Renovation Realities: What it Takes to Complete a Whole Home Remodel

the reality behind a renovation

If you have been spending a lot more time in your home this past year (as we all have) and thinking about all the ways it could be improved (as we all do) and watching shows on HGTV that deliver a top to bottom home renovation in under 30 minutes, then you may be thinking right now that your house could be completely transformed in just a few weeks with little to no hassle!

While we would love for this “reality” TV timeline to be, well, a reality, there is in fact a much larger investment to be made if you want a thoughtfully designed and soundly executed renovation. The truth is that large-scale remodels can be just as complex as building a home from scratch, if not more so.

This truth about renovation often catches homeowners off guard if they are expecting a quick fix. The good news is, we’ve got renovations down to a science and we are lifting the curtain so that you can understand what a full-scale renovation entails before you start the process. From initial visit to construction finish, our average large-scale renovations take 6-12 months due to the level of detail and planning needed, so let’s break it down and uncover the realities of custom renovation.

what is involved in a renovationINTRODUCTION AND DISCOVERY

Understanding your needs, wants, budget, and vision is the first step in the process. An initial meeting with the team to discuss your expectations, the global project scope, and for you to hear about our process is crucial to determine that we are a good fit for your project and that your project is a good fit for our process. During this phase, we talk about rough budget, timeline, and what to expect considering your specific requests and existing home.

CONCEPT DESIGN

Once we agree to move forward together, we begin the concept design phase to create a floor plan and elevation drawings. We will do a site visit to determine existing conditions that may need to be considered for construction. We will also begin to narrow in on the level of selections that appeal to you. For example, do you prefer GE appliances or are you looking for a professional Wolf range? We love when clients bring us inspiration photos, Pinterest boards, pages from magazines, and other ideas so that we can gain a greater depth of understanding of their vision. All this information gathering will help us fine tune your estimated project cost. Concept design is an iterative process, and we expect to go through 2-3 versions of a plan before arriving on the perfect one for you. The timeline for this phase is often dependent on client availability and how many revisions are made but may range from three weeks to three months.

At the end of Concept Design, we will create an estimate package for you complete with Concept Drawings, a detailed Scope of Work, and a Budget Breakdown so you know exactly where your money is going. If everything meets your needs, it’s time to sign a contract and head into Pre-Construction!

renovation realitiesSELECTIONS + ARCHITECTURAL DRAWINGS

The Pre-Construction phase, composed of client selections and architectural drawing development, is integral to the design-build process and lasts about 6-10 weeks. In this phase you can expect to make decisions on every feature that goes into your home! With 1-3 design meetings a week at your house, at our office, and at showrooms, it can feel overwhelming, but we are here to support you for the duration.

If you are new to the design-build process, you might be surprised to see that the process is cyclical, not direct. You may fall in love with a countertop slab only to realize that it does not coordinate with your kitchen backsplash, and so we will head back to the tile showroom to reselect and redesign the backsplash. We expect a few of these cycles to take place for every client and we maintain a flexible timeline to accommodate this process.

During this phase, your design team will offer guidance and advice to ensure that your home’s features speak to your style and come together in a cohesive and appealing way. Learn more about how we partner with you to create the perfect home here. 

The beauty of our process, in which you will make all your selections up front while the architectural drawings are in process, is that there is an opportunity to make alterations to the initial design without major repercussions. For example, if your plan features a 60” tub but you fall in love with a luxury 72” soaker tub in the showroom, we can make a few adjustments to the plan to accommodate that “must have” piece. But just imagine if we had already framed the walls! That kind of change would likely be cost-prohibitive, and you would have to settle for a master bathroom without the tub of your dreams.  View our timeline for renovation realities.

 

realities of renovation

BIDDING, PERMITTING, AND RECONCILIATION

This phase may feel like downtime to you, but our team is busy behind the scenes submitting for permits and sending the finished plans and selections out to bid to our vendors and subcontractors. This phase can take 4-8 weeks and it is important to trust in all those decisions you made with your design team and avoid second-guessing while you wait.

Once all the quotes and bids are back, we will provide you with a fixed price to remodel your home exactly how you have designed. We will reconcile your contract, which was formerly based on an estimate, to this adjusted fixed-price and construction can begin. You’re halfway there!

DEMOLITION & CONSTRUCTION

To stay efficient, we demo all areas of the planned remodel and begin rebuilding right away. Once demo begins, it is important to note you may go without important living spaces, like your kitchen or master bathroom, for the duration of the 3-5 month construction phase. Of course, we discuss this timeline ahead of time, so you know exactly what you are getting into.

Many of our homeowners who prefer not to live in a construction zone consider setting up a temporary kitchen in an area of the house that is not being remodeled, travelling, getting a short-term rental, or staying with a friend. It all depends on your needs and your project, and there’s certainly no wrong way to do it. Homeowners who choose to live in their homes during construction can rest assured that all of our contractors are vetted, and we believe in clean construction sites and open lines of communication. Your Superintendent will keep you apprised of the schedule and make sure that the site is running smoothly.

HANDING OVER THE KEYS

While we know you love your design team and your construction crew, we also know you won’t be sad to see us go! We will put on the finishing touches and happily step away as you enjoy your newly remodeled home. It is a long process, but in the end our clients tell us without hesitation that it was worth every day and every penny. Ready to get started? Contact us today.

renovation

 

 


Matthew Bowe is Northern Virginia’s premier custom home builder. From vision to concept to plan to construction, we take custom home building to a new level. Thoughtful planning. Intelligent design. Personal touch. That’s the Matthew Bowe difference. Contact us to begin making your dream home a reality.

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