One of the top questions that we’ve seen people both google and ask us within the first initial enquiry is ‘how long will it take roughly?’ and while we understand the importance of this questions, there are just far too many variables to consider before we could even think about putting a number to that question! 

There is no one single mould that a home renovation project can fit which makes it impossible to predict the length of time without significantly more information. Even then, the estimate you receive is just that, an estimate. With such a varied and unpredictable industry, there are things that can cause delays within a project, so it’s always best to try to be flexible for your builder or architect.

We are fully aware of the importance of knowing the answer to this question, in most cases, you will have made the decision to temporarily move out of the property whilst work is being carried out which means uprooting the members of your household, finding suitable alternative accommodation as well as finding a place for your belongings and furniture where they’ll be out of the way of both the builders and of any damage as a result of the works. So, an accurate prediction of how long it will be before you, your family and your stuff can move back home would be incredibly beneficial.

So, how long will a home renovation take to complete?

As we mentioned, with a custom build, there is no quick and easy, one size fits all answer to this question. But it’s not the end of the world! Every custom home build is a one-of-a-kind project with it’s own challenges and variables. That means it will have its own schedule. This means that your contractor will take a look at your home and your desired project scope and give you a reliable idea of how long your planned renovation should take. They should have a good idea of which factors they need to consider and will be able to build in so margin to allow time to cope with the inevitable surprises that come with any large-scale project. 

Let’s take a look at some of the phases of a renovation project that will take the most time, the length of time will vary from project to project so in the interest of not spreading misinformation, we’ll only be describing the process. 

Design Phase 

Whether you’ve chosen to speak directly to an architect or a contractor that offers a Design & Build package, home additions of any structural changes require the input of an architect or structural engineer to make sure that the plans are structurally safe and sound. The amount of time between your initial design meeting and receiving final plans depends on the individual firm you end up using as well as taking into consideration your project scope as well as experience and workload of your architect/structural engineer/contractor. 

Tender Phase 

To tender for a project is sort of like bidding for a project. Your project manager would approach certain contractors asking if they would like to tender for a project, the contractor would put together a proposal for you and your architect or project manager to look over, and ultimately the decision is up to you who you’d like to choose. The larger the project, the more complex the tender process can be, this is mainly to ensure that you are getting the best possible value from all the subcontractors who will work on your home renovation. Multiple tenders will be solicited and thoroughly vetted for all major items so that an accurate and comprehensive budget can be created. Of course, if you source a builder or contractor from the beginning, you will save a significant amount of time.

Planning Permission 

Once your plans have been complete and signed off, you’ll now need to gain permission from the relevant authorities before any work can begin. Some architects or contractors will handle this for you.

Construction Phase

The most exciting part! I’m sure up until this point it doesn’t seem like much has happened from your perspective (it has though, we promise), so the day that your home begins to become an active site can feel like such a milestone! This is the longest and possible most arduous phase of the project, especially if it’s a big project. The beginning is exciting, the middle is worrying, and the end is a whole firework of emotions that you’ll hardly be able to contain!

These are just a small handful of the exciting tasks you’ll be part of when you begin thinking about undertaking a home project. It’s a stressful, difficult thing to do but believe us when the benefits far outweigh the negatives so long as you’re prepared. We have loads more blogs to help you with your research and we definitely recommend going further afield and soaking up as much information as you can.

If you would like to find out how O&U can help you with your home renovation project, pop us an email to and one of our expert team will be in touch to discuss your plans.

Olive and Umber Office

Where We Operate: Olive and Umber are building contractors based in Peterborough providing design and build service for home renovation, house extensions, loft conversions, plumbing services and new builds across the UK including LondonOakhamHuntingdonNorthamptonCorbyKetteringCambridgeWisbechEly and more.