Renovate for Christmas in July
If you plan to re-do your home for the winter holidays, NOW is the time to start planning! I know it seems like winter is a long way off, but July is the perfect time to consider your options for a bathroom renovation or just replacing your furniture for a fresh look. Here are some valuable tips to ensure your project finishes on schedule.
Scope of the Project
Think about the scale of what you want to accomplish. If you want to re-do your kitchen, bathroom or living room, is this a complete remodel, or is it only new furniture? Does this involve a contractor and structural changes? Are we changing windows, tile and other finishes, or are we just replacing furniture? If it’s furniture, is this a full-house refurnish or just a couple of rooms?
A lot of folks think the project with the contractor will take longer, but you’d be surprised to learn that a whole house of furniture can often take far longer than a small remodel, due to furniture ordering, production, and delivery lead times.
If you’re replacing furniture without major construction for holiday hosting, plan for 3 months minimum from when you order to when you get it in house, so this is important to start early. 10-12 weeks for furniture is a good rule of thumb: 8-10 weeks to order plus 2 weeks to ship. But not if you’re doing an entire house!
If you’re doing living, dining and master or guest bedroom, plan for 3 months to receive the furniture, plus another 2-4 months for furniture plan, meetings, review and the order process, depending on scope and how quickly the decisions are made.
Steps of a Renovation
What if you want to fully renovate your powder room? Here are the steps:
1. Hire a contractor, who leads the timeline and drives the schedule.
2. Come up with a design plan – permit drawings will be required.
3. Execute the plan, managing deliveries and services from professional installers.
4. With construction, you need time to fix errors, which is called a “punch list”, and complete the final details. This part often takes longer than expected.
In our furniture example, finishing details such as art and mirrors come last but do take time, so don’t forget to plan for what I think is the best part!
Account for Delays
Definitely account for potential delays in your plan. If any of the furniture or finishes you’re ordering is European, everyone goes on vacation in August, so that’s an entire month you can’t get anything done if you’re buying from anywhere in Europe. Same thing with Thanksgiving and Christmas here in the United States: Warehouses, production facilities and even showrooms may close for two weeks or more, so plan for these delays.
Then there’s delivery. Should things become damaged in shipping, you’ll need some extra time to either repair or replace. Shipping companies are often understaffed and people get a little careless when they’re rushed, so mistakes can happen. Aim for November BEFORE Thanksgiving, rather than December. Then if there are unexpected delays, you’ve bought yourself some time to work with.
In my experience, a bathroom remodel will take about 2-3 months from demolition to conclusion. This is realistic to finish before the holiday season, especially if it’s a small bathroom, and client decisions can be made quickly. I suggest 1-3 months for the design planning process, including designing the floor plan and selecting finishes. This can vary based on the scope and level of detail, plus how quickly decisions are made.
Now, a full kitchen renovation will take at least 3-5 months, from demolition to completion of all details. For the design process, again, it can take anywhere from 2-4 months for planning, layout, selection of fixtures and finishes, and final decisions. Plus, then you might decide you need to change recessed lighting, or re-do the attached/related areas of the space, so it feels complete. If you start now, you could potentially finish your kitchen in time to be cooking Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner for your guests.
While some people do manage renovation projects themselves, it’s good to hire professionals, especially if you have a very tight schedule. Drawing up a floor plan seems like it should be quick, but if you don’t know about things like clearances or required circulation space for fire codes, you could find yourself in hot water quickly. That’s why hiring a designer is a great idea. Plus, a designer can help you select a trustworthy local contractor, a very important decision in any home renovation project. The designer can communicate with and manage the contractor and installation professionals, which can keep your project on schedule and on budget. This is a must for a project that needs to finish in time for your holiday guests to arrive!
If YOU want to renovate your bathroom, kitchen or bedroom in time for the winter holidays, call or email now! Kimball Starr offers complimentary consultations to explore your ideas.