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Timeline of a Project…How long does it take?!?

September 9, 2013 by Reed Design Build

The kids are back in school, Labor Day is fading into the past, and just when we think we can relax….the holidays are around the corner. The Lyndsey Finalquestion is why are we already talking about holidays it's not even October?!?

Because it’s inevitable right around mid-September every year we have a wave of wonderful clients who call us up and ask if they can get their kitchen, master bathroom, wet bar, outdoor kitchen, etc… renovated before company comes for the “Holidays”.  And while we are always excited about a chance to work on another great project….a lump forms in my throat, a bead of sweat builds up on my brow as I try in my mind to crunch dates and lead times, schedules and calendars, design time vs. production time. Wishing, hoping, wanting to be able to tell my client “YES, we can get this done before the holidays!”…but the reality is that I am not always able to give that answer.

So, why is it a stretch to get a project done before Christmas when it is still mid-September? The best advice that I can give is that every project is different as well as every client. Some clients need more time to digest the design and selection phase, others don’t. Some clients are very happy to work with products that are stocked and can arrive quickly and be installed quickly. Other times we get inspired by something that takes 8-10 weeks to arrive and may have a more complicated design and installation time.

As a designer one of my first questions to my clients is always “When were you hoping to have this project completed by?” Once I know a preferred end date, I can start to work backwards to see if we have allowed enough time or if we need to work together to come up with a realistic date that works for everyone. I like to look at this process in phases:

Phase 1 “Decision Making”: Truthfully, you will be making decisions through a lot of these phases. But the most important decision you will make is who you decide to partner up with to complete your project. In this phase you will take time to meet with different companies, research websites, talk to friends who have renovated, visit showrooms. By the time you finally narrow down your options and find the company that fits just right you may have spent anywhere from 1-2 weeks making that decision or even longer. And trust me this is not a phase you want to rush through. Taking your time and waiting until you have found someone that meets all your criteria and you feel comfortable with is worth every minute.

Phase 2 “Designing”: This is of course one of my favorite phases. Now that you have decided on the company you want to work with it’s time to start designing the look of your project. Part of my job as an interior designer is to help guide you through that process. My job is to give you the best possible design I can, while keeping you in budget and on schedule. We will review drawings, floor plans, elevations, sketches. We will visit showrooms, look at samples, decide on colors, textures, finishes. I have to say, this is really not a phase you want to rush through either. Usually this process takes an average of 2-3 weeks but could vary depending on the project. Renovating your home is a major undertaking and one that most people do only once or twice in a lifetime. Giving yourself enough time to work with your designer to explore design ideas and concepts is well worth it.

Phase 3 “Products & Permitting”: Your designs are complete, the decisions have been made, and now it’s time for everything to start moving forward. This is probably your most relaxing phase because you get some peace and quiet while we get moving on ordering all the product, filing all the necessary permitting paper work, and putting together the project schedule. The timeline to receive permits is always changing but you are pretty safe in allowing 3-4 weeks for a permit to be approved. Products like plumbing, tile, countertops, cabinetry, lighting, etc… all have different lead times. Some things could be stocked or ship quickly, and others items like cabinetry could take an average of 6-8 weeks.

Phase 4 "Installation": Now, this is the phase that everyone thinks of when they ask “How long is it going to take?” And most of the time it is a pretty easy answer. If enough time was given to the first three phases and everything was done properly and planned out accordingly the actual renovation should run smoothly. Average projects run around 6-8 weeks, this of course can change greatly depending on how large or complicated the project is.

You can see why getting something done by a certain deadline takes a lot of planning. And while finishing up a project before the “Holidays” is definitely possible you always want to make sure that you allow yourself enough time so that you can enjoy the experience both before, during, and after the project is complete.