Knowledge Base

How long does planning and executing a home renovation usually take?

Whatever home refurbishment is ahead of you, the key part of a renovation is the planning. This is dependent on several factors, including the size of the project, its complexity, site restrictions, unique design features, and, of course, the deadline.    To visualize the renovation planning process, we will analyze the important key stages and show you how to prepare an example home renovation timeline.    In this example, we have excluded the design stage and focused only on the construction phase of a single storey 120 sqm apartment. In short, the design and obtaining of planning permissions or licences to alter can take from a few weeks to a few months before this timeline can begin, subject to individual circumstances.
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Home renovation timeline – the stages

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#1 Staff Mobilization 

This phase covers all works that the contractor needs to organize after they are appointed but before the project starts, which means preparing for their duties as a principal contractor. 


This stage includes: 

  • preparing a construction phase plan,
  • providing a site induction for workers,
  • drafting method statements,
  • creating a site waste management plan,
  • notifying Health, Safety and Environment(HSE) organizations and local authorities about the intention to start the project. 


How long it takes: 

From 1 to 3 weeks before starting on site

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#2 Site setup and preparation

Once the contractor gathers the team, the next step is to prepare the building site. Those arrangements are needed to prepare the working environment for the team and to ensure compliance with safety standards. 


This stage includes: 

  • protection of common areas, carpets and walls during the project,
  • organising a hoist or lift if access through common areas is not allowed,
  • disconnecting and making safe gas, water, and electrical installations,
  • preparing safe electrical points, water and waste for site use,
  • preparation of an efficient workplace for site teams including setting up welfare facilities, e.g. an office and canteen for them.


How long it takes: 

From a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on the size of the project.

#3 Demolitions

Demolitions in apartment buildings need to be carried out in a controlled manner due to existing building structures. You should also pay attention to the fact that neighbours are living in the same building. That’s why you should manage this phase efficiently to not cause tense situations.  


This stage includes:

  • asbestos surveys to ensure safety, if not already carried out during the design phase,
  • stripout of old finishes and demolitions,
  • packing and removing waste regularly. 


How long it usually takes: 

From a few days to a couple of weeks, subject to the size of the project.

#4 Structural works and brickwork repairs

The site team has to manage the building and installation of structural elements to ensure proper support and safety. The construction must be stable and all of the elements have to transmit loads safely over the whole construction.

This stage includes:

supporting and rebuilding unstable parts of brick work,
installation of steel beams to support existing structures in accordance with the structural engineer’s plans, or building entirely new structures such as mezzanine floors,
cast in situ concrete beams to e.g. support weak corners of an old building,
rebuilding or strengthening existing wooden structures, like bathroom floors.

How long it usually takes:

From a couple of weeks to a few months, depending on the extent of the work.

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#5 New walls and ceilings 


The next stage covers setting out and building new partition walls and ceilings. Often, unrenovated apartments require additional levelling of old floors and ceilings. This could also be a good time to install soundproofing systems. It is worth checking all levels well in advance and planning for receiving new finishes.


This stage includes:

  • levelling of old and building new subfloors,
  • setting new partition walls and installation of new ceilings,
  • plastering walls and ceilings.


Note: This stage is usually spread out over time to allow for new electrical and plumbing installations to be carried out before the walls are closed for plastering.


How long it usually takes: 

From 4 and a half to 6 weeks 

#6 Plumbing and electrics

This is one of the most important stages of the project. Mostly because it is difficult to come back to this phase later once everything has been boarded up.


This stage is split into the 1st fix, which means the installation of cables and pipes throughout the house in proposed locations, and the 2nd fix, which is the installation of faceplates, light fittings, then finally boilers and bathroom fittings.


This stage includes:

  • chasing walls and lifting up floors in preparation for new services,
  • installation of all lighting and power circuits in planned locations,
  • setting up AV, Data and TV infrastructure,
  • installing hot and cold water, as well as waste pipes,
  • installation of central heating systems, including underfloor heating.


How long it usually takes: 

  • 1st fix of electrical stage – from 1 to 2 weeks,
  • 1st fix of plumbing stage – from 3 to 4 weeks,
  • 2nd fix of electrical stage – from 2 to 3 weeks,
  • 2nd fix of plumbing stage – from 2 to 3 weeks. 

#7 Carpentry and Bespoke Joinery 

Sometimes this stage is split into 2 separate parts. The first includes carpentry, which includes the installation of door sets, architraves, and skirting boards, as well as preparation of substrates to receive new wood flooring.


The second part includes bespoke joinery, which covers the translation of all design sketches into shop drawings to ensure that creation of the bespoke furniture is technically possible. This is the time when you will receive finished samples for approval, after which manufacturing can take place.

In the meantime, the site is being finished and prepared to allow for new joinery installation at certain times. 


For example, at GBG Building Services, we usually reserve initial production slots as soon as a quote is approved by you. We focus solely on the design or production of shop drawings by a certain date. By pre-booking early, we always deliver your furniture on time.


This stage includes:

  • shop drawings and production of samples,
  • manufacturing of furniture,
  • delivery and site installation of joinery on a planned date.


How long it usually takes: 

  • drawings take a few days per item of furniture,
  • manufacturing and finishing can take from a few days to a few weeks per item, depending on the size and if any special finishes, e.g. liquid metal,  are to be used.


#8 Painting & Decorating 

The decoration phase should be preceded by approval of all colours or finishes and wallcoverings to be used in the renovation. This is where you can show off your personality and individual tastes to set the mood for the entire space.


This stage includes: 

  • preparation of all surfaces,
  • applying paints or other finishes,
  • applying decorative plaster or renders,
  • installation of wallcoverings.


How long it usually takes: 

From 6 weeks to 2 months

#9 Testing, commissioning and cleaning 

One may say that this phase is extremely easy, but it’s actually very intense. This is the point where we will check everything down to the smallest detail. The team will also adjust the setup and programme equipment, if necessary, and finally clean the property. In fact, this part requires at least an additional few weeks.  


The stage includes: 

  • testing and programming all plumbing, electrical, and AV systems,
  • small improvements, overall snagging and installation of missing items,
  • two cleaning sessions. 


How long it usually takes: 

From 2 to 3 weeks 

What to remember during renovation planning? 


Even if you work with experienced project managers who oversee the whole process, you need to anticipate some delayed deliveries or problems with manufacturing. That’s why you should include an additional week or two in the schedule in order to finish the project in a controlled way rather than in a hurry. This also gives time for everyone to take care of the final quality.  


A construction process doesn’t have to be stressful. It mostly depends on the renovation planning and team collaboration. All you need to do is to follow the logical and natural order of the works without rushing, which will eventually be to your benefit. 


If you need any suggestions on how to plan a renovation, feel free to contact GBG Building Services.

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