The home remodeling programs on HGTV are fun to watch. Magic happens in minutes. Presto! Old and outdated becomes new and modern.
However, the TV shows only give you glimpses of the remodeling process—the sexy parts. They don’t show the planning and preparation that goes into a successful home renovation. More importantly, they don’t even come close to showing a realistic timeline to complete the project. The viewer get the sensationalized version. We think you deserve the truth.
If you live in the Washington DC metro area, you probably have friends who have remodeled their kitchens. You’ve probably heard some of them say, “I thought it would be done by now.”
There are three possible reasons for this complaint:
What was that about little lies? Unfortunately, some home renovation companies underestimate the timeframe to appease the client. They want the work, so they tell the client what they want to hear. If you say you want it to be over quickly, that’s what they tell you. In fact, the most common concern or question we get from clients and potential clients alike is “when will it be over?” They fear the renovation will go on and on forever.
Some home renovation projects can be completed quickly. Most take several months.
Of course, there’s no standard answer. The time needed for remodeling a kitchen depends on the scope of the project, availability of materials, and the requirements of the design.
If the kitchen design program is straight-forward, new components replace the old ones in the same layout. This is called a pull and replace. There is minimal construction or customization involved. Pull and replace kitchen projects average 6-8 weeks for a moderate sized kitchen.
Obviously, kitchen remodeling projects involving a larger space, wall removals, structural changes, and reconfiguration of the floor plan take longer. A fair expectation is 8 – 10 weeks. That’s the time frame for a custom kitchen renovation.
An efficient remodeling project is built around a schedule. Your project manager lays out a series of steps to be completed in sequence.
Still, even with the most carefully planned renovation projects, delays can occur—not necessarily because of incompetence or carelessness.
There are a lot of specialty subcontractors and a lot of special ordered products involved in a kitchen remodeling project. That makes for tricky scheduling. Everything is tied together in sequence. Little hiccups are bound to happen. Most of the time they are smoothed over by project management. So, the delays that do occur aren’t show stoppers.
Here’s a detailed look at a standard kitchen remodeling timeline. There are two parts: Pre-Construction and Construction Phase
1 Design Meetings
3 Construction Drawings
4 Apply for Permits
5 Order materials (delivery dates align with construction schedule)
Dust & floor protection
Straighten & level framing
Sub-contractors rough in
Hang & finish drywall
Sand and prime drywall
Install hardwood flooring
Receive and set cabinets
Measure for counter tops
Interior trim work
Counter top fabrication
Install counter tops and appliances
Subs trim out electric and plumbing.
Finish hardwood flooring
Final walk thru & punch list completion
As a homeowner, you simply need to understand that quality, custom kitchen renovations take time and require thorough planning and preparation.
“Everything we do is custom. It takes longer. In a four-week kitchen job, cabinets are right off the shelf. They come out of a box and go right into your kitchen. If they fit the room dimensions—great. If not, the contractor fills in the gaps with spacers.”
— John Lowe, Project Manager, Gilday Renovations
So, we’ve told you the truth based on our 36+ years of experience in home renovation and kitchen remodeling. We think it fair to set clear expectations with our customers. Renovation is a huge emotional investment. We think the more you know going into it, the better you will appreciate the entire process. Those eight to ten weeks of renovation will be over before you know it. That’s the magic of expert remodeling—making it seem quick and easy.
Learn about how to approach a kitchen design and remodeling project by downloading The Definitive Guide to Kitchen Design & Remodeling Success.