How Long Will This Take? A Look at Major Home-Renovation Projects

Some home-improvement projects take a weekend, while some may go on for weeks. And depending on the nature of the job, you may or may not be able to carry on your life as normal. Here’s a short guide on what timelines to expect for some common home-renovation projects.View of kitchen

Kitchen Remodel

What to expect: It depends on if you are completely replacing your cabinets, countertops, appliances, lighting, and flooring or if you are making partial improvements such as refinishing your cabinets or installing a new countertop.

How long will it take?: According to Houzz, the typical kitchen remodel will take about six to eight weeks not including the design planning. “If the plumbing or electric has to be upgraded, replaced or relocated, which it often does, then the project timeline will be significantly extended,” This Old House’s Tom Silva told The Huffington Post when asked how long a bathroom or kitchen renovation really takes. “In the best case scenario, [it will take] one month if you are lucky. Realistically, two to six months should be planned for.”

Hardwood-Floor Refinishing

What to expect: This project will greatly affect your daily life. Furniture will need to be moved from the rooms being worked on, and there will be a massive amount of dust. You will need to cover and protect your belongings. And, according to, “if you use oil-based sealants, you’ll have to live somewhere else to avoid breathing VOC fumes.” Even if you are using a water-based sealant, you won’t be able to walk on your floors for several days while the work is being done. It might be a good time to take a trip out of town. The good news: Redone hardwood floors will make your home look fabulous, and it will all be worth it!

How long will it take?: Expect this project to take two days to two weeks, depending on the size of the space, the type of wood, and the process you choose. According to The Flooring Girl, “In general, it will usually take 3-5 days to refinish hardwood floors with an oil based polyurethane. The largest benefit to water based polyurethane is that it dries faster.”

New Roof

What to expect: “About three-quarters of homeowners get new roofs not because they want to but because they have to,” according to Getting a new roof is one of the biggest decisions a homeowner can make. Whether you replace, repair, or recover your roof, you’ll need to decide what kind of work your home needs. Be warned: There will be noise! You may want to plan to be out of the house during working hours to avoid the racket, and perhaps take your pets with you. has some more advice on how to get yourself, and your home, ready for this big job.

How long will it take?: According to Universal Roof & Contracting, “the duration of most standard reroof jobs is about 3-5 days.” This estimate is for a complete tear-off and reroof job. An overlay is estimated to take about one to two days. Of course, weather, as well as the size and the complexity of job, may affect your timeline.

Bathroom Remodel

What to expect: If you are working on your one and only bathroom, expect your life to be quite disrupted. You may have to improvise your bathing routine — sponge bathing in a sink might have to do — and make alternative arrangements for the call of nature. How well do you know your neighbors?

How long will it take?: You should expect to be out a bathroom for two to three weeks. But we may have some bad news. According to About Home,”Because reality rarely cooperates with plans” a full-scale tear-out and rebuild of a small bathroom can take more like nine weeks, cumulatively.

Good luck with any home-renovation jobs you have planned for 2017. For more content regarding home remodeling and improvement and general homeowner tips, visit our blog’s Consumer Advice section.

(Photo: Flickr/John Buie)

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