Understanding the One, Ten, One Hundred Rule in Home Renovations

Home RenovationsFor most people, making a few small changes on paper doesn’t seem like a major deal, but once the planning part of your home renovations is completed and the construction phase is actually underway, even a relatively minor tweak can represent more time and money than you might think.

One straightforward way to consider the consequences of making changes midstream is demonstrated by the One, Ten, One Hundred Rule. Here are some examples of how it works and how paying attention from the get-go can save you extra expense.

Home Renovations and Three Sample Scenarios

In its most basic sense, the One, Ten, One Hundred Rule is a simple principle that outlines the potential outcome of having to make changes along the way during the construction process of home renovations.

Scenario #1
– The construction phase of your home renovations hasn’t yet begun, but the design has been decided; the planning stage is now complete and things are ready to roll. You’re reviewing the dimensions for extending the master bedroom and suddenly realize that there won’t be adequate space on either side of your newly purchased king size bed for those fabulous vintage bedside tables.

Just another three feet will make it perfect, so you contact the builder who then instructs their design team to make the necessary change to the finished plans. At $100 per hour for the expertise involved, that one small change will cost you $100.

Scenario #2 – Plans for your eagerly awaited home renovations are drawn up and the actual building stage is underway. But wait! Now is the time you become aware of the need for those additional three feet required in the master bedroom of your dreams. Is it too late to accommodate your request?

Home RenovationsWell, no, but bear in mind that the wall has been roughed in by the carpenter and the electrician has already added the required wiring. Drywall and final flooring haven’t come into the picture yet, but some basic plumbing has begun. At this point, halting the procedure and moving the wall over three feet will have a much greater effect. The contractor completes the Change Order form and tallies up the cumulative cost of paying for lumber, having the electrician and plumber return and maybe even having to redraw the plan for city hall regarding the permit. This adds up to a cost of $1,000, or ten times as much as the change in Scenario #1.

In case you think a $1,000 price tag for this midstream change is over the top, bear in mind that it sets in motion a chain reaction that does not earn the contractor any additional in-pocket profit. Moving the wall will in fact only add more time to the home renovations overall, and risk having to extend the project’s final completion date.

Scenario #3 – Yup, now that you’ve got the basic concept figured out, this one’s the whopper you may have been predicting. You still need the extra three feet in your master bedroom, but didn’t discover that until the very end of the home renovations project. Not only has the wiring, plumbing, drywall and painting been finished, gorgeous hardwood flooring has also been expertly installed.

Unfortunately, you’ve decided you can’t move in until the master bedroom has gained some ground, even though it seems like a relatively small amount. Just think of what that seemingly minor adjustment represents in terms of moving that wall and all that goes with it, as well as a major re-do of an entire area of the flooring. Let alone dealing with what is already constructed or installed on the other side of that wall. Bank on a post-completion change of this kind costing you $10,000.

Don’t Derail Your Home Renovations

The One, Ten, One Hundred Rule is a useful instructive example of how the costs of home renovations can multiply considerably when changes come into play, depending on the stage of the project. Obviously, home reconstruction requires comprehensive planning in concert with your contractor. Think things through thoroughly when you first sit down to discuss the design, and figure out in advance exactly what you are planning to accommodate in the newly renovated space, room by room. Planning is paramount, before the train leaves the station!

Doug Kerr - the owner of Kerr ConstructionDoug Kerr is the owner of Kerr Construction in Vancouver. With over 25 years of experience in the renovation and new home construction business, he has developed the Kerr System for designing and building. With this Design/Build system he has helped hundreds of clients achieve their dream homes while also winning multiple national and provincial building and renovations awards. Being a former world-class athlete…” Read more.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Kerr Construction.


Leave a Reply


Some Testimonials from Our Past Clients

Kerr Construction has given us our dream kitchen and more. Our renovation included the removal of a wall between the kitchen and dining room, the...

Jenney L., Vancouver

We hired Kerr Construction to tear down our 25 year old North Van bungalow right down to the concrete foundations, and then rebuild it 50%...

Kaufman, North Van

Google Review

Kerr Construction designed and built our bathroom, which we love. Fabulous and economical design choices, excellent quality work and the final result is fabulous. Well...

Chrystal, Vancouver

HomeStars Review

We would like to thank you for renovating the bathroom of our 60 year old house. The work was essentially completed within three weeks as...

B & E, Vancouver

We are extremely pleased with the quality of the work performed by the Kerr crew on our renovation. They were onsite, ready to work everyday...

Dale T., New Westminster

Kerr Construction has been consistent in quality work and good service. They kept us up to date, showed up on time, provided good time estimates,...

TL, Vancouver

Homestars review

All the support posts for our carport were rotten and needed to be replaced. The estimator from Kerr came over and reviewed the project. We...

Neil, Vancouver

HomeStars Review

Kerr was very reliable and on time. They kept the worksite clean at the end of each day. Kerr was very knowledgeable, courteous, thoughtful and...

K.G., Vancouver

GuildQuality Review

I had mold in my bathroom, which I was quite concerned about. I called Kerr Construction to do an estimate on dealing with that and...

T. L., Burnaby

Yelp.ca Review

Good Job overall! The job was for a reno of the bathroom. The job was done overall very well … the contractor was friendly and...

Aatma, Coquitlam

HomeStars Review


Our Projects Run Smoothly,
On Budget and On Schedule

We know that keeping projects on budget and on
schedule makes a successful home renovation or
new building construction



Detailed Planning,
Skilled Workmanship

At Kerr we think through all the little details
and how things will function, like which way doors
will swing on the cabinets or the fridge



The Homeowner is
Part of the Process

This puts the homeowner in control
and is the best way to make sure they
are getting the most value out of their project