give them, architects will be able to draw-up plans and give you an estimate on how long it might take to build as currently designed. But different materials and building styles may take less time to build. You may want to compromise on a part of your vision to cut down the estimated construction time.

Writing for @Design_for_Me, Emily Barnes offers a quick rundown on building times:

“For a relatively simple, three metre, single rear extension, construction time should be around three to four months. For a larger or double height rear extension it may be more like six months. This does not take into account the design and planning phases of the project, which will vary depending on whether you need to apply for planning and other permissions. A sensible timeframe for most house extensions (where planning permission is needed and perhaps a party wall agreement), from appointing your architect to completion, would be around a year.


Your architect may have a builder they prefer, one they’ve worked with before and trust to complete your project on time. Even if this is the case, you should still make sure you have a proper contract in place to ensure a project is completed to the estimated timescale. It needn’t be punitive, but to keep things ticking along your contract might include a bonus for completing ahead of schedule and a penalty for running over.

As mentioned above, a project might require as many as half a dozen different specialists, all of whom need to be contracted and organised to make sure there’s as little downtime as possible and that your schedule is adhered to. As with all elements of a project, proper organisation is paramount.

If you’d like to learn about how to organise and schedule a building project, get in touch today to find out more. Your dream extension may not take as long to build as you might think.



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    06 Peel House, 1, Cheveley Road, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 8AD
    T: 01638 662393
    The speed of construction