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How to Develop a Timeline for Your Next Design-Build Project

August 8th, 2023 |

Whether planning a bathroom remodel or building an entire home, developing a timeline of construction project phases is important. The building project timeline ensures that the design-build provider stays on schedule and budget from design to construction. 

Pre-Planning and Research

Before meeting with contractors, allow at least one to four weeks for pre-planning and research. This phase lets you develop your project’s vision, scope, and budget. Collect images of favorite places and find common elements that you like. For example, do they all have similar flooring or finishes? These images will help you communicate your vision during the project. 

Consultation With General Contractor

During your first meeting with the general contractor and design team, you will share your vision for the project. This meeting sets the groundwork and gets everyone on the same page. The contractor will explain the design-build process and help you set a budget.  

Be realistic about how much you can afford to spend on your project. For example, your general contractor can advise you on alternatives to high-end materials. You don’t want to run out of funds halfway through construction. 

Pre-Construction Phase

Pre-construction planning typically lasts three to eight months, depending on the complexity of the project. This phase includes a site analysis and review of zoning and permit requirements. The general contracting team may meet with you to discuss materials, landscaping, parking, and other details. Now is the time to address potential problems that could cause delays in the future.  

Project Design

During the design phase, you and the design team will review your collected images and discuss styles and materials. Of course, the design must fall within the project budget. This stage of the building project timeline can last from two to six months. Now is the time to review blueprints and other construction documents and make any necessary changes. Before construction begins, the general contractor will review the final documents and budget with you. 


All of those meetings and consultations are finally paying off. The construction team now arrives at the site, and the work begins!  Depending on the project, construction can take several months to a year. Ensure you allow extra time for custom-constructed items and materials shipped from overseas.  

Extra Time for the Unexpected  

Even the most carefully developed plans can hit a snag. When planning a building project timeline, expecting the unexpected is always a good idea. Include “buffer time” for problems that may arise, such as severe weather or shipping issues. Add at least two extra months to your timeline for construction project delays. 


This three- to six-week phase consists of a final walkthrough with the design-build team. You will receive documentation and have an opportunity to address any issues. After an inspector issues a certificate of occupancy, the project is complete. 

If you’re a Boston-area investment property owner, you need an experienced design-build team for your next construction project. Contact RH Blanchard and get a free quote from our general contracting professionals.