Whether you’re moving into a rental property while you remodel your home, or you’re setting up a temporary kitchen in the dining room while your kitchen is being redone, the remodel construction schedule can be disruptive. Our homes are the nucleus of our lives, so it’s only natural to want to know how long your remodeling project will take. While we can apply the law of averages to give you a realistic expectation based on past experience, how long it will take to remodel your home is dependent on a number of factors.
Most of the time when a homeowner asks, “How long will it take to remodel my kitchen?” they’re referring only to the construction portion of the project – the messy, loud, inconvenient, and disruptive part television shows depict to be the absolute worst. We get it. That’s the time you’ll have to rearrange your house, your routine, and live in some state of mess. What’s important to note — the construction phase is only one part of the entire process and it comes at the very end. When speaking with our clients about timing, we find it gives them a better idea of the true time commitment when we talk about the process as a whole.
While most design-build remodeling firms are likely to have a similar process, we can only speak for ourselves. Here’s a brief outline of our process, and the steps that have to happen before the hammers ever start swinging:
- Sign the Planning Agreement to start the design phase
- Finalize and approve space planning, design, and all materials selections
- Sign fixed-price Contract and construction plans
- Order and stage all materials
What’s a Planning Agreement?
The Planning Agreement is exactly how it sounds – an agreement between you and ReVision to begin the design portion of your remodeling project, based on a specific scope of work. Once you’ve set up a call to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our Project Developers, they’ll meet with you at your home to take a look at your existing space, and discuss your goals and design ideas. Afterward, they’ll present you with a high-level outline (Planning Agreement) of the scope of work that it will take to remodel your home, including typical budget ranges appropriate for your goals and presumed level of selection. The timeline for this initial step depends heavily on the availability of both parties — typically, it takes 2-4 weeks to schedule the consultation, meet, outline, and present the Planning Agreement.
Design Phase Timeline
The length of the design phase usually comes down to four things:
- The pace at which you make decisions. If you’d like to weigh every possible option and get the opinion of friends, family, and neighbors before making any home remodeling decisions, you may find the design phase to be overwhelming; it may march on for months. On the flip side, if you start the process with a sense of what you like, and trust that your designer won’t steer you in the wrong direction, you’ll save a lot of time and energy and you’ll be able to enjoy your new home even sooner.
- Your availability for meetings. At a minimum, the client and remodeling team will have two face-to-face meetings. One for design and selections at our South End design studio, and another for an onsite evaluation of your existing home with our trade partners. We find 4-5 meetings to be more common, especially for larger projects where it’s not practical or possible to get everything done in just one day. While it’s not critical that each spouse attends every meeting, we find it makes the experience more enjoyable for our clients when they are both able to participate.
- The level of your remodeling project. We refer to the three levels of remodeling as Cosmetic Update, Pull and Replace and Custom Redesign.
- Cosmetic Update: Replace easily removable features such as countertops and backsplash tile. These projects require little to no demolition.
- Pull and Replace: Replace everything without changing the locations of major electrical, plumbing, or mechanical systems.
- Custom Redesign: Replace everything and expand or change the locations of major elements including walls or footprint.
The amount of time it takes to design and specify materials for a cosmetic update versus a custom redesign is significant. Most of our clients fall somewhere between the pull and replace and custom redesign levels, so we refer to those timelines most often.
- Our current pipeline. While we do recognize some seasonal fluctuations, the number of projects we’re currently working on at any given phase can vary. We always strive to set the right expectations, but if you have a firm deadline due to pregnancy or a special event, it’s best to share that information as early as possible so we can create a firm timeline that’ll help you stay on track.
Most of our clients average 9-12 weeks in the design phase. Smaller cosmetic projects may take considerably less time, just as remodeling your whole home may take longer.
The final design, including plans and all materials selections and images, will be part of your contract documents and approved prior to ordering. Keeping everything organized in one document means never having to remember all the details. Many of our clients like to use their selections images as a handy reference for choosing new furnishings or window treatments while there’s downtime prior to construction.
Ordering and Staging Materials
Before we can begin remodeling your home, all of the materials needed to complete your remodeling project will have been approved, ordered, and delivered. This may include cabinetry, plumbing, lighting, tile, hardware, doors, and windows, lumber, etc. We typically shy away from beginning the demo until all the parts and pieces are in and accounted for. This helps to prevent an opportunity for an unexpected delay and further disruption should something arrive late or damaged. While it doesn’t happen often, it is possible, and we’d hate for a project to come to a stop because a critical piece needed to be reordered.
All of the cabinetry we use is made to order and usually takes 6-8 weeks to be built and delivered. Most remodeling projects we do contain cabinetry, but for those that do not such as screen porches or living space additions, other materials with longer lead times may include custom or specialty windows and doors. Even without long lead times on materials, it still takes a couple of weeks to work out the logistics, so plan on anywhere from 3-8 weeks from contract signing to demo day, with 8 weeks being most common.
Remodel Construction Schedule
Just as the design phase timeline varies based on what type of remodel you’re pursuing, so does the construction timeline. A Cosmetic project could be done in as little as 2-4 weeks, while a Pull and Replace project will take 6-8 weeks. Depending on the scope and complexity, a Custom Redesign may take 8-10 weeks. This number can rise if a large addition is involved.
Whether you have a specific end date in mind for remodeling your home or not, we’ll work with you to create a timeline that suits your schedule. Some of our clients plan well in advance so they can coordinate their vacations around the messiest stages of construction (mainly demo and floor refinishing). Others don’t have a specific construction schedule in mind, and just want to take their time. If you want to figure out the ideal time to remodel your home, it’s best to start with the end in mind and work backward from there.