Coming in on time and under budget when remodeling a home is an overwhelming task for the majority. In fact, there is an unwritten rule when it comes to home remodeling. The rule goes
that remodeling a house will always cost more and take longer than expected. Remember, this is what the majority believes and does not define everyone.


1. Planning
2. Demolition
3. Landscaping
4. Electrical and Plumbing
5. Framing and Drywall
6. Paint
7. Cabinets and Fixtures
8. Doors
9. Flooring
10.Trim and Finish Work
11.Clean Up

Doing these steps in order one by one is vitally important when home remodeling and coming in on time and under budget.

Planning a Home Remodel

Planning a Home Remodel

House photo created by Waewkidja –

Making a plan and sticking to is practically the key to success in the home remodeling industry. No matter if you are a homeowner who wants to do some upgrades or a fix and flip investor looking to make a profit on their rehab. Do not forget the majority fails to follow instructions and are fly by night. Doing the opposite of the majority will ensure that the home remodel comes in on time and under budget.

Begin with determining if you want to do some or all of the work your self, hire a general contractor or hire sub-contractors. If you decide to hire out for the work make sure to get as close as possible rough estimates and never give the full amount of money up front. Work to negotiate to pay general and subcontractors on a weekly basis at the very least a partial payment up front and the rest later.

Make a list of every last detail that needs to get done base it off our numbers starting with demolition, groundskeeping, electrical/plumbing, framing/drywall, paint, cabinets/fixtures, doors, flooring, trim/finish work, and cleaning.. Go into much detail as possible this way nothing will be left out during the remodel.

Read more: Old House Restoration – How Can It Be Achieved?


house demolition

Photo by Lujia Zhang on unsplash

Now its time for the fun part! Muahahaha! Demolition duty or destroy everything in the household that can not be saved. Remove all of that old outdated crap out of the house and make room for the updated goods. The first step is to rent an affordable dumpster that will get the job done. On average a rental dumpster is going to cost between $300-$500 for rental and pickup.

One may ask, “Do I Need a Permit To Rent a Dumpster?” and the answer is it depends. As long as the home remodeler is placing the dumpster out of the street and either in the driveway or on the lawn, they will not need to acquire a dumpster permit. Acquiring a dumpster permit is a simple task that may take some time depending on the market and area. The first step is to find out if your location requires a permit, next contact the public works department and homeowner
association, then simply schedule a time to pick up the dumpster. 

Moving on it is now time to decide whether or not you are going to hire out for the demolition. A good tip for hiring workers is looking for young people that want to make some money and avoid big companies. Hiring young people will bring the budget down considerably however it will take more time and management on your part. When doing a demo start with removing the cabinets/vanities, then scrape up the floors, and take out any drywall. Doing the demo this way will keep debris off the floors and have an efficient removal of cabinets. The timeline for demolitions ranges anywhere from a couple days to a week. Demolition can only begin once all of the asbestos has been safely removed from the premises.

Read more: Home remodel financing options: Best way to finance a home remodel




Having a welcoming front yard is a perfect way to relax and enjoy the outdoors as well as drastically improve curb appeal. Achieving that perfectly groomed and neat look does not come cheap or easy. Although, there are ways to improve to reduce maintenance and even save money with some intelligent budget friendly landscaping.

Focus on the basics and consider doing the work yourself or paying a team of young adults for more affordable labor. Typically, cleaning up the yard, trimming down bushes/trees, and keeping the grass neat will not take longer than a week. Landscapers will charge between $45 to $75 an hour multiply that number by about 40 hours in a week it averages out to $3,000 total. Drastically cut costs when hiring young adults for $12 an hour which averages out to about $480 a week. Of course, there are other variables to consider such as the square footage of the yard but on average these numbers tend to reign true. Landscaping can take up to 4 weeks at the very most. The best time of year to begin landscaping is spring, which leaves ample time for plants to grow during summer and fall.

Electrical and Plumbing

electrical work

Light photo created by freepik –

Doing electrical and plumbing work requires schematics of the kitchen, bathrooms and any other room that requires plumbing or electrical work. Have a clear picture of the end goal and demonstrate that in your schematics. The rough-in work must always be completed beforehand. The rough-in work is any and all labor that requires access inside the walls or beneath the floors.
Doing this before drywalling, painting, and flooring is more efficient and leaves no damage. Request permits from the county at the beginning of the remodel for electrical, plumbing, framing, drywall, and windows. Often these permits can take some time to come in. Especially, if the real estate market is hot and permits are in demand. Electricians range about two hours per wiring connection and plumbers can fully replumb the average house within a few days.

Framing and Drywall

Once the electrical and plumbing are complete it is time to take on a new monster, framing, and drywall! The most logical decision is to hire sub-contractors that are licensed, bonded, and insured to do framing and drywall work. Behind this reasoning is that framing and drywall are very important to the structure of the house and is a bit of an art form, especially drywalling. At a maximum drywalling should not take longer than 4 weeks for a large project. Framing, on the other hand, will take a maximum of 2 months based on framing an entire house. Make sure to visit the property daily if possible to ensure all the work is being completed in a timely manner.



House photo created by –

Planning to hire a painter? Always ask for photos of past work and the contact information for past clients. In fact, before hiring any sub-contractor its good to ask for past work and the contact information of past clients. This is a wonderful rule of thumb to ensure the work is quality and the sub-contractors are trustworthy. Painting must be done after drywalling because more than likely the painters put down plastic and taped off sections. Simply leave the tape/plastic in place and tape off any other unprotected sections, next add paint! Painting takes on average 5-6 hours for a 500 sqft room and takes longer the larger the house.

Cabinets and Fixtures

Install the cabinets/fixtures yourself or hire a licensed carpenter to do it for you. The positives are saving money on one side and the downside is it is very easy to mess this up if you are inexperienced. Work to install the cabinets and fixtures before the countertop so there will be nothing in the way during installation. Often cabinets can be painted or refinished to save a couple bucks on the budget.  Cabinets and fixtures will take about two to three days. Countertops take a bit longer, around two weeks total for templating and install.

Doors and Windows

A good practice is to install all of the floorings before hanging the doors and windows. This way there will be no working around the thin space between the door and floor. On the other hand, if the carpet is being installed make sure to hang the interior and closet doors prior to installation. Hanging the doors prior to installation ensures there will a good space between the cushion of the carpet and the bottom of the door. A good handyman can do this work at an affordable price.
Always keep tabs and stay up to date on the progress of work. The timeline for doors and windows always varies depending on the amount of doors/windows


Putting in the flooring yourself or hiring a good handyman is the most affordable and logical option. Big companies will overcharge for simple and easy work. The only exception is custom work. Hire a seasoned handyman or a professional flooring company to install the tile, laminate, carpet, or wood floors properly for custom work. Always cover the vents before cutting any floor in the house to remove the chance of debris falling inside. The installation will run approximately 7-10 days at the max.

Trim and Finish Work

The baseboards and door frames will be nailed up at this point. These are the finishing touches on any home remodeling. Good trim and finish work can drastically increase the visual appeal of a home. A good licensed, bonded, and the insured carpenter can do this work for you. Trim and finish work runs on average a week or less depending on the size of the house.

Read more: Bathroom baseboard

Clean Up

Sweep and use a shop vacuum to leave the home spotless and brand new. Never hire people to “clean the vents.” This is a false practice that is used to make extra money off the top of a job. Think about it for a moment these people are going to clean the vents that air is pushed out of. This means no debris is being sucked in and in fact is being blown out. Save money and clean up the home yourself or hire some neighborhood kids for $10 an hour. The best is always saved for last and doing cleaning last is the best option for having a clean house.

In The End

When running a successful remodel and coming in on time and under budget it is important to follow the guidelines above. Beginning with planning and eventually leading to clean-up while placing checks and balances. Practicing good management by asking for past client contact information, examples of past work, and never paying full price up front is vitally important to come in on time and under budget. Bookmark this article for your next home remodel and go through the process one by one.

Read more: Simple Renovation Ideas That Make A Big Difference



Home Remodeling: Coming In On Time and Under Budget was last modified: August 2nd, 2022 by David Freudenberg
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