The dreaded money talk. Often one of the most uncomfortable moments of any design project, it’s also one of the most crucial. Have you hesitated to tell contractors how much they’re willing to spend on a project, for fear that they might take advantage? You’re not alone. However, letting your interior designer in on the secret of your budget early in the conversation will help us to manage your expectations moving forward.

Nearly as anxiety-inducing as the budget talk, but just as important, we’ll also need to know your timeline before we get started. Telling your designer early about any holiday plans or major events will save a lot of heartache in the end! Not only will it give us a better idea of which, contractors and suppliers will be right for your job, but we’ll also be able to let you know if your expectations are feasible before you move into the bidding and purchasing phase.

Let’s start preparing your realistic budget and timeline! Take a look at this list of average costs and timeframes for various remodel and furnishing projects.


1. COUNTERTOPS: $700-1,500 per slab of quartz or granite + about $60/square foot for fabrication and installation
2. PLUMBING: around $5,000-7,000 for a master bath, $10,000 + for a kitchen, not including installation
3. APPLIANCES: minimum of $9,000-13,000, not including installation (can go up significantly with certain name brands)
4. CABINETS: for good quality cabinets, prices start at around $500 per linear foot, not including installation (Note: IKEA cabinets are less expensive as far as materials go, but they’re much more expensive to install – lots of labor time to assemble them!)
5. WOOD FLOORS: $5-8 per square foot for the wood + $4-6/square foot for installation
6. PAINT: $600-1200 per room, depending on trim work
7. FURNITURE: minimum of $20,000 per room, not including shipping (Note: shipping will be about 20% of the cost of the items)
8. DESIGN FEES: $225/hour for design time; this typically adds up to a total of $10,000-50,000 per project, depending on scope
9. CONTINGENCY: take 20% of your budget and prepare to set aside that amount for a contingency fund (in case things don’t go quite according to plan – contractors may find a leak or electrical issue along the way that needs fixing)


1. DESIGN PHASE: 6-8 weeks, depending on scope of work
3. PROCESSING: allow 1 week for processing orders on the manufacturer’s end
4. RETAIL/READY-MADE FURNITURE: 6-8 weeks for manufacture & delivery
5. WHOLESALE/CUSTOM FURNITURE: 8-12 weeks for manufacture & delivery
6. BIDDING: contractors often take about 2-3 weeks to get back to us with numbers
7. SMALLER RENOVATION TIMELINE: 8-12 weeks from start of construction to finish (renovating 1 or 2 rooms)
8. LARGER RENOVATION TIMELINE: 4-6 months from start of construction to finish (renovating 3 or more rooms)
9. WHOLE HOUSE RENOVATION TIMELINE: 9-12 months from start of construction to finish


Often, home renovation shows on TV can mislead expectations. Those shows often fudge numbers, and tend to use cheap/lower quality materials to get things done quickly and inexpensively. Not to mention the fact that many of the shows are based in other states – California is EXPENSIVE!
In addition, contractors, furniture manufacturers, and other industry professionals on TV usually don’t charge as much, because they’re benefitting from the publicity. As great as those shows are for style inspiration, they don’t provide good examples of realistic timelines and budgets.
If your timeline or budget is tight, and we feel that it may not be feasible to finish everything up before your deadline and within your means, we may recommend breaking the project into phases, or postponing construction until after your big party. In the end, it will be worth avoiding the frustrations of a rushed job, and you’ll be happier in the long run!
If you’re ready to schedule your design consultation, click here! We can’t wait to meet you!