Realistic Renovation Timeline Expectations

If you’re planning to renovate your house, you’re probably eager to get the work done as quickly as possible, but it’s important to be realistic about how long your project will take. Even if your contractor’s estimate is reasonable, there are many things that may make the project take longer than anticipated.

Quick List: What do I need to consider before renovating?

  1. Size of the room
  2. Weather conditions
  3. Materials availability
  4. Potential roadblocks
  5. Living conditions during renovation

Room Size

Renovations to a large room or a redesign of your home’s layout will obviously take longer than a minor upgrade to one room. Electrical or plumbing work can be time consuming, especially if the contractors need to replace outdated equipment.

Weather Conditions

Some types of repairs can only be performed in certain weather conditions. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, the contractors may be forced to wait it out and the entire project may fall behind schedule.

Supply Chain

Changes in demand may make it difficult to acquire some types of materials at certain times of the year. If a product is on backorder, the contractors may be unable to complete one aspect of the project. They may, however, be able to focus on other areas in the meantime. Just know that the entire project may have to come to a halt until a critical phase can be completed.

Potential Roadblocks

When contractors start opening up walls, they may discover unforeseen issues such as electrical work that isn’t up to code, mold or damaged insulation. If workers find additional problems that need to be fixed, that may extend the overall timeline for the project, possibly by several weeks or longer.

Living Conditions

If you and your family continue living in the house during the remodeling process, that will limit when and where the contractors can work. Staying at home can help you avoid the cost and inconvenience of temporarily moving out, but it can also make the project take longer than it would if you lived elsewhere while renovations were going on.

Discuss the Timeline When Interviewing Contractors

Ask remodeling companies to estimate how long your renovations will take. They may give you a range of timeframes, but they should be in the same ballpark. Don’t choose a contractor just because that company gives you a significantly shorter timeframe, as their estimate may be unrealistic. Understand that even if a contractor is realistic about how long it will take to renovate your home, unforeseen problems may throw a wrench in those plans.

Consider Staying Elsewhere During the Renovation

If your goal is to get the work done as quickly as possible, staying with family or friends, in a hotel or at a rental property, may be a good idea. That will give the contractors the flexibility to work wherever they need to, whenever it suits their schedule, rather than having to accommodate your family.

If that’s not a possibility, or if you would simply rather stay at home while work is being done, be patient. The contractors will do their best to adhere to the schedule, but factors outside their control may cause things to take longer than expected.

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