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How Long Does It Take to Renovate a House?

Written by Banks Editorial Team

Updated January 23, 2024​

4 min. read​

how long does it take to renovate a house

If you recently purchased a home or lived in your house for years and now think it’s time to renovate to give it a new look, one common question you’ll probably ask yourself is, “how long does it take to renovate a house?” The time it takes to renovate a house may vary depending on the type of project and various factors.

We’ll give you the average timelines for some of the common home renovation projects and the factors that impact the renovation timeline.

Types of Home Renovations

There are three popular types of home renovation projects. Here’s the approximate renovation timeline for each. 

Cosmetic and Simple Renovations

Cosmetic renovations generally boost the appearance of a property without changing its square footage or structure. This can include painting, installing countertops and new kitchen cabinets, purchasing new appliances, or basic floor remodeling. It can also be anything simple that doesn’t require any major changes and typically costs less.

The time it takes for cosmetic renovations is anywhere from a few days to three months. Most of these small projects are usually do-it-yourself projects that take hours to a couple of days, while major ones that require a general contractor might take longer.

Medium Renovations

If you need a repair that’s beyond the cosmetic renovation, it would be considered a medium renovation. Medium renovations like a complete kitchen upgrade, bathroom remodel, new roof, hardwood floors, or expanding a garage take a few weeks to six months to complete.

Several home renovation projects fall into this category, and some larger home projects may be considered medium renovations based on the complexities of the remodel.

Total or Major Renovations

The last type of construction project that takes the longest time, usually six months to over a year to complete, is called major renovations or complete overhauls. Some cosmetic and medium renovations can turn into major ones if they require a lot of work to bring them up to a modern state. These large projects include extra rooms, second-story additions, or other projects requiring structural repairs.

The Home Renovation Process

Home renovation is typically a four-stage process. As a homeowner, you’re probably in one of the stages, and the time it takes for each stage varies. Let’s look at the average time it takes for the four key stages.

Planning and Preparation

The prep phase involves a lot of planning and coming up with ideas to renovate your property. You’ll start by looking for ideas on the internet for inspiration or consulting your family and friends who have renovated their homes. 

Once you have a perfect idea, it’s time to put it on paper. You can draft your idea or hire an architect to bring your vision into reality. An architect will use your idea to design a plan that the contractor will use. How long should the planning and preparation stage take? It could take anywhere from a few weeks to six months or more, depending on the number of revisions you need.


The pre-construction stage is where you get approval from the relevant authorities. You need a building permit from your local government that certifies that the project meets the standard building codes and local regulations. Not having a building permit can delay your project. 

Apart from waiting for construction approval, homeowners use this stage to find professional contractors and source materials for the project. The time it takes to complete this stage boils down to your project’s complexity.

Actual Construction

The construction phase is where the actual work begins. This stage will probably take the longest to complete because it’s where the bulk of the work will take place. The actual time frame depends on the scope of the home renovation. 

Smaller home remodels can take four to six months to complete, while whole house remodels or major additions can take anywhere between six to 12 months or more.

Post Renovation

Once the renovation project is complete, the remodeling process doesn’t end there. The post-renovation stage takes into consideration the final sign-off by the relevant authorities. You also need to obtain a certificate of occupancy upon the completion of the construction. 

Aside from that, you may also need a defects liability period with your contractor. This is a fixed period of time, beginning with the completion of the project, that states the contractual right of the contractor to return to the site in case of any defects.

Typical Home Renovation Timeline

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to remodeling project lengths. Every home has its own unique set of challenges and needs, meaning each will have its own time frame. However, an experienced contractor has the ability to look at your house and your desired project and give an estimated renovation timeline.

Generally, smaller whole home renovations take anywhere between six to 12 months to finish, while larger whole home remodels could take nine to 15 months or longer, depending on the project complexity.

Factors that Can Affect This Timeline

Several factors go into the time it takes to renovate a house. Some of these factors include:

Costs and Budget

The number one obvious aspect that can impact the timeline of your renovation is the cost and budget. Unless you’ve saved up enough funds for your renovation project, it may not come to reality sooner.

Size and Type of Renovation

How long it takes to renovate your house depends on the size and type of renovation. Are you remodeling the entire house or just a portion? Are there structural changes? The timeline may be shorter or longer, depending on your project needs.

So, the actual size of your home and the type of renovation can have the greatest impact on the amount of time it takes to complete your project. Generally, the larger the space, the longer the renovation timeline.


Mother nature is another factor that can shorten or extend the time it takes to finish your renovation project. Some states have extreme weather conditions that may send contractors back to safety and resume later. While most contractors always try to complete the project within the set timeline, poor weather conditions can stall a project.

Permits and HOA Delays

Sometimes, delays in permits and the Homeowners Association can lengthen the completion time of a home renovation project. Hold-ups happen for one reason or another, for instance, if the permitting office is handling a huge backlog or issues, such as incorrect documents or information.

Design Changes

It’s common to need a change in the design along the way. A good contractor should be flexible enough to put your needs first. However, it’s important to note that changes in design can delay the completion of your renovation project, and it can affect your budget too.

Structural Problems

Let’s face it. There are unforeseen issues with the current structures that cannot be overlooked, as they can be costly in the long run. In addition, handling structural problems can affect the project completion timeline.

Unexpected surprises during the renovation process are common and shouldn’t be something to worry about. A building expert can handle them with minimal added time and cost.

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