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Remodeling: Understanding Expectations and Timeframes

Posted on: May 26, 2016


How much time will your remodeling project require?

Some of the most common questions we receive from homeowners regarding a major remodeling project have to do with expectations and timeframes. Obviously, there are many different variables at play when defining these expectations or timeframes, such as the scope of work, DIY vs. hiring a professional, level of difficulty, etc. For the purposes of this exercise, let’s assume you will be hiring a remodeling professional for a major custom kitchen remodel, with a full “gut” and reconfiguration of the space. Sounds fun, right?

What are the steps involved in a major kitchen renovation?

In broad terms, a major kitchen remodel can be broken down into 3 main steps – design, planning, and production What is involved and each step and how long does each step take?

Design is essentially the “idea” portion of the process. This is where you identify specific needs/wants/desires, perform a thorough analysis of the existing space, and then develop a plan that solves as many of your problems as possible. Whether you’re working with a designer, architect, or design/build remodeler, this process on average can take anywhere from 4-8 weeks. Factors that drive this timeframe can include the coordination of everyone’s schedules and the number of revisions required to finalize the plans. The other factor that may play a role in this phase is budgeting and/or estimating.

Planning is taking the necessary steps to ensure production will go smoothly. This includes scheduling, selections, permitting, and ordering materials. Depending on the type of professional you work with, some prefer to make product selections during the design phase, but a big driving factor of this timeframe can be how quickly a homeowner is able to make decisions. Some other factors can include product lead times, process times of permitting, and the current workloads of contractors and trade partners. This entire process typically takes 6-8 weeks.

Production is the execution of the project. The more time and effort that is invested in the first two steps, the more efficient this final step will occur. Contrary to what you may see on TV, a major kitchen remodel cannot be completed in a week. Most major kitchen remodels can take roughly 10-12 weeks from start to finish. There is a certain sequence of steps that is required to execute a major kitchen remodel that includes demolition, the coordination of multiple trades (electrical, plumbing, mechanical, etc.), multiple inspections (8-10 on average) at various stages of the project, and the completion of individual tasks driving the start of the next. That doesn’t even include those fun “surprises” you may uncover, delivery delays, or damaged materials. While encountering some type of delay almost every time, most can be mitigated with relative ease by an experienced professional.