This is you. Okay, maybe. You could be older, younger, darker, lighter, wider, thinner. We don't judge. (Little Debbie can attest.) So, let's pretend. It's you. It’s a super chill evening and you’re lounging on the couch, lazily sipping your beverage of choice (on the rocks, obvi), snuggling under a cozy blanket, with the remote in hand (because, if you’re like me, you LOVE to spend a Sunday night in…).
You flip to your favorite HGTV show and find yourself immersed in a world where whole home renovations take just a few weeks, tops, and you get to watch it all play out in 30-minute increments. But wait, there are commercials in there... so it's really like 20 minutes.
20 minutes — and voila! — a dream home (and on one hell of a cheap budget).
Realistic. TOTALLY realistic. (Please note the seriously heavy sarcasm here.)
Sadly, the home industry TV world that we all love so much has tainted our minds and skewed our sense of reality. We have come to expect instant gratification with our homes, insanely fast turnaround times, unreasonable investments, and professionals available at our beck and call.
Here at DPI, while we strive to be there for you whenever you need us, we do need sleep...and work normal business hours... and take off weekends... But I digress. That’s not the topic of our post.
Today, it is my duty to dispel the misconceptions floating around out there about design and renovation timelines. It is my privilege to help you see the light, and understand the inner workings of creating a project schedule that works for your team of pros as well as your family.
In an effort to hook a homeowner up with the facts, let’s dive right in, shall we?!
Important Influences on Total Timeline
It should come as no surprise that project timelines can vary greatly. I’m sure you’ve heard that before...but you might be wondering why? Great question!
There are countless factors that can influence the final timeline of your design project or home renovation, but here are some of the big ones:
1. Scope and Scale
The scope and scale of your project are the largest factors...are we talking a single room furnishing job, or are we talking a whole-home remodel? Is this a modest 1,500 square foot starter home, or is it a 4,000+ square foot luxury dwelling worthy of the Miami shoreline?!
Renovating takes longer than furnishing. Renovating and furnishing takes longer than both. Whole homes take longer than single rooms. Any time you're moving walls, plumbing, or electrical? Add some more time on.
See what I mean? It all depends on your goals. ;)
2. Fixtures and Finishes
The fixtures and finishes selected also play a role. Selecting in-stock items will result in a quicker turnaround than those on back-order. And custom pieces, well, that’s a whole other ball game, since you have to factor in the time it takes to design and create your one-of-a-kind feature.
Are custom furnishings worth it? OH YES. That's how you get a one-of-a-kind space tailored to your lifestyle and taste. And if you ask me, it's worth the wait!
3. Trades and Time of Year
Trade availability and time of year must also be factored in. The state of the world (thanks, COVID), current events (thanks, election year), and the natural annual fluctuations in the industry all have a bearing on trade availability.
Pro Tip: Designer and trade schedules fill up as the year draws to a close when people frantically call us for pre-holiday home makeovers. Book as early in the year as possible for the quickest turnaround times. If you want your updated home ready for next Christmas, start talking to your fave designer now! *Wink wink* But for real.
4. Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
Finally, your decision-making ability will make a significant difference in the overall timeline. If you are able to make timely decisions and communicate them clearly with your team of pros, things will move along much more quickly than if you hem and haw and the project has to be put on pause while you sort things out.
This is especially important during the design process... which can be as short as a couple weeks if you are on the ball and eager to assist, or as long as a month if you need time to think through each design element.
There’s no right or wrong...just stating the facts over here.
Typical Timelines for Particular Projects
Let me be really clear...the numbers I am about to show you are ballpark timelines. They are not set in stone. They are not personalized for your particular project. They do not factor in many of the things that I just mentioned above. So... grain of salt, peeps!
In an effort to be helpful, because I do strive for that, I want to share some very basic, very preliminary timelines with you so that you have a broad sense of what to expect when embarking on your design or renovation journey.
If you are simply furnishing a living room or bedroom with “off the shelf” items, 4-6 weeks is a safe estimate. (Although, with COVID, it is slightly hard to gauge at the moment because the entire industry is backed up.)
If you are furnishing the same living room or bedroom, but opting for some custom items, then you can expect your project to take about 14 weeks in our current climate. (Pre-COVID, this was probably closer to the 6-8 week range, but what can ya do?!)
If you are renovating and furnishing that living room or bedroom I mentioned, expect a turnaround of at least a few months.
Honestly, it is so hard to give even an estimate for this right now because it varies so dramatically from one location to another. But it is safe to say that at the moment, there are a lot of people renovating. Contractors are backed up. Building supplies are limited (just check out the shelves at Home Depot). And schedules are uncertain, at best.
The good news, though, is that you don’t have to wait for your contractor to be available before you get started. In fact, we are encouraging people to work through the design phase of their project and begin purchasing the agreed upon items so that they are ready when the contractor is. Your willingness to get a jump on the project before your trades are available will considerably shorten your start-to-finish timeline.
DPI’s Project Timeline Determination Method
Step 1: Consult with the Pros
We begin with an initial consultation and site visit to make 100% sure that we are a good fit for your project. If, after that, you and DPI decide to move forward, we dig right in. We discuss with you our availability for your project and we set a start date based on your personal schedule.
Step 2: Determine the Scope
This includes, but is not limited to, taking detailed design measurements of your home, an in-depth interview with you, the homeowner, to nail down the project scope and aesthetic, and then follow-up conversations, questionnaires, the sharing of visual inspiration, etc.
During this step, we also bring in trades to get estimates on the scope of the work (based on room size, the number of spaces, remodel vs. cosmetic updates, etc.). These estimates help us establish the budget, yes, but they also give us a sense of the time each tradesperson thinks the project will take, thus influencing our final timeline.
Step 3: Allow for Design Genius
This portion of the process might take days or weeks, but it is a crucial step in helping get you to the final estimated project timeline. At this point, we make our presentation, you approve or revise, and then we are off to the races. The design elements you approve play a big role in the overall time frame of your project.
Step 4: Factor in Lead Times
With the design plan finalized, we move forward with scheduling all trades, ordering furnishings and lighting, procuring all of the final styling items, and securing any permits needed. Based on what we learn during the scheduling, ordering, and permitting processes, we are able to create a final project timeline for you that factors in the schedules of each party involved and accounts for any backordered materials.
Step 5: Prepare to be Flexible
At this point, pardon our dust, magic is happening. But magic can be a bit unpredictable. And even with the best planning, outside factors may delay completion. May we recommend some meditation during this time?!
But whether the final estimated project timeline we supply you with goes off without a hitch, or hits a few roadblocks along the way, the results are always worth the effort. And we promise to communicate with you from start to finish so that there are no unpleasant surprises, timeline-related or otherwise, along the way. For real...you’ll be simply giddy with how in-the-loop you feel at any given moment!
(And if you’re wondering what the rest of our kickass luxury full-service design process looks like, search no further.)
Now that you’re armed with the truth, if you want to get a jumpstart on your design project or renovation, give us a call (or maybe email us, if it’s the middle of the night in Florida)!
Whether you’ve got all your ducks in a row and are eager to dive right in, or you’re still working on setting aside your reno investment, we’re happy to do the design work now and you can start the labor part of the project whenever you're ready.
Design projects and home renovations can be time-consuming and a bit unpredictable at times, but the end result...a beautiful home that showcases your unique style and makes you proud to share with others...welp, that is always worth the trouble! At least in my not-so-humble opinion.
Ready to get started?! Let’s do this thang.
P.s. Furnishing a home? Don’t forget to download our guide to budgeting your home furnishings below. After all, creating a detailed budget is the first step in getting your project off the ground and establishing a timeline that works for you! So, what are you waiting for?! Seriously...