How Long Will Remodeling Take?

From on May 01, 2009 in General Remodel

In remodeling, timing is often just as important as the wood, drywall, and paint. Some flexibility will be vital to a headache-free, or at least headache-resistant, remodeling project. The timeframe for every remodel will be a little different, so please understand that the following list is made up of averages. Not that you can’t complete a project within your timeframe but every job, homeowner, and contractor has their own nuances that inevitably come into play. kitchen-remodel.jpgPhoto Credit: JAGwired Again, the following list is a starting point. It should give you a good idea of how long a project will take and may help you in deciding which one to undertake at any given time. Your best resource for truly understanding your specific timeframe will be your remodeling contractor who, upon discussing the project with you and utilizing years of experience, can give you a fairly detailed schedule for your newly remodeled kitchen, bathroom, or addition. Note that these estimates do not include design, planning, and other factors such as permit issues or contractor availability. These are intended to convey the time necessary from when the first sledgehammer is swung to the last countertop sealed. Other factors such as materials on back order and design changes may extend these time frames as well.

The Kitchen - 2 Months

The mother of all remodeling projects—one of the most expensive and time consuming, but also among the most rewarding in terms of lifestyle and return on investment. The timeframe depends largely on the extent of the remodel. I just finished a kitchen remodel with a friend that included demolition (tearing out walls in favor of an open floor plan), some framing, new cabinets, appliances, new tile floor, and kitchen island. Completed in just under two months.

The Bathroom - 1-2 Months

Second only to the kitchen in popularity, bathroom remodels often include some sizable upgrades and expansions that can eat up considerable time. Smaller remodels—new flooring, new fixtures, and other simpler upgrades—can be completed sooner. This time frame is geared toward spa-like upgrades which often include increased demo time and more intricate designs.

New Flooring - 1 Day to a Few Weeks

new-floor.jpgPhoto Credit: kckellner

Flooring has a very variable timeframe depending on the type of flooring and area to be floored. A professional carpet layer can be done in just a few hours. New tile in the kitchen could take just a day or two, so long as the floor is level and prepped. Whereas new tile throughout the home could take up to a few weeks. Hardwood flooring is much the same. It all depends on your particular situation—best bet is to have a contractor or two take a look, measure, and give you an estimate.

Painting - 2-4 Days

Painting is a popular do-it-yourself project, which on one hand allows you the freedom to do it on your own time but will often take longer than a professional job. Professionals have sprayers, ladders, scaffolding, and the experience to paint interior and exterior surfaces at breakneck speed. A home can be painted in just a day, perhaps two for multiple coats. I recently painted the entire interior of a friend’s home (excluding bathrooms) with one helper and it took about three days using just rollers and brushes. Taping and cutting are by far the most time consuming tasks. High vaulted ceilings also added some time.

painting-project.jpgPhoto Credit: Giles Douglas

Additions - 2-4 Months

Additions can be the most time consuming remodeling projects because they usually require foundations, extensive demolition, framing, plumbing, electrical, roof installation, and siding—all before any finish work is started. Again much depends on the size and complexity of your proposed addition. Permits, design, and planning may also take more time than usual with additions.

As much as these timeframes may give you a general idea, they are very general and, unfortunately, are more likely to get longer rather than shorter in length. Each contractor you interview for the project should include timeframes on his or her bid sheet, these will be your best gauge and will help you plan—keeping flexibility in mind—your life over the coming weeks and months.