Timelines for Typical Home Improvement Projects

While we’re fresh off 2013’s holiday busy-ness, let’s do what we can to make 2014’s celebrations as hassle-free as possible.

Part of that is early planning. For most medium to large home improvement projects, you’ll want to build in time not only for the work to be done but also for the planning/design, measuring, ordering of products, and waiting for the products to come in (could be six weeks or more for things like cabinetry and some appliances).

To ensure you get what you need by the time you need it, start now with a list of home improvement projects you’d like to accomplish this year. Then, consider the timelines for each from start to finish (I’ll provide some below).

What to Do

Maybe you have a short list of home repair and improvement projects. If that’s the case, simply number them from most important to least important then decide which of the most important ones you can afford to tackle this year.

Or, perhaps, you noticed some things during the holiday season that hadn’t bothered you before.

  • Is your kitchen configured properly and does it have the right-sized appliances for all that holiday cooking and food storage?
  • Do you have a convenient working triangle among sink, stove/oven(s) and ‘fridge?
  • How is the kitchen traffic flow (i.e., do you need a more open-concept plan to allow the cook to mingle with the guests)?
  • Could your bathroom(s) use updating to function better for your family and guests? Example:  Our kids’ bathroom has no room for a second sink but we were able to add a wall and pocket door cordoning off the toilet/tub part from the sink part, making it much easier for our teens to share the space without getting in each other’s way.
  • Do you have enough bathrooms, especially when holiday visitors arrive? You might be surprised how affordable it is to add a full or half bath.
  • How drafty are your windows in this chilly winter weather?
  • Was your deck in good enough shape to use during the pleasant days we experienced around Thanksgiving?
  • Do you or your houseguests have physical challenges such that they could benefit from accessibility modifications?
  • Is your roof groaning under the weight of this week’s ice and snow?

Timeline for Doing It

Here are some very general timelines for typical home improvement projects from design phase to product acquisition then on through installation:

  • Kitchen or Bath Remodel: two to four months.
  • One-room Addition: four to eight months.
  • Deck or Patio Build or Rebuild: three to six weeks.
  • Aging-in-place Modifications: four to six weeks.
  • New Roof: one to three weeks.
  • New Windows: four to six weeks.

Don’t forget to add two to four weeks to the front end of these timelines for finding, interviewing and choosing the right contractor.

Of course, HomeWise can get you off to a great start by responding to your contractor referral request promptly with up to three names and numbers for licensed, insured, prescreened contractors so you know before you begin that you’re only talking with the reliable ones.

Smart homeowners are starting early in 2014 to make sure their homes are holiday-ready by years’ end. Planning now will save you money and reduce the hassle factor. HomeWise is happy to help you any way we can.

Now, go forth and improve wisely!

Debbie Farson is the owner/operator of HomeWise Referrals, Inc., a FREE service to Northern Virginia, DC and MD homeowners connecting them with licensed, dependable contractors for every home repair, home improvement or remodeling project. She can be reached through the company website,, by email at or by phone, 703-360-8222.


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