The Importance of Time

Time. In the excitement of a project, it’s a component that often doesn’t receive the attention it deserves. Especially in the development of a project. There are design options to review, materials to select, and lots of other decisions to be made. It’s easy to lose track of time.

When we visit with a potential client, they are often curious about how long the project will take. This is certainly a valid question, but it’s one that is often misunderstood. There is more to a project than construction. That’s the part that gets missed. It can take as long to figure out the project and get a permit as it takes to build the project.

Projects typically involve several phases:

  • documenting the existing space to enable design development
  • preliminary/ big picture design development and lay out of the space
  • design refinements, material selections, and development of the details
  • final design and drawings to illustrate the decisions made
  • estimating and exact pricing of all materials and work to be performed
  • permit submittal and procurement
  • ordering of materials and mobilizing for construction
  • construction of the project

Notice how many of those items don’t involve construction? Those things take time. But… this is time well spent. A thoughtfully developed project that is carefully planned will make the production process much more efficient with far fewer surprises.


Let’s take a look at a timeline for a typical project. We are using a kitchen remodel for this example:

These time-frames will vary based on many factors, but they are a pretty good indicator of the time involved in most kitchen remodeling projects.

So, what does this mean in the real world? Let’s use an example:

  • you are entertaining a big crowd for Thanksgiving
  • you have been considering remodeling your kitchen for a few years
  • it would be fantastic to be in a brand-new kitchen for this event.

That’s our scenario- a completely remodeled kitchen by Thanksgiving. When should you get started on this journey? Let’s work backward:

  • ENTERTAIN: a big crowd on Thanksgiving Day
  • COMPLETE: November 1, this gives you a few weeks to move everything into the new space, acclimate to the improved layout, and be comfortable with new appliances
  • START: August 1, let’s just assume the project will take 3 months to produce
  • SIGN CONTRACT: June 15, cabinetry usually takes 5-8 weeks to receive once an order has been placed, we can’t order cabinets until a contract has been signed. Cabinets don’t need to arrive on the first day of work, but order times can change quickly, and we don’t want surprises or delays
  • PHASE II (CD Process): May 1, assuming it takes 6 weeks +/- to refine the project design, select every material, get input from trade experts and meet with you 3-5 times to ensure the project is going to be exactly what you want
  • PHASE I (CaseStudy®): April 1, let’s give ourselves 4 weeks to document the existing space, develop 3 unique design concepts, prepare budgeting and time frames, and review it all with you

There you go. If you want to be entertaining in your new kitchen this Thanksgiving, you should be entering into a process by April 1st. Can these times vary? Of course, they can, in both directions (faster or slower). Just be realistic about your time and ability to focus on the project. Life gets in the way- kids in school, a big project at work, travel, etc. and this can make it hard to keep to a schedule. Again, this is time well spent. Explore options, examine different materials, be confident in your decisions. Take the time to fully explore and develop the project. You’ll be glad you did.

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