Major Home Renovations: What To Expect

Considering a big home renovation project?

There is a lot that goes into even the smallest project, so before you get started with a major renovation, be sure to read through this helpful guide so that you can avoid budget surprises and unfortunate setbacks.

Helpful Guide

Before You Get Started – Set A Budget

Budgeting is probably the least fun part of any renovation project, but skip this important step and you will be setting yourself up for a major disappointment. Turning design dreams into reality requires time, patience, construction, and money. It also typically costs more money than homeowners are expecting to pay.

Sit down before you even begin reaching out to designers and contractors and figure out how much you want to spend on your renovation. It is important to love your renovation, but it is also important to be able to sleep at night, knowing that you have not overspent.

Once you come up with a renovation budget, subtract 20%. This is what is common, however, our goal is to help you come up with a design that matches your budget. This will be your contingency budget. The contingency fund should be set aside for any unexpected construction costs or project hiccups that arise (and they will). Never dip into your contingency budget because you fall in love with an upgraded countertop or fixture.

The next step of budgeting for your renovation project is, to be honest with your design and contracting team. They will be able to tell you how much renovation you can afford and also help you stay on point throughout the project.

Understand The Timeline

Large home renovations take time and if you are doing multiple rooms on multiple floors, there will need to be a process designed around which rooms and areas will be renovated first. This can depend on a variety of factors.

Your contractor should take you through a planning process where you walk through your vision and budget, work through the design process and then refine your plans – all before construction can begin. This removes the margin for error and change-order requests during the project.

There are also other necessary steps that need to be taken before the first hammer swings. Getting the permits pulled from your city of residence can take up to 3-5 weeks. Depending on what kind of project you are taking on, you also may need to have an engineer sign off to ensure that the integrity of your home structure won’t be compromised. There are many different steps to take into account, so it is best to understand what time of timeline you will be dealing with upfront. Otherwise, you may find yourself very anxious throughout the renovation process.

Room By Room Planning Guide

Not quite sure what to expect when it comes to remodeling work? This room-by-room guide will give you a better idea of what to expect before you start remodeling your home.


Kitchen remodels can be a very rewarding and worthwhile investment. Before beginning a kitchen remodel, be sure to:

  • Set a budget for just the kitchen and stick to it.
  • Talk with a designer about what you want both aesthetically and functionally (i.e. do you need more counter prep space or cabinet storage?)
  • Select a trained and qualified contractor, who is
    familiar with kitchen remodels.
  • Make a plan for how you will prepare meals while the remodel is underway.
  • Choose appliances, fixtures, and finishes before work begins to ensure proper measurements.


New Rooms / Home Additions

If you are in need of more space or a better layout, room additions or home restructuring can be a great alternative to leaving your home. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Start thinking about what you want to use the extra space for. Is it an additional living space? An outdoor room? A finished basement? The possibilities are endless.
  • Prices for home additions and restructuring vary greatly depending on what you want to do. Be sure to plan a budget for what you can realistically afford.
  • Structural integrity is an important factor to consider. Work with a qualified design and contractor team that is familiar with adding rooms or changing the layout of a home.

    Adding square footage can add value to your home. Just make sure any new additions make sense for your space and don’t price yourself out of your neighborhood.

  • Determine if you will be able to live in your home during the construction process. If not, be sure to plan for alternate living arrangements.


Bathroom remodels can be a chance to create a personal retreat or perhaps just update your space for resale. Before you start a bathroom remodeling project:

  • Consider who the remodel is for. Is this a master retreat? A family space? Are you doing the project for resale?
  • Plan your budget based on what you want the outcome of the space to be.
  • Work with a designer to plan the space based on how it will be used; in addition to look and feel.
  • Do you have another bathroom? What will you use while the room is under construction?
  • Hire a contractor who is skilled in bathroom renovation. The bathroom is no place to cut corners.


Whole House Remodel

If you love your home’s location but are ready for some major updates, a whole house remodel could be for you.

  • Whole house remodeling can be quite costly. It is kind of just like buying a new home! Be sure that you have budgeted for your remodel and secured any necessary financing.
  • Remodeling your entire home is a big project. Be sure to select a designer and builder who regularly tackle this kind of work. They should walk you through the entire process.
  • Find out if you will be able to stay in the home or if you will need to vacate the premises during construction.
  • Be prepared for the unexpected. A whole house remodel usually means updates to plumbing, HVAC systems and more. Your builder should manage any issues that arise but know that they can occur.
  • Consider reaching out to your neighbors. Big projects like this take time and can create a disruption. Let your neighbors know that you’ll be doing work and thank them for their patience during the process.

Home Renovation Trends

When it comes to taking on home renovations, following trends should ultimately depend on the goal of your renovation project. With the current popularity of home & garden television shows, combined with online sites like there are always plenty of new ideas to think about!

Kitchen remodels continue to be the most popular room that people choose to renovate in their homes. Homeowners are often looking to change out their countertops, add more storage space or surface area, and of course, upgrade those appliances. Remodeling your kitchen can be very worthwhile since it is one area that is used constantly. This type of remodel can also be very expensive, so be sure to do your research before you invest.

Following kitchens, bathroom remodels (both guest and master) follow closely behind. This makes sense because similar to kitchens, bathrooms tend to be the most commonly used spaces. This is another area that you can quickly spend a lot, so it is important to do your homework and plan accordingly, especially if you are planning on selling your home in the near future.

One thing is for sure, the popularity of home remodeling and renovations is not on the decline. With the price of most housing markets continuing to stay stable or rise, remodeling your home is a great option for those who want to add some modern touches or smart, efficient upgrades but don’t want to move.

Looking for more information on home renovations? With two locations in Raleigh and Durham, CQC Home is one of the leading resources in the building and remodeling industry. Their all-encompassing team features top contractors, carpenters, designers, project managers and more so that they are able to guide homeowners skillfully through the renovation process.