3 Key Steps of Brainstorming

To initiate a complete home renovation project in San Diego, it is essential to begin with setting goals, conducting thorough research, budgeting, and creating a checklist of your preferences. It is beneficial to establish an overall objective for your renovation project that can steer your decision-making process.

Your overarching goal may vary, such as updating the home’s style, enlarging a confined kitchen, converting a room for a different purpose, adding an extra bathroom, or creating a more welcoming and spacious living area. With a clear objective in mind, you can tailor your renovation plans to achieve the desired results.

A helpful approach is to begin by crafting a “wish list” outlining all the areas/items in your home that you want to renovate, ranked by their priority. It’s essential to recognize the distinction between a gut remodel and a full house remodel, where the walls and house systems are retained.

Your wish list will serve as a comprehensive guide for your whole house renovation project, aiding in determining which items are feasible within your budget and which ones require deferral. This checklist should include the rooms you intend to renovate, along with any home systems that necessitate replacement. Finishing materials such as flooring, tile, trim, fixtures and panels.

Start by refining your wish list and creating a practical plan based on your priorities. Evaluate each item on your whole house renovation list from various perspectives.

Firstly, consider whether the renovation item will increase the long-term value of your home. Secondly, determine if the item is a short-term solution that may become unnecessary in a few years. Assess whether the improvement will enhance the overall functionality of the house and whether you need to replace outdated home systems such as electrical or plumbing.

Lastly, keep your primary goal and purpose for the whole house renovation in mind. By asking these types of questions, you can streamline your wish list and establish a realistic project scope.

In case you’re collaborating with a designer, they can assist you in designing the layout and developing a plan for your remodel that aligns with your goals. If you’re not working with a designer, you’ll need to be self-directed and explore various images, styles, and designs online that mirror the layout and appearance you’re striving for.

Online platforms such as Pinterest offer a great starting point, allowing you to create a board of images that epitomize the style you want to achieve for your complete home remodeling project. By researching and curating a collection of designs that appeal to you, you can create a visual reference to help guide your renovation decisions and convey your preferences to contractors and other stakeholders.


Range $100 – $300

Below is the breakdown

Low-end finishing: $100 per square foot

Mid-end finishing: $200 per square foot

High-end cost: $300 and above per square foot

For a rough budget estimate of a full residential remodel in San Diego and Southern California, you can anticipate a cost of $100-300 per square foot. However, this estimate can vary considerably depending on the components included in the remodel. Since every home is unique, determining a realistic budget requires inviting several whole house remodelers to bid on the job, potentially with the help of an architect who can design the plans.

One approach to creating a rough budget is to divide the remodel into its major components. Begin with the most costly elements, such as the kitchen and bathrooms, assuming they’re included in the remodel. Add up the costs of these components to establish the overall budget. Next, include other features such as flooring, windows, interior/exterior paint, doors, landscape/exterior, and any systems like plumbing, electrical, HVAC, roofing, etc. To determine the costs of each item, you can research online or consult experienced contractors, designers, or architects.

the whole house renovation process

Prior to starting the renovation, there are several important factors that must be considered. Depending on the scope of the project, you must decide whether you will live in the home during construction. Some individuals opt to rent an Airbnb or short-term apartment to avoid the disruption of the construction process.

This option allows for faster construction as contractors can work on all areas of the home at the same time. However, others prefer to stay in their homes, even if it means living without the use of certain rooms such as the kitchen or bathrooms.

You must also prepare the rooms being remodeled by emptying them of their contents. For instance, if you are remodeling your kitchen, you will have to remove all the contents from your cabinets and fridge and store them in another location. Additionally, if you have large furniture that must be moved from other rooms, you will have to find space to store it, such as in your garage or shed. If storage space is not available, you can consider renting a portable storage container that can be placed in your driveway to accommodate your belongings during the renovation process.

The Dusty Demolition

The first step in the home remodel process is usually the demolition stage, which can be completed relatively quickly, typically within several days. To avoid the need for a second crew visit, most contractors prefer to complete as much of the demolition work as possible at the outset. The contractor will often bring in a large truck or a roll-off dumpster to dispose of the debris created during demolition.

This stage of the project can be quite dusty, so it's crucial for the contractor to seal off the demolition areas with plastic to prevent dust from spreading to other parts of the house. If any family members are allergic to dust or sensitive to it, it may be necessary to run a portable HEPA filter during the demolition process.

How Long does it take for full house renovation?

Similar to building a custom home, there is no one-size-fits-to-all answer when it comes to the timeline for a custom home renovation project. Each renovation is unique and has its own set of challenges and variables, making it important to have an experienced builder who can provide a reliable timeline based on the scope of the project and other factors. To give an idea of what to expect, here's a sample timeline for a whole home renovation:

Architectural Design Phase - 1 to 3 Months An architect will ensure that any structural changes or home additions are safe, structurally sound, and visually appealing. The time it takes to receive the final plans depends on the project scope and the architect's experience and workload.

Bidding Phase - 2-3 Weeks Large-scale renovations require a detailed bidding process to ensure that you're getting the best value from all subcontractors working on the project. Comprehensive and accurate budgets require multiple hard bids, which need to be thoroughly vetted. Bringing a builder on board during the architectural design phase can save time, as they can start the vetting process while plans are being finalized.

HOA Approvals and City Permitting - 1 Month After the plans are complete and signed off, they need to be submitted for relevant permits, approvals, and inspections.

Construction Phase - 3 to 9 Months This phase is where the most progress is made, and it can take anywhere from 3 to 9 months, depending on the project's size, scope, complexity, and other factors.