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Renovation Timeline

You thought about it, you asked around, you made a plan and you even did the math. That’s it, you have now decided to do the renovation to create the home you always dreamed of. Before you embark on this project, make sure you have considered not only the costs, but also the time...
Renovation Timeline
Renovation: Renovation Timeline

Author: Stephanie Akkaoui Hughes

Architect, author, international speaker, Founder and CEO of AKKA Architects, Stephanie is part of a new breed of young visionary architects who operate beyond the nowadays restrained realm of architecture. A strong advocate of value created through crossdisciplinary interactions. She believes that the most sustainable innovation will happen at the intersection of different fields. Stephanie believes that space can be used as a strategic tool to drive business growth, individuals advancement, and social impact.

Renovation Timeline

You thought about it, you asked around, you made a plan and you even did the math. That’s it, you have now decided to do the renovation to create the home you always dreamed of. Before you embark on this project, make sure you have considered not only the costs, but also the time element. As most people, you have probably considered your budget and even did some research to understand the costs of a renovation. (If you haven’t yet take a look at our series of articles on renovation here, and here, and here…). You can even request a cost estimate from us here.

Anyway, besides budget and costs, time can quickly become a headache in renovations, if you do not plan prudently. After all, in renovations, time definitely is money. 

The time required for a renovation is different depending on the work to be done. The key is to work with reliable professionals who will provide you with a comprehensive plan for each stage of the renovation and inform you of possible delays, as early as possible. The key to a stress-free renovation is to have an idea of the general timeframe needed from the start but to also have a plan B (and maybe even C and D) if the renovation takes longer than anticipated.

It is safe to assume that renovations will (almost) always take longer than you would expect them to. 

By the end of this article, we hope you will have a clearer idea of renovation timelines, but most importantly we hope you will be well-equipped to know when to expect delays and how to deal with them. 

Start Early!

If you have a deadline in mind, for example a moving out date or the start of a new school year (if you are moving district with children), start the process as soon as possible. Get in touch with your architect and any other professional you will engage as soon as you start thinking about a renovation. Most people and even some professionals tend to underestimate how long things will take. If you add to that, the current delays and supply chain complications happening around the world, your renovation can suddenly take twice as long as originally expected.  

What can Take Time

1.Don’t underestimate the time you will need to give feedback.

The better the quality of your feedback, the better results you get from your architect.

Α. You need to think about the feedback, not give the first reaction that comes to your mind.

Β. If you are not alone, you have a partner a spouse…etc, you need to coordinate your feedback and agree before getting back to your architect.

Giving your architect uncoordinated and contradicting feedback (if you and your spouse have different opinions for example) can lead to delays and complications down the line. You better to take your time and come to an understanding among yourselves before you get back to your architect. The best architects are even able to help you two come to a shared understanding and create a shared vision, so ask your architect!

Check out our residential projects to get ideas and go through different styles!

C. Like a good meal, feedback needs time to simmer and cook, so some decisions may need a few rounds of back and forth. Keep that in mind!

2. Third Parties

Εxperts, contractors, suppliers: when asking 3rd parties for advice (like a foundation expert), quotes (for example from contractors), or product information (such as from suppliers), it is easy to expect immediate answers. Answers are never immediate and it has become ‘normal’ these days that some 3rd parties take weeks before coming back with a comprehensive answer. Don’t be frustrated by this, just be ready for it. 

3. Permits

If you are undertaking a project which requires structural changes (wall demolitions, building a new roof terrace etc…), you will need to submit a permit application to your local municipality.

You can find out more about permits in our related articles.

Especially if you are considering a big project with many alterations, you may need to consider both a draft and a final application as well as the time the authorities will need in between, to give you the right feedback. While each municipality has its own variations, 6 to 8 weeks is standard for municipalities to review your application and approve/disapprove it.

4. Production Lead Times and Deliveries

Construction supplies, equipment, appliances and even furniture are an important part of every renovation. While the kitchen and bathrooms are the big ones (don’t worry – here are our pieces on kitchen and bathroom renovation), there are a lot of other items that need to be sourced as well. Supplies like electrical items, lighting fixtures, finishes or equipment are often shipped from abroad (or at least their parts and components may be) and there may be delays, especially in the current environment. In addition to that, any custom-made items will take time to be manufactured before they are ready for shipment. Speaking of which, shipping and transport will also take time, so keep that in mind!

Expect unforseen circumstances and have fall back plans

A good architect will tell you that while unforeseen circumstances are… unforeseen, what can be foreseen is that every project will encounter a few. You cannot and should not try to predict everything. Unforeseen changes can come from a variety of reasons: unresponsive contractors, overbooked suppliers, shipment delays, product mix-ups, wrong deliveries, …etc. While unwanted, these things happen quite often, unfortunately. When you are setting the renovation timeline, a smart hack is to be flexible and built in extra time for whatever unforeseen issue might come your way.  

Engage a Professional, an Honest one.

Whether it is out of optimism or not to avoid discouraging a new client, some architects may not explain what realistic expectations of a renovation timeline can be, upfront. While most professionals hate to admit it (especially at the initial acquisition part of the project), we can tell you delays and longer timelines are to be expected. Having a trusted professional on your side will allow you to know which delays are ‘normal’ and which are not, and most importantly how to avoid them or remedy them. For example, when we know that supply chains from Asia are disrupted, it may be wise to procure materials and equipment from Europe. While the initial cost of the products may be a little more, the shipping costs that will be saved and the delays that will be avoided, will value and make up for the cost difference. Having a trusted professional on your project means that you won’t feel lost during the process and you’ll be informed and guided through every step of the way.

The best advice on renovation timelines is patience. Since there are most definitely going to be delays, the smartest thing to do is to expect them. Not just expect but have space built in for them and focus on the most important thing, the result and quality of your dream house. This way you will avoid chaos, have everything planned and be a step closer to your dream home!