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Are you dreaming of that perfect home renovation project? Maybe you're envisioning a stunning kitchen makeover, a cozy living room transformation, or even a complete home overhaul. As an interior and kitchen designer, I often receive inquiries about the ideal time to start planning a home renovation. Today, I'm here to share my insights and guide you through the process. So, when should you start planning? The answer may surprise you!

Start Planning in Fall for a Summer Renovation

Yes, you read that right. If you’re aiming to kick off your home renovation project during the sunny days of summer, the optimal time to start planning is during the Fall. Always aim to begin 6 months before your renovation begins. But why does it take so long to plan, you may wonder?

The Planning Phase

The planning phase typically takes anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months, depending on the size and scale of your renovation. It involves refining your ideas, setting a budget, and finding the right professionals for the job. You’ll work on design concepts and if working with an interior designer you will want to see your inspiration photos (Pinterest, home and online magazines) to get an idea of your style and functional needs especially with your kitchen. Ensure you’re working with a trained, qualified professional. Choose materials, and establish a project timeline. While this phase may seem brief, it’s crucial for a smooth renovation journey.

The Contractor Phase

Now, here’s the twist. The best contractors are in high demand, and their schedules fill up quickly. If you want to secure the services of a top-notch contractor, you need to act swiftly. By starting your planning process in the Fall, you’re ahead of the game. This gives you a competitive edge when booking a contractor for your project. Remember, quality workmanship
is worth the wait.

Building In Buffers

Hiring Professionals

Beyond contractors, you likely will need to consult an interior designer, architects or structural engineers. Ensure they understand your vision and have experience with similar projects.

Michelle’s Tip: Hire an interior designer before any other home professional to help establish your budget and a design concept that reflects your style goals and functionality.

Permits and Regulations

Investigate local building codes and permit requirements early in the planning process. Delays in obtaining permits can significantly impact your timeline.

Michelle’s Tip: Permit application files must be created in a specific format and can be very complicated and cumbersome to fill out. Our experts at Foxglove Design will complete these documents for you!

Material Selection

Choose materials and finishes carefully. Some may have long lead times or be subject to availability issues. Make selections early to avoid delays.

Proect Timeline

Work closely with your contractor and interior designer to develop a detailed project timeline. Consider factors like weather conditions, seasonal availability of materials, and any special considerations for your region.

Arrange Temporary Living

If you plan to live in your home during the renovation, think about how you’ll adapt to the disruption (and the dust!). Otherwise, consider renting an Airbnb or subletting a short-stay condo. Clear communication with your contractor about living arrangements is essential.

If all of this sounds overwhelming or you do not have the time to manage it all (because it can often feel or be a full-time job!), consult an interior design firm like Foxglove Design that specializes in full-scope implementation and end-to-end project management with their contractors.

Timeframe Estimate

The time required for the planning phase can vary based on the complexity of your project and your location. Here’s a rough breakdown for a Fall-to-Summer renovation kickoff:

Fall (October to December): Initial planning and goal setting, hiring professionals, and creating a budget. Allow 1-2 months for this stage.

Winter (January to March): Conceptual design, material selection, and obtaining permits. This stage can take 2-3 months, as it’s important not to rush design decisions.

Spring (April to June): Finalize design plans, obtain any remaining permits, and select contractors. This phase may take 1-2 months.

Summer (July to August): Kick off your renovation project. Depending on the scale and complexity, construction may take several months to complete.

Keep in mind this is simply a general timeline, and that each project is unique. Complex renovations or extensive structural work may require more planning time. Additionally, factors like contractor availability and external circumstances can influence the schedule. It’s always wise to start early to allow flexibility and ensure a smooth renovation process. Consult with
your professionals to develop a tailored timeline for your specific project.

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