Thoughtful, detailed planning ensures a project runs smoothly every time. Design-Build Contractors use the principles of project management to ensure resources like staff, sub-contractors, tools and equipment are used efficiently. Good planning also helps the homeowner understand how their project will unfold, ensuring the work can be delivered on-time and on-budget.

Unfortunately, most remodeling contractors don’t use a predictable or accurate planning process. TV shows often give homeowners an unrealistic expectation of what’s possible. If you’re beginning to explore a home renovation project, but you’re finding it difficult to pinpoint a realistic schedule, keep reading to understand what an accurate planning timeline looks like for your project.

The Design and Planning Phase

Starting a home renovation project can be overwhelming. You may have a grand vision of the end result, but a vague understanding of the many activities that must take place along the way. This makes is difficult to accurately predict critical details like the schedule.  With so much to consider – and given the excitement of starting a renovation – many homeowners want to breeze through the design and planning phase and begin work right away. But rushing through this critical work will invariably lead to headaches during construction.

The design and planning phase typically ranges from one to three months, depending on the size and scope of the project.

This phase includes:

  • Identification of critical needs and wants for the project, along with design inspiration.
  • Evaluation of the existing structure
  • Initial design drawings or sketches
  • Design review meetings
  • Refined design drawings providing a clear vision of the finished project
  • A written scope of work with clear deliverables.
  • An accurate budget or budget range.

Most homeowners are not equipped to perform this work themselves.  It requires hiring a design professional with extensive experience planning home renovation projects. With their expertise, they’ll accurately capture your vision and translate it into a realistic construction plan that can be executed by professional tradesmen.

The Pre-Construction Phase

Following the design phase, your project will move into a pre-construction phase. This is a very important step, ensuring that many moving pieces align prior to construction.

This phase can range from two to six months. Project size and scope play a factor, as does the production calendar of your contractor.

Pre-construction work includes numerous tasks such as finalizing drawings and submitting them to the building department, creating a detailed construction schedule, coordinating various trade contractors, helping clients finalize fixture and finish selections, placing material orders and scheduling deliveries.


In total, we suggest that clients allow for three to nine months for design and planning prior to the start of construction. This will vary depending on the size and scope of the project.

Interested in discussing your upcoming renovation project? Contact Advance Design and Remodel to request a consultation.