Summer is the most common time of year for home remodeling, and it’s pretty clear why. The weather is good, the kids are off school, and timing-wise it provides a nice buffer between the renovation and the winter holidays.

Renovation season begins in the spring - which is coming up soon! Contractors are getting busy starting in March, and won’t slow down until September. With COVID-19 still preventing many social activities, the renovation season in 2021 is going to be busier than ever.

So, if you’re one of the many homeowners that hopes to get your renovation started this summer, we’ll let you in on a little secret: you need to start planning now.

“Renovation activity has never been higher,” says Lucas, a RenoFi renovation expert. “Contractors, designers, engineers, and architects are busier than they’ve ever been. In the past, I’d tell homeowners to begin planning for their renovations approximately three months before they hoped to start. I’ve increased that timeline to six months depending on the scope and complexity of the renovations. The larger/complex jobs can take nine months to a year in the current market.”

In most cases, we’d recommend starting your search for contractors six months to one year before you’d like your home renovation to begin.

Therefore, if you’re planning a summer remodel, it’s time to go!

Here’s how far in advance of the start of your renovation you should start each step of the planning process:

Planning a Renovation

renofi planning mobile

But why do you need to start preparing so early?

There are a few main reasons:

1. The process is longer than you anticipate

“It takes way longer than you think,” says Megan, a Pennsylvania homeowner.

“We met with [the architect] in October. We didn’t start till December, because she was booked up. They didn’t do the work until July. The time you get the bids, the designs, it takes a while. You go through the permitting process. It takes longer than anyone actually anticipates - probably twice as long.”

2. Contractor’s time estimates are often wrong

Oftentimes, even if homeowners have an accurate estimate of a timeline, their contractors won’t.

“It was supposed to take 3 months, and it took one year, which was an underestimation by the contractor,” said Natalie, a Maryland homeowner. “There was a construction boom, and it was hard to get workers. ”

3. Contractors are incredibly busy

“After initially contacting a contractor, it would take weeks for them to get back to us,” said Mike, a Pennsylvania homeowner. “And then, giving them time after meeting to get the proposal together.”

4. The pandemic is putting everything on hold

Because homeowners have been spending so much time at home, the renovation industry is booming and contractors are busier than ever.

Not only that, but upticks in COVID cases and other government regulations can put delays on already backed up projects. Contractors are currently booking for months in advance.

Most contractors and homeowners that we work with have never been busier.

So, what are you waiting for? Take a look at How to Choose the Right Contractor to start your search, or try the RenoFi Loan Calculator to see how much you can borrow for your renovation project.

Find a Lender