January 5, 2023

How long will my project take from start to finish?

New Year, New Design

Many people will want to begin a new design project as the new year approaches. What better way to have a fresh start in a brand-new year than with the redesign of your dreams? But how long will it take to achieve your dream redesign?


You’ve probably already thought about your needs for the space, your preferred styles, and probably your budget. But have you considered the project timeline realistically?

Many clients are surprised by how long a full-service redesign can take: 30-40 weeks, and that’s for a redesign without construction. If your goal for 2023 is a full-service design that you can move into by September 1st , unfortunately, that’s not likely to happen. Current market lead-times - the time it takes from ordering an item to receiving it - prevent a quicker turnaround in your redesign. But if you keep this breakdown of the average project timeline in mind, you can plan now by working backward through the process to determine what to expect and when.

Step One: The kickoff meeting


After you call to set up an appointment,  you’ll meet with our designers, usually within two weeks. In addition to sharing ideas about the project, you’ll be able to see if Lisa Scheff Designs is a good fit for your needs and our designers can then start your Scope of Work.


Step Two: The Scope of Work


After the kickoff meeting, it will take about three to four weeks to get a complete Scope of Work (SoW) with drawings and a budget. The entire SoW includes projected milestones and reports, deliverables, and products to be provided by Lisa Scheff Designs. It also includes an estimated timeline from acceptance of the SoW to completion.
Once you receive and approve the SoW, you’ll have another design meeting as soon as possible, usually about six weeks from the moment we receive the design fee until you receive your designs.

Step Three: The Design Proposal

After this second design meeting, you can expect to spend about two weeks working back and forth with the designers about any revisions before you receive the official design proposal for your approval. Once the proposal is approved and a deposit has been paid, we can get to work on ordering everything for your soon-to-be redesigned space.

A sample design proposal that depicts what your redesign will look like upon completion.

Step Four: Ordering

Ordering everything for your new space usually takes about a week, but the lead times (when your item arrives at Lisa Scheff Designs) vary depending on the item ordered. The longest lead-time items are for cabinets and upholstery. For example, as of December 2022, our upholstery takes 24-30 weeks to arrive, and cabinets currently take about 10-16 weeks before arrival. Lead times, then, account for that “30-40 weeks from kickoff to installation” mentioned above.

Since we don’t demo anything until we have the product in hand, we won’t book a start date until we know when we’ll have items like the cabinetry. This prevents your having to live in and maneuver around a construction zone for any longer than you need to.

Itemizing the products required for the design plan of the living room.

Is there any way to speed up this process?

We can provide quicker turnaround times if we use ready-made items rather than custom items, but even if we're using ready-made and quick-ship items exclusively, the timeline remains at about 25 weeks from start to finish. That doesn’t save you a lot of time, and stock items are often of poorer quality and greatly limit your design choices.

The finished living room from the plans above and pictured below features built-ins for the media wall and other items that make it a one-of-a-kind space that invites relaxation and conversation. It was well worth the extra wait time for the client to have exactly the room they wanted.

The complete living room redesign: cozy, inviting, and airy. That painting over the console is really a television set disguised as art that echoes the lake outside.

All good things take time

But if you start planning now, you could have your dream redesign complete by this time next year.

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