It has come to my attention while working with BVM Contracting that many people are unfamiliar with the process involved with renovating a house from top to bottom. I am going to try and highlight the general process that most renovators follow in order to construct a house. This process was explained to myself by BVM contracting’s own Vince Meagher.
The process starts by knowing if you want to keep the foundation of your house intact, which is usually the case as demolishing the whole house is not in the cards for the general public. With this in mind most clients will ask for a top-up or extension of their existing home. Clients with space optimization in mind usually prefer the top-up as it provides exactly that. The extension is usually for clients that need an extra room or two for living space. Vince Meagher explained that most clients he works with prefer the top-up.
The process for the top up follows a very systematic process at BVM Contracting and for every other company that is efficient with these types of projects:
- The demolition of the existing interior is usually warranted as this gives the architect and HVAC designers more freedom to help the client make use of space. The demolition includes removing the existing roof as well as gutting the interiorof the house. This part usually takes 2-3 weeks depending on the size of the house and amount of workers working on the house. Sometimes walls are taken down as well but one needs to remain intact in order to remain a revision to the existing house.
- After the home is gutted and the roof is off, this is the time where the masonry workers have the opportunity to come in and add some masonry blocks to the top of the first story wall in order to increase the ceiling height. The masonry workers may also add an extension to the home if by creating a new foundation to the existing one. This part can take anywhere from 1 day to a full week, depending upon the scope of the work.
- After the masonry workers are done, this is the time where framers come in andprovide the skeleton of the house. For many, this is the time where there is noticeable change in the houses overall look. Framing can take a while, but fortunately at BVM Contracting the framers are some of the fasted and most efficient and take a week at the most to get the job done on a normal-sized house.
- When the framing is done the roofers come in to install shingles on the roof as well as install any skylights. This takes 1-2 days depending on the size of the roof and weather conditions.
- Usually at around the same time as the roofing occurs this is the opportunity for theHVAC designer to come in and create a blueprint for the Heating, Ventilation and Cooling in the house. This is also the opportunity for the plumbers to come in, as well as the electricians. Both the plumbers and electricians do what is called “rough-in”, which is work that needs to be done before the drywall is installed. Once the HVAC blueprint is created the HVAC guys can come in and complete the Heating and Cooling of the house. In this time windows and doors are usually installed as well. Optimally this process takes anywhere from 3-4 weeks, but could be longer if any problems are realized.
- Once this part of the build is completed, this is the time where the finish line is seen by most clients. The insulation is installed in the house, the drywall is put up, and the mudders and tapers make sure the drywall looks seamless. The plumbers and electricians come back at this time as well to finish off any work that was not finished during the rough-in period. This is also the time where the exterior of the house is completed and this could be anything from siding to stone finishes. This part usually takes another 3-4 weeks to complete but can also overlap the next step.
- The next step is the interior finishes; painters come in and paint the whole house, tile guys install the tile in bathrooms and other places where the clients want that type of finish. This is also the time where the flooring is completed and the perimeter finishes (trim, crown moulding, door jams) are installed. This part of the renovation optimally takes 2-3 weeks to complete. Once all the finishes are completed here comes the fun part for the clients.
- This is now the time that the kitchen is installed, the bathrooms are completely finished, and all the little details that the client has been dreaming of for the past couple of months is made into a reality. This process is directly related to how extravagant the client wants to be with the little things incorporated with the house and BVM will be glad to make your dream a reality!
- Once all of the finishes are completed, the client can now move back in ! This is the most exciting part for everyone as months of anticipation and hard work have now been realized.
Of course, this process is the best case scenario as most times there are unforeseen problems with any renovation as well as gaps where small work needs to be done before the sub-contractors can complete their work. It is always smart to allocate extra time and even extra contingency to the project because more times than not you will need both.
It is hard for most people to figure out the steps of a renovation as there are very few resources out there that explain it. But it is your job to be as informed as possible before diving in to such an investment and BVM Contracting is here to guide you along and make the process less stressful.
If you have any questions about the topic or in general leave a comment and the BVM Contracting team will be here to help!
About the Author
Business Development, BVM Contracting
A graduate of chemical engineering from Queen's University, Ryan has spent many summers working with BVM Contracting in various roles and projects. This experience has provided him with a unique view on the residential construction industry which he loves sharing with you!