Remodeling an existing or historic home you own can be both a rewarding and enjoyable experience. The satisfaction, pride and enjoyment of renovating and upgrading a personalized space for you and your family comes through great vision and a dedication to the process.
Remodeling projects in the Houston area requires a significant time investment from both you and your team. From designing the home and budgeting for the project, to the construction and final walk-through, each stage requires meticulous attention to detail that your experienced remodeling team will guide you through.
How Long Does it Take to Remodel a Whole Home?
While multiple factors can affect the timeline, it generally takes about a 10 to 18 months to complete a major whole home remodel, which includes not only the construction, but also the design and pre-construction phases. Some of the variables that affect your timeline include the complexity and scope of your project, the weather during the construction phase, how quickly you are able to make final decisions and the presence of existing conditions that are unseen prior to selective demolition.
Keep in mind that the design and construction involved with remodeling your home is not a completely linear process. Several tasks, such as permitting, can overlap while others are being finalized. With that in mind, here is a general look at the various stages involved in a complete home remodeling project and how long each one typically takes:
Ideally, at the time you have completed initial drawings or schematic designs for your remodel or home addition with your architectural team, you will select the right home builder for your project as well. Bringing both parties on board at the same time allows for a more collaborative, efficient home remodeling process which not only saves time but allows for better overall budget control.
During your initial consultation, you meet with representatives from your prospective construction team and discuss your vision and goals for the project, in addition to gathering information about their expertise, experience and background. When you feel like it’s a good fit, move quickly to establish the team of professionals that will work on your behalf towards an amazing finished product.
Pre-Construction and Design Phase
The design phase of your whole home remodeling project can take anywhere from three to five months depending on how prepared you are and how much time you can devote each week to working with your architect and builder on planning and designing your home renovation.
Even within the design phase, there are several individual steps that must be followed in order to ensure a smooth process. Here is what you can generally expect month-by-month:
- Month 1: The first step to translating your vision to paper is having your architect create schematic drawings, which often include as-built drawings, the number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, kitchen size, entry ways, and general shape, style, and size of your home and what changes will be made.
- Month 2: Your team augments your schematic drawings with additional details. While schematic drawings are not detailed and do not include precise dimensions, they can help you start to identify a ballpark figure for your home remodeling budget that is typically a range with a spread of 15% to 20%.
- Month 3: Next, over the course of several meetings, your design team, with vital input from your builder, works with you on developing a third iteration of the schematics which contain significantly more detail and dimensions. A majority of change iterations occur during this stage as you refine your vision, review your myriad of options, and get input on potential materials and specifications from your architect and builder.
- Months 4: Now that your project contains more detail on paper it allows for your architect and builder to begin developing and finalizing specifications concerning rough construction materials and finishes that were discussed in the meetings held in the previous month. At this time, the footprint and floor plan for your home will be complete and the structural engineer can begin work on their drawings, which will be required for a permit.
- Month 5: The design team can now put together construction drawings that contain all the details and data from both the architectural and structural drawings, and prepare to submit to the proper jurisdiction for permitting. At this time a final price for the project will be presented by your builder to finalize the contract.
Financing and Permitting
While the design phase is wrapping up, you and your team also tackle other pre-construction activities. For example, if you’re financing the remodel project, that process typically begins in the final month of the design phase and takes about 60 to 75 days from your initial financial review to closing.
One challenge is that many banks want a contract with completed drawings and a finalized price to write up the loan. To help the financing process progress efficiently and not delay the project, Southern Green Builders makes an effort to talk directly to your bank or financial institution to underwrite the deal for the price of the home. It gives the bank confidence the project will be complete for a specific amount and not change, allowing the underwriting to take place while permitting is underway.
The average time to get a permit from the city of Houston for a large addition/remodel project is about 10 weeks. If you’re remodeling a home you own or purchased in a designated historic district, you will also need approval from the Houston Archaeological and Historical Commission.
As the historical commission only meets once per month, you need to get your project submitted to them with plenty of time to review before your project is slated to begin. If your project is rejected, it could delay your project a couple months as you work to revise the plans and fix the issues that led to the rejection. The best way to set your historic home remodel up for approval is to partner with an architecture and home builder that have experience working with the commission. They know what errors or issues may cause a project to be rejected and can work to avoid them to save time.
During this phase, your builder manages every aspect of the project, relying on contributions from their trade partners, subcontractors, and specialty vendors. These team members, who help execute the installation of various components and systems in your home based on their specialty, include electricians, plumbers, painters, carpenters, concrete contractors, framers, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) specialists.
Thanks to the early collaboration between your builder and your architect, renovating your home according to the plans typically goes smoothly and efficiently with your qualified home building team at the helm. Nevertheless, proactive communication during the construction phase continues to be critical for everyone to stay on the same page. To keep you up to date with your project’s progress, you will have weekly site meetings to review progress made and discuss any upcoming activities. Additionally, Southern Green Builders’ Project Management software enables you to access a real-time construction schedule, any and all specifications and finishes related to your project, and daily job logs supported by job site photos. Meanwhile, your construction team remains available throughout the duration of the project to address any questions and concerns that may arise.
Once your home renovation is complete and the job site is cleaned up, your builder conducts a thorough walk-through with you to provide an orientation of your new home that covers all operation and maintenance items and to ensure the quality of the project meets your expectations.
Remodeling Your Home in the Houston Area
Remodeling your home in the Houston area can be a well-planned sequence of phases that lead to the quality project you expect, but that depends significantly on acquiring the right team at the right time. Southern Green Builders takes a unique approach to the home remodeling process, getting involved from the start of your project and providing guidance during the design phase. By collaborating with you and your architect and then sticking to the plans we collectively create, our team can deliver the quality of home renovation you deserve in a smooth, efficient process.