Whole House Remodel in Phases – 5 Tips to Build Your Dream Home Over Time

May 15,14 Karen Zieba
Whole House Remodel in Phases – 5 Tips to Build Your Dream Home Over Time

Remodeling in Phases to Make Big Dreams Come True

Here are five steps to successful phased remodeling: 

1.  Start with a clear long-term vision.  What ultimate goals are you trying to accomplish?  What are the priorities? What timeline do you hope to give to the completion of the master plan? A great way to communicate your vision is by collecting a comprehensive ideabook. is a great resource.

Have bigger remodeling dreams than this year’s budget can accommodate?  Consider remodeling in phases.    Zieba Builders recently completed phase 2 of a multi-phase whole house remodeling project in the Cal Heights Historic District of Long Beach.  Phased remodeling is a technique that is growing in popularity. With a good design and construction plan, each phase can be completed independently from one another — with minimum disruption and without compromising previously finished work.    

Photo Credit – Dennis Mayer via

 2. Create accurate as-built drawings.  As-built drawings document the existing construction of your home, complete with window and door placements, major fixtures and appliances, floor plans, elevations and even roof plans in some cases.  Include all spaces that may be remodeled now and in the future as well as any adjacent spaces that will be affected by future remodeling.  Don’t forget the outdoors!  Take into account existing exterior structures, trees, views, utility locations, access ways, etc.

As-Built Plans – California Heights Spanish Colonial Revival Bungalow

3. Do your homework.  Investigate local building codes, neighborhood ordinances, energy codes, etc. as they can greatly restrict some of your design options.

4. Create a master construction plan.  The master plan doesn’t need to include complete finish schedules, engineering or energy calculations at this point, but it should be complete enough for an experienced contractor to see how the spaces will relate to each other and to understand likely structural implications of the proposed changes to your home.

Remodeling Master Plan Schematic – California Heights Spanish Colonial Revival5. Break the master plan into phases.  Create individual projects with clearly defined scopes of work and budgets for each phase.  Create distinct starting and stopping points so that each phase can be completed in its entirety before beginning the next one.  This will allow better control of the budget as well as create a more peaceful construction process.

1. Kitchen Remodel
2. Master Suite Addition
3. Entry courtyard, walks, and driveway
4. Custom gates and arbors
5. Outdoor living room, patio cover, and fireplace

Contact the design-build team at Zieba Builders or other experienced design-build professionals in your area to help create a long-range plan for your whole house remodeling project.



Zieba Builders has the experience, expertise, and passion to make your next home project a success. Ready to get started on your design & build project? Give us a call or email us today!