It’s all very confusing to get your renovation going or new home planned. I like to break things down in bullet points. No giant long drawn out explanations. My first piece of advice is to hire an expert. A designer or architect will be your best advocate through out the project.

  • If you are starting a renovation do these things:
    1. Figure out your budget for real. How much can you afford or want to spend. Take your time.
      Line up funding if you’re not paying cash.
      Go to your city or county building department and learn what the constraints and options that apply for your property.
      If doing an addition- get a survey. This can take 2-8 weeks.
      Put together a list of what you have to have out of your project And then some wishes too. You should be working on this from day one.
      Go on Pinterest and Houzz and get your ideas organized. We want to know you’ve done your home work and you’re ready to make decisions. Get organized.
      Call a designer or architect. Find out who is available, what they charge, and if they are interested in your project. This may take a couple weeks to find the person that is right for you.
      Call a few contractors to get a feel for personalities. You will be “dating” this person for months. Same here. It could be a couple weeks to find a few to even answer your call.
      Be realistic about cost and timelines. Tv shows never show the true cost. We are constantly managing expectations that are not realistic. This only makes our jobs harder and your process and experience difficult

    The devils in the details. Creating a set of plans can take 4 weeks to 6 months. Many professionals have a production calendar and may not even get to start your project for a couple weeks.

    Once you have a set of plans you can then get bids from contractors to do the work. With plans the bids will be apples to apples. Any good GC won’t bid a project without plans – otherwise they are strictly spitballing.

    After a GC is hired they will pull a permit. This can take 2-6 weeks. No joke. Patience is key. This is all a process with lots of moving parts. Elements of the design May change based on many constraints that don’t show up until well in to the project.

    With a permit in hand the GC can break ground or break through walls. Once the project is under way you should have your materials all selected. This will ensure the timeline stays true and none of the sub contractors are waiting on materials to install.

    Planning is key to avoiding a lot of pit falls and wasted time and money. Things may not go perfectly as planned but without one your project can be a free for all. No one wants that.

    Hopefully this helps you understand how it all works. A lot of these phases can over lap. Be sure to do as much research as possible before hand on what you want and what you can spend getting those two things well aligned will be key.