Planning home renovations? You'll need to start THIS far in advance, according to the FMB

It's time to get those diaries out, and those calendars synched!

The start of a new year is the perfect time for homeowners to get their property renovation projects underway. And when it comes to getting theme just right, it's all about planning, planning, planning.

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But according to new research conducted by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) – the UK's largest trade association in the building industry – Brits will need to get the ball rolling on their home improvement projects months in advance.

Organising everything from budgets to planning applications can eat up the months. Read on to discover just how much time it will take to plan some of the most common home improvement projects, small and not-so-small...

Bathroom renovation

bathroom with walled tiles and bathtub

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Pool)

According to the FMB, homeowners wanting to fit a new bathroom suite should earmark a full five months to get this space looking spic and span. The same period of time is also needed if they want to convert part of their master bedroom into an en-suite. Or to convert a cupboard under-the-stairs into a downstairs toilet.

With bathroom fixtures and fittings to order, tile choices to make and the best reconfiguration of this space to consider, it's no wonder that it takes almost half a year to get bathroom projects fully completed.

Kitchen renovation

white kitchen with worktop andwooden flooring

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

A standout kitchen is a property investment that will stand the test of time. And FMB research reveals that fitting a new kitchen will need a total of five months from start to finish. And it will take just under five months is needed to remove an internal wall to create an open plan kitchen/diner.


grey living room with carpet flooring and armchair

(Image credit: Future PLC/Lizzie Orme)

The FMB estimates that it will take an average of five months to paint the entirety of our homes. Prepping walls and giving ceilings, skirting boards and more a complete refresh takes skill and patience, and several coats of paint may need to be applied to get your desired finish.

Extensions and conversions

bedroom with bricked wall and grey carpet flooring

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

Extensions and conversions are a great solution if homeowners need more space, but can't face the prospect of moving to a new property. FMB figures show that it takes an average of seven months to complete an extension and six and a half months for a loft conversion.

With anything from planning approvals to wait for and building regulation sign offs to contend with, allocating plenty of time and that all important contingency fund will help the process go a lot more smoothly.

Commenting on the figures, and offering a note of advice to homeowners, Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said:

'If homeowners want a new extension completed in time for Christmas 2019, they should be contacting builders for quotes by May at the latest. If you want your new kitchen installed by the start of the summer, you should be getting in touch with builders now.

white dining room with wooden cupboard and dining table

(Image credit: Future PLC/James French)

'We’re urging homeowners keen to crack on with their renovation project to get in touch with prospective builders as soon as possible.'

'We always recommend that homeowners ask for recommendations from family or friends. Ideally, from those who have completed a similar project to the one you’re planning. If no personal recommendations are forthcoming, approach a professional trade association like the Federation of Master Builders.'

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Which renovation project is on your to-do list for 2019?