Thinking about a major renovation or rebuild this year? Don’t dawdle. Projects of this nature typically take longer than expected. Based on our own experience, and my conversations with families considering major renovations and/or rebuilds, this is because most people don’t know: (1) what the pre-build process involves or how long it will take, (2) how their obligations and responsibilities/work schedule can impact the reno/rebuild timeline, and (3) how our climate can impact the reno/rebuild timeline.
The pre-build process requires a minimum timeline
Major renovations and rebuilds do not enter the build phase without key elements like construction drawings, appropriate permits and a contract with a builder. While these items may seem obvious, the time it takes to achieve them is not. In 2011, when we retained the architect who designed our home, my husband said he wanted to start building within four months. We soon found out that the pre-build process of developing a design concept for our new home, construction drawings, hiring a contractor and obtaining the necessary permits would take longer than that. The demolition and build phase of our project began in September 2013— 20 months later.
Be aware how your availability will impact the reno/rebuild timeline
When renovating and rebuilding, the homeowner is an important member of the team of people brought together to make the project a success. If busy schedules prevent them from giving instructions or completing homeowner tasks in a timely manner, timelines lengthen. We were prime examples; two professionals juggling heavy workloads and caring for a new baby. There wasn’t a lot of time to focus on our rebuild project, especially when we had to work out the details on our own– tasks outside the job description of the architect or general contractor we hired for the project. Two such areas were financing and relocation logistics. Both proved to be far more time-consuming and labour intensive than we anticipated.
The seasons can also impact your reno/rebuild timeline
In Canada, not all seasons are suitable for certain aspects of reno/rebuild projects. Beyond the fact that construction industry professionals generally prefer to work indoors in the winter, there are other issues to consider For example: cement, which is used for the foundations of new homes and additions, needs to cure properly for long-term durability. This process is complicated by lower temperatures as additional measures and precautions are required. This leads to greater expense. It also leads to increased risk that the foundation does not cure properly and won’t be as durable. To lower the cost and risk, the best time to start a major home project is during the warmer months, with enough time to build the foundations and enclosing structure so the subsequent interior work can be completed in an enclosed, heated space during colder months.
If you’d like to learn more about the steps involved in a major project so you are well-positioned to plan and create a reasonable reno/rebuild timeline, try our Love Your Home Strategy Session. I’d also be happy to explain how you can substantially shrink your timeline by choosing a KAAV LIVING home. Please get in touch and we’ll determine how we can best help you.