One Step at a Time: To Phase or Not To Phase

In the contracting business, there are few things I enjoy more than a phone call from a satisfied customer asking to have another project done.

Which leads me to my main question (perhaps one you have too!):

Is it possible to complete home remodeling projects over a period of time?

The short answer is yes, but it depends on the type of project. This method of work is called “phasing projects.”

I am often asked, “Do I need to replace my windows at the same time as installing new vinyl siding?”

This is not a simple yes-or-no question. The answer hinges on whether or not we’re installing a replacement window or a new construction unit in the existing or modified openings. Like many of the other discussions you’ll have with your contractor, it will depend on the final design selected by you, the homeowner. My team and I recently replaced the windows in a home that we installed siding on 10 years ago. Aside from the area around the window openings, no siding work needed to be altered.

However, if you are looking to add a slider door, or ensure your windows meet egress codes (ensuring your windows provide an emergency exit in case of a fire), those items should be addressed at the time of siding installation. (ProTalk “ProTip”: Always check with local code officials before replacing bedroom windows to see if they need to meet egress requirements. Many municipalities require the upgrade at time of window replacement.)

I’ve also phased remodeling projects room by room or even floor by floor. Keeping in mind the future work as we do the current work allows each project to flow relatively seamlessly into the next.

There are other benefits to phasing projects:

  • Work proceeds as budget allows
  • Allows you to stay current with design trends and product offerings
  • Housing needs may change and the project can change along the way to match those needs

While phasing definitely has its upsides, sometimes it’s not the best decision. Some downsides to phasing projects can be:

  • Somewhat higher overall cost
  • Several disruptions to your lifestyle rather than one
  • Product offerings may be discontinued
    (ProTalk “ProTip”: If you do pursue phasing, purchase all standard finish items, such as flooring or wallpaper, at the start of the project.)

And as always, open and honest communication with your contractor will help you manage these projects successfully, in one phase or several.