Should I tackle my wishlist piece by piece or all at once?

renovation timeline before and after

Renovating your home is exciting but stressful. Inviting contractors into your home with all the dust, noise, and disruption can cause anxiety. So what causes less disruption during a home renovation? The big question is always whether to focus on one room at a time, slowly renovating your home piece-by-piece, or whether to complete all the renovations on your wishlist at once, like pulling off a band-aid quickly.

Here at Skylight, we think it’s a better idea to tackle your full renovation wishlist in one go, even if it means waiting until you can afford it (or have to get financing in place.)

Let us explain.

Meet Mike and Priya, who recently purchased a home in San Francisco and want to make improvements. 

Mike and Priya’s wishlist includes:

  • A kitchen renovation,
  • A guest bathroom renovation, and
  • A master bathroom renovation

Mike and Priya’s wishlist looks something like this:

Kitchen Remodel San Francisco
First Bathroom Remodel San Francisco
Second Bathroom Remodel San Francisco

Looks great, right?

The problem is, they can only afford to renovate the kitchen or the two bathrooms. Not both.

Here’s why we believe they will be better served by doing the whole project at once. Even if they need to wait or get financing to help fund the project.

A Better Price

Ticking off all the items on their wishlist in one go works out to be less expensive for Mike and Priya because contractors can do the job at once rather than in stages. Once contractors start work in the kitchen, they will have the tools and materials on hand to tackle the two bathrooms. 

If Mike and Priya were to complete their kitchen this month and their bathrooms in a year or two, they would end up paying more. In this scenario, contractors have to plan, design, and build two (or three) separate projects, which takes time and costs more. Doing the work all at once allows their money to go further.

Less Time = Less Disruption During a Home Renovation

Renovation timeline sand clock

If Mike and Priya completed their wish list in one go, it would take less time than two or three separate projects. This is because contractors don’t have to start from scratch every single time.

Now imagine Mike and Priya renovated their home in stages. It would mean contractors need to visit their home:

  • Two or three times for estimates.
  • Two or three times to take measurements. 
  • Two or three times to set up their home for successful construction (laying down protection on the stairs, floors, and walls; creating a staging area; creating a materials storage area; putting up dust barriers, etc.)
  • Two or three times with professional cleaning crews at the end of the projects

There’s also more paperwork:

  • Two or three sets of construction drawings. 
  • Two or three contracts.
  • Two or three sets of invoices.

And then there are building permits. Depending on the renovation, contractors might need to apply for three separate building permits to fulfill Mike and Priya’s wishlist.

Additionally, each project requires coordination with various trades people, so doing the projects separately means multiple designers, builders, electricians, plumbers, you name it. That’s a lot of people!

As you can see, all the above takes much more time and causes much more disruption. 

Mike and Priya will need to make some temporary adjustments during their renovation. But imagine they had to do that two or three times. 

Less Disruption During Your Home Renovation Overall 

Mike and Priya will lose access to parts of their home during their renovation, including rooms where contractors store materials and tools. They can also expect noise, contractors coming in and out of their home, and just general disruption. 

From our years of experience, we find that homeowners would rather experience this disruption once instead of multiple times. 

Pro-tip: Exterior work is an exception. If you have a new roof or siding on your wishlist, you might do these at a later stage. Specific contractors undertake this work and, because it all happens outside, there will be far less disruption.

Final Word

Your renovation wishlist might be different, but the principle is the same. If you have more than one room or renovation job you want to tackle, we recommend doing it all in one go. This way, there will be far less disruption during your renovation.

Considering a kitchen and/or bathroom renovation specialist in the San Francisco Bay Area? Here at Skylight, we always keep disruption to a minimum.  Our mission: To deliver the perfect home renovation experience. Click here for a quote.