timelines for your project


For some people, once they seriously start to plan their project, they quickly realize that they have not left themselves enough time for all that is required before construction can begin.

Unfortunately this can have serious impact on your project - rushed decisions, a compromised design, added stress, second-guessing, difficulty finding the right builder, a delayed construction start, changes made during construction, and even inflated construction costs.

In my view, one of the best investments you can make for your project is to give yourself enough time to plan it properly, so you can end up with the best possible project.

if you have enough time

  1. The entire ‘process’ will ‘run’ more smoothly, and be a lot more enjoyable.
  2. You will be able look at different design solutions to determine what works best.
  3. You can make sure you are comfortable with your decisions before moving on.
  4. If need be, you can price out different options before settling on a design.
  5. The chance of worrisome second-guessing your decisions & choices can be reduced.
  6. You will be able to find not just the right builder, but also the most reasonable price.
  7. You can minimize changes & ‘extra’ costs cropping up during construction.

planning process

Building projects have many aspects to sort through – even a small project. The most common include determining all constraints (site, bylaws, budget, etc.), exploring design possibilities, making decisions, researching & choosing materials, completing construction drawings, interviewing builders, getting building permits, & obtaining construction quotes.

All of this will take time – especially when you consider that many of these ‘aspects’ can not begin until others have been completed.

timeline for planning & drawings

Many factors will influence timelines, especially whether or not an owner has previous experience with planning a building project, their familiarity with various materials / finishes / fixtures, as well as the owners’ level of decisiveness.

Other factors include the design complexity & number of options, whether special approvals are required, and the drawing detail necessary for your particular situation.

For most people that I help out, this process can often take anywhere from several weeks to several months or more, dependent on the project size and specific situation.

when can the builder start

One factor that will have a huge impact on when you can start construction will be the builders’ schedule. Most good builders are booked in advance – commonly from one or two months to several months or longer. (If someone can start ‘right away’, find out why.)

construction timelines

Construction timelines are dependent on a number of factors, including the size & complexity of your project, the number of projects the builder has on the go / the number of ‘crews’ they have, as well as the time of the year you are building.

That said, a ‘minor’ interior project could take a few weeks, a small addition possibly 3 to 4 months, while a large addition or new project possibly 5 to 8 months, or longer.

Give yourself enough time – start early. Don’t be rushed into the wrong design solution – you’ll be living with the results for quite some time.