Ask a Contractor: Should We Renovate All at Once, or in Steps?

QPhotouestion: We want to do several upgrades to our house, including the kitchen, the master bathroom and a new deck. Should we have them all done at the same time, or would it be easier on my family to have them done one at a time?

Answer: From Alon Toker, president of Mega Builders in Chatsworth, California:

Certainly a more comprehensive project would take a toll on a family, whether the family remains in place or finds temporary housing elsewhere. After all, moving out is also stressful.

Still, I think you should opt to get it all done in a single swoop, or you could lose momentum. In my experience, no one is less likely to undertake a remodeling project than someone who has just completed one.

It makes financial sense as well. Generally speaking, it is more cost effective to bundle all your project’s objectives into a single undertaking.

Here’s why: A construction project progresses trade by trade, from the “rough” stages to the “finish” work. For example, tile work should go in before the last coat of paint but after the cabinets are in. The electrician will wire the open walls during the rough stage and return toward the project’s completion to install light fixtures and trim.

Breaking up a home-remodeling project by room or by any other arbitrary criteria undermines this natural and efficient progression. As a result, crews will work on rough items and then do finish work only to return to address additional rough items in a different location of the house. Total project time and cost will increase as a result.

Given travel time, daily setup and breakdown times (bringing materials from the truck, collecting tools, daily cleanup of the job site), the one-at-a-time process creates waste. This also means higher time-related costs, such as for supervision, overhead and temporary facilities.

I suggest you get all the pain out of the way and enjoy your new and improved home.

Do you have a question for a contractor? Please email your question to Alon Toker at

1 Comment on Ask a Contractor: Should We Renovate All at Once, or in Steps?

  1. Superior Remodeling

    Every project is different in its own way. Any time you are remodeling you need to do it in steps. Any contractor who would leave you confined to one room in your home unless you insisted probably has not done any type of large scale remodeling before. I am the owner of a well known remodeling company in Raleigh NC (Superior Remodeling)We pride ourselves in makeing our customers happy. I would say 70% of our work is repeat customers and referals. In this economy buying a new house with everything you want in it is not always an option. Some people have no choice but to make what they have now better and make their space work for them. Just keep in mind that you still need to live in your home. I recommend doing a kitchen or master bathroom all by itself. Other bathrooms 2 at a time or alongside a basement or attic remodel. NEVER!! do you master bath kitchen at the same time as main living areas of your home. It will lead to a disaster and you will be miserable the entire time. Make sure you do your research before you pick a contractor, Pick someone who has good reviews on google or other similar sites or someone who you know has used in the past. The days of looking in the phonebook for a contractor are long passed.
    Anyone is Raleigh NC who is looking for a good remodeling contractor feel free to look us up on google under (Superior Remodeling LLC) or visit our site