When Should You Start Looking for a Remodeling Contractor?


When is the best time to start looking for your remodeling contractor?  Sooner than you might think!


If you’re like most of our clients, you’ve been thinking about your remodel for years or, at least, months.  You may even have just purchased your new home and can’t wait to have it just the way you always dreamed. Now that you’ve decided to take the plunge, you’re, of course, eager to get started and even more eager to see the finished product. So, the question is – when does the timeline on this project officially start?  The answer is, “with the first phone call”.


Let’s break things down a bit:


Finding your contractor:  Many people call more than one contractor.  You may be shopping for advice, ideas, price, references, reputation, or the right person.  Your ideal contractor probably has a great combination of all of those in addition to just “feeling” like the right person to entrust your home and family to for the duration of a construction project.  Let’s give this portion of the process at least a couple of weeks to a month.


Design and project development: Once you’ve selected and engaged with your contractor for initial design and project development, there’s some real work to do.  Your contractor will do field measurements, site walks, start working on your initial designs, perform any engineering, and engage with you on revisions, selections, and all the myriad details it really takes to ensure an accurate project when it comes to construction.  Your contractor will also be counting on you to turn around revision requests in a timely manner so that they can stick to the project development schedule they provided you.  At the end of this process, we’ll have all the plans, drawings, and specs ready for you as well as a budget based on these items.  We like to call this “building your project on paper”.  Let’s give this part of the process 2-3 months.


Contract, Permits, Purchasing: Now that your project is detailed on paper and has an approved budget, it’s time to sign on the dotted line.  This will engage us as your contractor through the rest of the project.  At this time, we’ll submit your plans for permitting (if needed) and start working with you to pick out the finish items you’ll need for your project while we’re waiting on permits to be issued. This may include plumbing fixtures, cabinets, windows, doors, and flooring among many other items. In the current post-pandemic world, this portion of the process will likely take about 2-4 months.


Construction: Once permits are issued and finished items are ordered, the “fun” begins.  Hammers, saws, drills, inspections, deliveries, details, details, details… Small interior remodels such as kitchens and baths will take about 1-2 months to complete while larger builds such as whole-home remodels, additions, and ADUs can take 3-4 months.



Choosing the right contractor to embark on this 6-12 month journey with is arguably the most important part of a successful remodel. And it always starts with the first phone call. Keep in mind that the best builders and contractors are busy all the time.  For us, over 30 years, we’ve survived recessions, market adjustments, pandemics, and more.  We project forward 6-12 months to understand the upcoming needs of our future and current remodel clients, we dedicate ourselves wholly to the successful projects of the clients that make the decision to work with us and we are always working to ensure that our processes and trade knowledge reflect the most current standards of residential construction.  Then we try to go a notch above.


Specialty Home Improvement is a completely family-owned Design/Build remodel contractor that has been improving homes and property in San Diego County for almost 30 years. Our bespoke process of developing full-color, realistic designs for each project and working one on one with each client to ensure their visions and ideas are fully implemented into the final build means we can only work with a limited number of clients at a time.  Give us a call soon for a consultation on your new project.