Despite what you might see in house-flipping shows, renovations are a long, painful process. We’d like to tell you it’s a piece of cake, but honestly, a lot of time, effort, and money is required, not to mention how inconvenient it is when you’re renovating areas of the house you regularly use, like the kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom.
When looking ahead at this daunting task, it might seem easier to take it one step at a time, breaking it up room by room; others of you might find it easier to face if you’re renovating it all at once, one and done.
Each of these options has their pros and cons. On the one hand, it’s painful and your life is a mess for a few months or so, but when you’re done, you’re done! On the other hand, the process can go on forever as you take it room by room, but at least your house is still liveable.
Ask an Expert
So, which option is really better? We took our question to a professional, and according to Jean Brownhill—founder and CEO of Sweeten, a platform that matches renovators with general contractors—the better route to go is renovating it all at once.
“While it can be tempting to apply à la carte prices to individual spaces, a renovation is an integrated process that involves design, demo, framing, installation, electrical, and plumbing,” she says. “A bigger scope, tackled at once, allows you to plan more broadly. You can get more done, in the right sequence, and [it’s] more cost-effective.”
Two more reasons to renovate all at once are that getting on a contractor’s schedule is much easier and you’d only have to move out of your house or be living off of takeout food once.
So, yes, going big and doing it all at once is best, but Jean understands that for some people, it’s just not an option. Maybe you don’t have the time or perhaps money is tight and you can only afford one section of the house right now. Either way, an entire home renovation just isn’t possible for you.
Keep Calm and Renovate
Well, don’t panic. You can still take the longer road. Jean says that a positive to renovating one room at a time is that it gives you the opportunity to live with the space and figure out what works and what doesn’t.
In addition, “finding and ordering materials for a single space requires less time if you don’t have a lot of it,” she says. “You’re less likely to have to move out if you have a second bathroom or can make other arrangements for meals.”
One thing that Jean highly recommends if you decide to renovate bit by bit is that you do the rooms you use the most first. “If you usually shower at the gym and love to prepare great meals every day, skip the bathroom remodel and concentrate on the kitchen,” she says.
Most of all, what Jean emphasized is choosing the right contractor for you, no matter which direction you go.
“Don’t assume you’ve got the right general contractor for the job based on a friend’s comment or positive reviews alone,” she says. “Your neighbor might rave about the general contractor who built her deck, but he might not be the best option for your bathroom renovation.”
So, what method will work for you? Now that you know the thoughts of a professional, you can make your choice, start saving and get ready to design our home just the way you want it.