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  • Writer's pictureGwen Canfield

What is a reasonable renovation timeline?

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

Anything worth doing needs time. Renovating a single small room can easily take three months from initial design research to finished construction, whereas a fuller renovation can take much longer. Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning your renovation timeline.

Give yourself time to design

A thorough design process should be given two to six months. Projects usually involve more decisions than people expect, so plan to spend several months defining your vision, and some time working with a professional to give it the clarity it deserves.

Allow time for permitting

Larger cities generally have more stringent permitting processes, so depending on where you live, the approval process can range from several weeks to several months. Once you've cleared this hurdle you can start building.

Don't believe what you see on TV

TV shows might lead you to believe that you can complete a dramatic makeover in three days, but the reality is that it takes much longer. Between demolition, delivery of materials, building time, and allowing some buffer time, expect at least a month for any renovation that is more than cosmetic.

Anticipate scheduling conflicts

People tend to overlook the availability of professionals and materials. Depending on what products you’ve ordered and what trades you require (tilers, plumbers, painters, glass fitters), you may not be able to begin construction on a moment’s notice.

A note on seasonality

It is wise to begin your project in the off-seasons, rather than during the spring and early summer, when people are trying to ready their homes for entertaining. November and December are packed with holidays, so it can be tough finding tradespeople to schedule time with! All of this can be avoided by starting early and booking in advance.

Need help?

Book a free consultation with Interior Designer Gwen Canfield. She can help you formulate a design plan and find the right general contractor. Book at

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