Posted by on April 12, 2018

How long is this going to take?Picture of a house under contruction

Thinking of making a minor – or major – change to your home? Something easy and DIY like paint you can do relatively quickly and without a great deal of pre-planning. If you’re getting into something like structural changes, you can count on the process taking a whole lot longer and being a great deal more involved. How much? Well, this should give you something of a guideline.

Research Phase (1 to 5 months)

Pinterest and trade shows are your best friends right now. Gather information and samples. Make your wish list [[read our previous blog about this HERE].  Give this part of the process one to two months. See what elements, designs, colors and features you keep coming back to.

Plan your budget

Be realistic. Educate yourself – and reality TV home renovation shows don’t count!  Not only do they often portray unrealistic pricing, but they also give a false sense of timing. Projects take much longer than the magic of television often leads us to believe. Make sure you allow a bit of a buffer in your budget in case of emergencies or unforeseen additional costs as your project progresses (minimum 10-15%).

Check with your Municipality or local Municipal Building Department to see what requirements and regulations will affect your project and inquire about the cost of permits and procedures to obtain them. The Municipal approval process can take a few weeks to several months, depending on your project and circumstances, so make this task an early priority.

Design stage (2 to 12 months)

Be prepared for more than you expect –  from colors to choose, decisions to make, and costs. These decisions can become overwhelming, especially if you try to rush the process. Allow 6 weeks to 2 months for smaller projects like a bathroom renovation or single room. For larger rooms, like kitchens or multi-room projects and additions, allow up to six months. For new homes, you will likely need to allow up to 12 months.

You’ll need to allow some flexibility for the availability of a designer and the contractors. It’s a rare occasion when you’re able to schedule everyone in an orderly time frame. More often than not, you’ll run into a scheduling snag so just be prepared. If you want to work with the best services and trades in your area, be prepared to wait for them. Best means busy so allow extra time (minimum 2 months) to be able to schedule them in. If you’re ordering materials or products from overseas, that’s going to add extra time too; in some cases up to six months.

Construction (2 to 12 months)

Small jobs can take around a month just to prep and larger projects up to 6 months. It would be wise to allow some flexibility for unexpected surprises, especially if you’re opening up walls or other enclosed spaces.

By now, you should realize that even small simple projects require planning and patience – up to half a year or more from concept to completion… a far cry from the fairytale accelerated Hollywood timeline you see on TV. Giving yourself a realistic time frame to work with will go a long way towards ensuring your project progresses smoothly and will help keep stress levels to a minimum.

Ensure you work with reputable service providers, from your designer to all of your contractors. Their experience can help guide you through the process and avoid pitfalls or costly mistakes.

Darryl Kennedy Cornerstone Drafting & Design in round frameDarryl M. Kennedy M.A.A.T.O. B.C.Q. is the founder and president of Cornerstone Drafting and Design Est. 1994. Serving Durham Region, The GTA, Kawartha Lakes, Port Hope, and surrounding areas.
Darryl has been involved in various capacities of the residential construction industry since 1986.
905-433-4621 | | @cornerstonedrafting |


Posted in: Uncategorized