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GHBA Remodelers Council Want a remodeled home for holidays? Start now

February 3, 2019 GMT

Now that you’ve put the Christmas decorations away, could your home use some remodeling upgrades before the next holiday season?

Maybe the kitchen cramps your entertainment, and the appliances are showing their age. Or, you are at least slightly embarrassed about the state of the guest bathrooms. Perhaps you dream of how nice it would be to have a separate mother-in-law suite above the garage.

Regardless, if you want some major changes before the extended family arrives again at Thanksgiving, the time to begin the remodeling process is now. High-quality, custom remodeling involves a thorough planning process prior to onsite execution. You’ve got many decisions to make, and your chosen contractor needs time to prepare. Remodeling problems often arise due to a lack of thoughtful planning or rushed performance. Heed the advice you likely give your children — “Don’t wait until the last minute.” Save yourself the stress and enjoy a smoother home remodeling experience by starting early.


As a first step in the remodeling process, you must clearly define the objectives for your project. Talk to your family about desired improvements and decide what’s most important. Maybe it’s just a more modern look or better-quality materials. Or, maybe you need more storage, a completely reconfigured space, or more living space added to the home.

Prior to contacting a contractor or designer, your family should reach a consensus on “Why are we doing this?” Once you’ve done that, examine your personal finances, the length of time you plan to remain in the home, and the value of homes in your neighborhood to establish a reasonable budget. Just remember you often get what you pay for, and that’s particularly true in remodeling.

Benjamin Franklin famously said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Among his many talents, Ben would have made a good remodeling contractor. You should approve various drawings prior to construction, including floor plans, conceptual renderings, cabinet elevations, tile drawings, etc. These detailed drawings take time to produce and revise, as necessary. However, it’s time well spent because they prevent frustrating (and potentially costly) mistakes and delays.

Furthermore, before the onsite work begins, you should pick and purchase all of your materials, appliances, and fixtures.

Securing those items in advance avoids unwanted surprises and further delays. Give yourself plenty of time to shop around and make the perfect choices that match your desired style and budget.


The planning time required for a major kitchen or bathroom remodel easily can be at least four to six months. Your other work and family priorities, as well as the contractor’s current project commitments, can extend that timeline.

Depending on the project scope, the onsite work may last one to four months or perhaps even longer. So, what seemed like plenty of time at the beginning of your remodeling evaluation can go by quickly. And, every year many other homeowners share the same desire to “finish before Christmas.”

Just like shopping for presents, avoid the rush and stress of potentially unfinished work in your home during the holidays by starting early.

Plus, finally starting a long-awaited kitchen or bath remodeling project would make an outstanding Valentine’s Day gift.

This article was provided by a member of the Remodelers Council of the Greater Houston Builders Association. The Remodelers Council is dedicated to promoting professionalism and public awareness of the remodeling profession through education, certification and service to the Houston community. For more information on this article, please contact Lorraine Hart at lorraine@idealconsulting.net. To join the council or to find a professional remodeler in your area, please visit www.ghba.org.