Time Frame for Planning a Home Renovation – A Stitch in Time

Home renovations are exciting! When someone calls us to discuss an improvement to their home, they are very excited to get things moving forward once they have a good idea of the cost and what the scope will involve. That excitement and desire is important to get the selections made on fixtures and finishes- so what is the caveat to moving full steam ahead?

I speak to many homeowners who have been through a rough experience with past projects and it isn’t always just a case of a bad contractor. Sometimes an inexperienced contractor may allow a quick start to meet the demands of the owner or because they need a project to start for cash flow reasons. When that happens, it is common that too many changes in time and scope lead to an unpleasant renovation process.

Here is an average timeframe of what takes place in our firm (this example uses a home addition with interior renovations):

1. From field measure (measuring your space) to concept delivery – allow 1 1/2 weeks.
2. From concept agreement to budget (subcontractor walk through and number crunching) – allow 2 weeks.
3. Construction documents (plans ready for municipal review and use by the field staff, including any structural engineering.) – allow 3 weeks. If zoning is involved, we typically wait on the engineering and framing plans post approval by the municipality, but may work with our clients on some of the aesthetic interior items ahead of time that won’t change much if we need to tweak anything.
4. Finalizing the aesthetic (cabinet plans, tile and lighting plans, and all the finishes that need to be selected) – allow 5 weeks, if you can meet weekly and make a selection. This varies the most in time because you are probably as busy as everyone else, and getting to the plumbing showroom may not happen as planned.

Keep in mind that once a few of the larger items are selected, and everyone has a good idea of what they need to do, everything doesn’t have to be completed before you enter permitting etc. The best part of doing much of the homework in advance is that the project will be much more enjoyable and predictable. Happy renovating! 

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