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Home Renovations: Timing Is Everything

When it comes to home renovations, people are understandably eager to see their vision come to life. The key is not letting that eagerness get in the way of proper planning.
 
It's important to be realistic about schedules. Probably the biggest thing we have to educate clients on is timing. The media, particularly those TV shows that highlight houses being built in a week, have set closeup headshot young business woman with alarm clock drawing sketch above her head, isolated grey wall background. Human face expressions, emotions. Time, punctuality, busy schedule concept.jpegunrealistic expectations.
 
So we thought it would make sense to do a Q&A around timing. Because, as the saying goes, timing is everything--especially when it comes to home renovations.
 

Q: While every project is going to be different, let's discuss some basic guidelines for some of the more popular home renovations: kitchens and bathrooms.

Tim: Before I get to timelines, it's important to talk about what we mean by "kitchen renovation." Because I've heard people say, "Oh, well, I did a kitchen renovation and it only took a week." What they're actually talking about was they just refaced some cabinets and painted the room. That's not a whole kitchen renovation.

A full kitchen renovation typically involves gutting the room right down to the studs, moving things around, installing all new cabinets, new plumbing, new lighting, etcetera. You're looking at two to three months of work, and that's provided you're not moving walls and doing structural work. If you have to do those things as well, you can easily add on another month or more (it all depends on how much structural work you're doing). In other words, a true kitchen renovation takes time. You're not looking at a couple of weeks or even a month.

For a complete master bath remodel, you should plan on the same thing: Two to three months.

Q: Let's talk about some other types of spaces. For example, you did this conservatory. Let's talk about that and additions in general.

Tim: The conservatory took about four months. If it's a "simple" addition (think bedrooms or general living space), it may be done in a matter of three months. If it's an addition with a kitchen or with bathrooms, it could take six to eight months.

Q: I'm sure these timelines aren't necessarily what people want to hear. But it's important info for them to know.

Tim: In the long run, you're much better off having an appropriate schedule. And sticking to a schedule is important. Setting one that's unrealistic doesn't help anybody. You have a contractor who's rushed, and workmanship could suffer. To do quality work, it takes a certain amount of time. Remember, once it's over, you have to live with the results for a long time.

Q: For projects that require months of work, what do you do to help diminish the amount of disruptions, especially if there are kids or elderly people in the home?

Tim: That's a good point. We work with a wide variety of people, including different ages and different lifestyles.

If it's a major project, the day-to-day "how is this going to work" discussion is a major point that we spend a lot of time talking about. For instance, if we're renovating a bathroom, do they have another bathroom they can use? I've had cases where we had to build a temporary bathroom so that the people could stay in the home.

If it's a major renovation and there are small children, we want to make sure that we can keep them out of the workspace safely so that we don't have any accidents. Older people might have health conditions that can be aggravated by all the dust and debris that's kicked up during a renovation. We consider and discuss all of these things with our clients.

In addition, we try to separate the work area from the living space as much as possible. We always discuss what sorts of disruptions would bother people the most--and whether it's even appropriate for them to stay in the house during the renovation. Sometimes it's easier for people to stay with family or friends for a little while.

Thinking about a renovation for 2018? Now is the time to start making plans. Let's talk.

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Tags: home renovation tips