From Concept to Completion: A Timeline for Building Your Custom Home in Mesa County, Colorado

Let Us Build Your Dream Home!

You’ve worked hard, you’re where you have always wanted to be, you see the world transitioning to better building practices, and you decide to reward yourself. You have finally decided to build the custom home of your dreams. 

The thought of building a custom home can sometimes feel daunting or unattainable. There are always unknowns during the process, even for those who have done it before. We want to ensure you feel informed from the first time we meet to the final inspections. One of the most common questions we get is, “How long is it going to take to get there?” While project timelines vary depending on the complexity of the design and your local building conditions, we can provide some standard guidelines for building in Mesa County Colorado.

Redlands, Co Toward Net Zero Custom Homes

Finding a Lot to Build Your Custom Home

The first step toward having your dream home is finding a place to build it. Whether you find a lot in historic downtown Fruita or a parcel on the Redlands in Grand Junction, your site is the driving force behind fundamental design decisions. In 2023, RG Cowan Design Build made the decision to transition to Toward Net Zero (TNZ) building practices to keep up with the changing environment. Not only will your site determine the views you want to capture, but it will also determine the window placement, roof pitches, insulation requirements, ventilation, and so much more.

Architectural Design

After you’ve found a building site, we can jump into design. We won’t go into depth on our design process here, but you can find all of the information you need in our blog dedicated to the subject. Designing and building your custom home should be fun, engaging, and creative; our process is designed to do that. Our timeline for having an Architectural drawing set and preliminary estimate complete is approximately three months. The drawings associated with this vary depending on the project but generally consist of floor plans and roof plans, exterior views, conceptual electrical plans, and conceptual foundation plans as needed. We use these plans to put together a preliminary construction estimate to ensure that the design suits your budget.

One item that can heavily impact the length of design is responsiveness. If we have questions for you regarding design, a clear and timely response goes a long way to keep our timeline on track. The same goes for us. If you need a hand researching or you have specific questions regarding part of the plans, we always make it our priority to get answers to you as quickly as possible.

Grand Junction, CO Custom Home Builder CO J Road

Engineering and Permitting

After the Architectural drawing set is complete and you have approved the preliminary estimate, our design team can start the drawings required for permitting in Mesa County as well as the final construction estimate. For some projects, this phase requires an engineer. Other times, our in-house structural drawings will be sufficient. This typically takes 4-6 weeks depending on the design. There are a number of things that could impact the schedule aside from the complexity like getting a professional HVAC designer involved, getting a septic system design, or having to conduct additional soils testing. The RG Cowan Design Build team is experienced in the Grand Junction, Fruita, Redlands, Palisade, Appleton, Colorado areas and the unique custom home design and construction needs these environments require.

Our company construction standards and goal to build TNZ homes for sustainability and durability also play a role in this timeline. During this phase, we are working through our construction methods to ensure that we are building you a durable, lasting home. We research different insulation methods, water and air sealing methods, different window lines, and much more. We want your custom home to be comfortable and consistent, so solving these Building Science problems is better done before we start diggin’. Building your custom home based on the Toward Net Zero best practices is always our focus.

Building Your Custom Home

When we have our building permit in hand, which is typically 2 weeks after submitting, we can finally break ground on your custom Colorado home. For an average-size single-family home, construction throughout Mesa County can take anywhere from 9-12 months. Labor availability, material lead times, and weather all have a hand in determining the construction schedule. However, because we are a full-service design team, we do as much planning as possible to ensure the project goes smoothly all the way to the end. See the graphic below to see our Design and Build Timeline.


RG Cowan Design/Build Timeline

Building your custom home. Design Build Timeline

If you have questions about building your custom home, our design build practices or Toward Net Zero construction, be on the lookout for a new blog series we’re doing about these topics. Thank you for taking the time to read about our process. The more you can educate yourself about how we work the more prepared you will be when you are ready to start. We look forward to working with you.

Picture of Ryan Cowan

Ryan Cowan:
Owner I Operator

RG COWAN DESIGN BUILD crafts dynamic custom homes in Grand Junction, Redlands, Palisade, Appleton, and Fruita, Colorado

We believe that good design is born of inspiration, iteration, and collaboration. It is born out of a process of idea making with a goal of creating beautiful spaces for people. It happens through the interaction with our clients, our collaborators, and our consultants, while always respecting constraints and the natural world. The process is Fluid, founded in the spirit of engagement, while adapting to the needs of a changing world. We think, we design, we build.

These buidling resources will help you navigate the process of building a custom home in and around Grand Junction, Colorado.