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Planning to Build in 2020? Start Now.

Posted on May 10, 2019
ohio timber frame home

The clock is ticking. If you want to start building your timber frame home in 2020, now is the time to start your custom home design. Riverbend typically recommends you start the design process approximately one year in advance of your desired construction start date. However, in today’s vigorous economy, you may wish to consider adding six months or even a full year to this timeline.

Additionally, if your location has a construction season limited by weather, you should account for that when developing a construction timeline for your timber frame home. For example, if snow or heavy rain is common at your build location, you will need to start your home’s construction this fall in order to be done in 2020. Doing so allows enough time to construct your home to a point where it is protected from inclement weather.

So, what is the expected timeline from design to construction? It’s an often-asked question. First, there are several factors that affect how long your home is in the design and pre-construction phases. Below is a discussion of three of them. It is important to note that delays, either minor or major, during any one of these phases may push back the groundbreaking of your Riverbend home.

Custom Design

To begin, it takes several months to design a custom home. Even minor changes to your conceptual floor plan take time. This is because every home we design at Riverbend Timber Framing is custom to your build site. The layout is customized to fit the unique topography of your site including its orientation to the sun and more.

Glen Arbor timber rendering
Expect to see your home’s floor plan and artistic rendering about eight weeks after your initial design meeting

You can expect to see your home’s design approximately eight weeks after your initial design meeting. While our goal is to design you the perfect home based on our discussion during the initial design meeting, you may find some adjustments and tweaks that you would like incorporated into the design. We are happy to make those revisions for you and ask that you please allow a few weeks for each set of revisions. In addition, if your property belongs to a homeowner’s association with an architectural review board, please add a few more weeks to the timeline to obtain approval from them of the home design. Learn more about our design process now.


During your pre-construction phase, detailed construction drawings are completed for your home. These drawings are critical to securing a builder. If you already have a contractor selected for building your home, they will use the drawings to estimate the cost of constructing your home in 2020. If you do not have a builder, you can use the construction drawings to solicit bids and select a qualified builder to construct your home.

Remember, if you need assistance finding a trustworthy builder, Riverbend can help! Tap or click here to learn about BuilderSelect™, or watch a recorded webinar on BuilderSelect™.

Riverbend provides detailed construction drawings of your home

Third-Party Engineering Review

Upon completion, your construction drawings are sent to a third-party engineer licensed for your build location for review sand stamp. S/he also ensures your home’s specifications meet local building codes. This process typically takes several weeks. Further, any change to the design during this phase must be drawn into the construction documents–and again reviewed by the engineer. It’s a sequence of events that exponentially extends the time it takes to receive stamped drawings.


The permitting process is another part of the pre-construction phase that may delay your building start date. This is because the amount of time it takes to pull permits for your new home varies by location. In some municipalities, for example, it takes just a few days to receive the necessary permits. However, if you plan to build in 2020 in an area where construction is booming, it may take a month (or two!) to receive the approvals needed prior to breaking ground.


structural insulated panels assembly
Construction loans are different from mortgage loans

Shopping for, and securing, financing is sometimes a lengthy process. Construction loans can be confusing and meeting qualifications for loans can be tedious. Getting your financing in line as early as possible eliminates roadblocks for beginning construction when you are ready.

Starting Now

If you have land and plan on breaking ground on your custom timber home in 2020, now is the time to start your design. Beginning the design process puts your dream of living in a timber frame home front and center. It also allows you to mitigate roadblocks that may prevent you from breaking ground on your selected date.

design process communication riverbend timber framing
A Design Development Agreement (DDA) commits you to the design process – nothing more

At Riverbend, starting the design process means signing a Design Development Agreement (DDA). This commits you to the design process–nothing more. Your Riverbend client representative will visit your site with you in advance of the initial design meeting.

At the initial design meeting, your client representative and a Riverbend architectural designer work with you to create the ideal timber frame home design, one that reflects your style. Once your design is complete, you have accomplished a major step toward starting construction and can address the myriad of issues related to pre-construction and financing. And, remember: we are with you every step of the way.

Contact Riverbend today to begin discussing the design of your home with a client representative.

Need More Information?

Whether you’re looking for more information or would simply like to learn more about us and our services, don’t hesitate to contact us. Please follow the link below to access our online form or call us at 888.486.2363 in the US or 888.999.4744 in Canada. We look forward to hearing from you.

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