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Home Renovation Timeline: What to Expect

We’ve all heard horror stories of a three-month home remodeling project that ended up taking a year. Is that something you should plan for? 

Well, it depends — on the scope of your project, who you’re working with, and a couple of other factors. Below, we’ll walk you through all the things you should consider in regards to a home renovation timeline, so you can plan accordingly and achieve your dream result.

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Key Timeline Considerations for Your Home Renovation

Renovation timelines vary from project to project; while some may take a few months, others may take a year or more. The most important thing is that you develop a thorough timeline so that you’re prepared for the process with a clear, realistic understanding of what the job entails. In order to avoid any hiccups or horror stories, here are a few timeline considerations you should take into account:

1. Design

Great home renovations start with great design. Your ideal vision isn’t achieved in just the blink of an eye. Instead, you and your designer should take time to sit down and design the remodel that best suits your space, style, and budget. 


Depending on the size and scope of your project, you can plan for a design and build firm like Meadowlark to take about 3-5 months for design. We allot more time than others for this step because we know how important a solid design foundation is in the overall design-build process. 

2. Planning

Once you’ve settled on a design, it’s up to your custom remodeler to get a plan in place. Before building can start, they need to secure building and finish materials, schedule trades, and more. A good renovation contractor will plan for every variable before construction begins, so you can be assured that your remodel will stick as close to the estimated construction timeline as possible. 


3. Construction

Again, depending on the scope of your project, construction for your home renovation can take around 2-8 months to complete. During this time, all of the design and planning done beforehand really start to pay off. 

Working with a design and build firm like Meadowlark can lead to even better results, as our team is there to guide you through every step of the timeline. When you work with just one firm, you put the vision and execution in trusted hands, and you avoid mistakes that stem from miscommunications between various designers and contractors. 


What Additional Factors Can Affect Your Home Renovation Timeline?

Outside of the main three home renovation timeline considerations outlined above, there are some additional factors that can affect how quickly your project moves forward. These include:

  • The size of your home or the scope of your project. In general, the bigger or more complex your project, the longer it may take to complete.

  • Construction permits and historic home approvals. Before starting any major renovation, you’ll have to obtain relevant building permits. If you are working with a reputable contractor they will manage the permitting process, but these permits can take some time to get approved, especially if your home is located in a historic district.

  • Unforeseen issues with the structure of your home. From weak beams to hidden surprises like asbestos/water damage/mold to wiring that is not up to current code, there are often some unexpected issues that pop up while renovating your home. While a quality design-build firm knows to expect the unexpected, and will likely warn you of these possibilities, it's a good idea to make sure you set some extra time (and money) to the side to accommodate them.

  • Changes in design or finishes. With any remodel project, we always preach the importance of giving yourself permission to change your mind. If you feel stuck on one style or don’t like something you’d originally planned for, it’s okay to propose a new solution. However, it is important that you remember that this can not only affect the cost, but also even more importantly - the timeline. Lead times on some materials since COVID have increased significantly. You may have changed your mind on some of your kitchen cabinetry but just to put things in perspective - we are currently seeing lead times up to 22 weeks on cabinets!


Managing unforeseen delays is one of the key reasons we take so much time in our design phase. We want you to feel confident about your design before we ever break ground. That way, you know you're getting the home you envisioned, and you don't have to waste time or money changing your mind at the last minute. 


If you've been planning for your home's renovation for some time, you want it done right. A quality home renovation that's completed to your specifications takes time both in planning and construction, but is sure to deliver the best possible result when it's complete. If you have more questions about the home renovation process, or if you're ready to get the ball rolling with your project, let us know.

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