How to Calculate Your Renovation Timeline & What to Expect

mt juliet, tn looking for a general contractor

Y’all, we have an important and slightly controversial topic to dive into this week… your renovation timeline. Hands down, the two questions I get asked before every – single – project are:

“What does it cost?”

“How long is it going to take? “

Yep, every time and every client. In fact, our clients could have all the time and money in the world, and they’d still ask these questions! And you know what, if they didn’t, we would still bring these topics up. They are the foundation of any successful renovation, remodel, or new build.

But here’s why the topic is controversial… 

That full-home renovation you saw completed in “4 weeks” on the latest episode of Property Brothers? There is no way your home can be completed that quickly! I know, I know… I wish I could tell you that it was possible, but TV is very different from real life. And that’s okay — it’s entertaining, right? The rush is part of the excitement! 

But in reality, believe me, you do NOT want your renovation rushed. If a General Contractor tells you he/she can do it twice as fast as the estimates I’m giving you today, run the other direction fast, y’all!! In the real world, if you’re prioritizing speed, 95% of the time you’ll be sacrificing quality. That’s just the way it is! 

So… what does a real renovation timeline look like? What will impact it for the better or worse? 

renovating a traditional design house in mt juliet, tn

But First… a Must-See Insider’s Tip…

First, it’s important to note that there are two types of projects: projects with construction only (renovations, remodels, new builds) and projects that include construction and furnishing the home afterward with furniture and decor.

Right now, you’re probably thinking that an interior designer is only necessary for furnishing the home, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth!

If I could give you one suggestion, it would be to work with an interior designer at the very beginning of your construction project. You’re probably thinking, “But if my space isn’t built yet, why do I need someone to design the interior?”

Well, imagine that your builder puts together a floor plan for your home. It looks fabulous. You can’t see anything wrong with it at all. So the house is built. You start bringing furniture in, including your King-sized bed for the master bedroom. But wait… now there isn’t any room for your end tables. The wall isn’t long enough! 

Or maybe you wanted beautiful pendants over the island, but all you have are recessed lighting. There’s no electrical wiring for pendants. Cue the violins!

If you’re investing in your home, you want the final result you’ve been dreaming of. Working with a designer from the beginning helps achieve this by avoiding problems and strategically planning ahead. We can design for your lifestyle and how the home will look, feel, and function when it’s done — and then work backward to the floor plan (and electrical plan!) that gets you there. 

So whether you need your home furnished or not, I highly recommend working with a designer and a General Contractor for any home renovation, remodel, or new build… which is exactly why we have interior designers AND a GC on staff! So we can do things right for y’all. 😉

new build in a classic design in lebanon, tn.

When design, functionality, and our clients’ personalities meet… we have a dream home!

What are some factors that influence a design & renovation timeline?

I’ve put several estimates below, and I want you to know that those numbers can still vary. There are several factors that can still impact your timeline once you’ve gotten started:

1. Availability of trades

In general, you will want to get in touch with the professionals you’d like to work with at least a couple months in advance. However, because so many designers and contractors are busy right now, most are scheduling project start dates for 3-4 months out! 

(So if you want your home completed by Christmas, let’s talk now!!)

2. Product availability

In normal times, products would often go on backorder, in which case, we’d find a comparable (or better!) replacement or wait for the product to be available again. Add a pandemic to the mix, and you can imagine how much is out of stock! I bet you’ve noticed this yourself lately, right?

At the moment, appliances are very difficult to get our hands on. They are like gold! Custom furniture orders are also taking a bit longer. (Imagine that custom workrooms have social distancing limitations, in addition to a higher demand on their time, in addition to things like fabric and wood being in higher demand, etc.)

Product availability might be low, but it seems like the world has woken up to the importance of our homes, which I love! I see no reason to postpone the home you’ve been dreaming of — we need our happy places! 

If you’re open to being flexible about your product selections, your project will go faster than if we decide to wait on something specific. If you choose to wait (more than okay!), you’ll just get some more practice with that most difficult of virtues… patience. 😉

lebanon, tn traditional design  renovation with a general contractor.

The amount of time needed to furnish a living room has doubled and tripled since the pandemic started!

Get the Look

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3. Having a plan you believe in

Twenty years ago, this wasn’t such a big deal, but now that we have social media constantly distracting us with the “latest and greatest” thing, I’ve noticed that people are more likely to have a change of heart about their design halfway through their project. 

But remember, design is SUPER interconnected. Changing one element can have a domino effect on everything else in the room! Your new idea may change a couple things, or it may move the entire room into another direction. 

This isn’t the worst thing in the world (if you love it, you love it!), but every time you deviate from the initially established design plan, you will impact your timeline. And likely your budget, too. 

The solution is having a design plan you believe in. This means that when we design your home, we are going to talk about how you (not your favorite celebrity) are going to use the space. We’re going to talk about your family, any memories you want to weave into the design, the colors that bring you joy and peace, etc. 

In other words, when the home is designed just for you and based on your personality, well… I highly doubt you’ll be tempted by anything else you might see on Pinterest.

4. Unforeseen Issues

Last but not least, it’s important to remember that unforeseen issues always, always pop up during a renovation. It is 100% normal. We’ve seen it all before. And you can rest assured that we’ll come to you with solutions, not problems.

However, these types of things can impact your renovation timeline, so go ahead and add an extra couple weeks to your project’s estimate, just to be safe. Happiness is all about expectations, so if you expect it to take a little longer and it’s done sooner (or right on par), you’ll be thrilled!

Chart of Estimated Renovation & Furnishing Timelines 

Alright, we’ve made it to this chart I promised you. Grab your calculator, keep ALL of the above considerations in mind, and build yourself a ballpark timeline!

table of renovation timeline pre-covid vs. 2020 and 2021 in lebanon, tn

So, what’s your projected timeline? Is it higher or lower than you expected? 

If you’re thinking, “I need to start right away!” go ahead and contact us here!

If you’re in the other camp… thinking, “Good grief, I’ll just do a quick refresh this year and renovate in a couple years instead!” I hear you, sister. Check out these 9 decorating updates you can make right now or book us for a color consultation. A bit of fresh color goes a long way!

Pin this post for reference!

Renovation timeline for remodeling classic designs in lebanon, tn

Wishing y’all lots of love and your happiest home…


P.S. I’ve included a shopable affiliate links in this post with some of the items in the photographs! Enjoy! 

5 replies to “How to Calculate Your Renovation Timeline & What to Expect

  • Elizabeth, you have nailed this post! This is so educational for the consumer who may not realize the time it takes to create goodness.

    We too are feeling the crunch here in Canada. Appliances are truly golden, as are plumbing fixtures (that you can’t find in a box store).

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge on this. I’ll be sharing it with my readers!

  • Sure Karen!
    and thanks for reading and commenting- it’s a hard time to get anything right now in our industry right??

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