How to Plan a DIY Home Renovation Project

Kennith Bogan

If you’re preparing a big Do it yourself project in your property, go through these suggestions for how to strategy a Do it yourself property renovation project, such as thoughts you need to inquire yourself before you commence remodeling. 

As a self-taught DIYer, I’ve prepared and executed a range of Do it yourself property renovation assignments. Below on Remodelaholic, I’ve shared a few, such as my kitchen makeover, corridor closet remodel, and suggestions for installing trim and molding.

Right now I’d like to share some feelings on preparing Do it yourself property assignments, such as thoughts to inquire *before* you start and some myths about DIYing.

How to Plan a DIY Home Renovation Project


Table of Contents

Items to Believe About Right before You Commence a Do it yourself Venture

So You are Wondering About Do it yourself?

I have 4 children. When hoping to instruct them a existence talent, I’ll often say, “When you’re out on your possess someday, you’re likely to wish you’d taken the time to master this!” To which my teenager responds, “But, Mother. There’s YouTube. If I require to do it, I’ll watch a video clip.”

Not the reaction I was hoping for, but certainly! We have YouTube and a million web site articles or blog posts and Pinterest pins telling us we can do it ourselves and how. Only, it is not always as simple as it appears. 

Even with good instruction, there’s often more to a Do it yourself project than we feel. Be realistic . . . not so intimidated that you never give it a attempt, but not so naive that you get on more than you can cope with.

Below are a few matters I’d motivate all those looking at a Do it yourself project to feel about before jumping in . . . some truths, some myths. 

Do it yourself House Renovation Venture Organizing: Myths & Truths

Reality: Do it yourself assignments can be enormously worthwhile.

That is why there are so numerous of us who proudly claim the title of Remodelaholic!

  • There’s a lot of self-gratification to be experienced in accomplishing some thing yourself. 
  • You can likely develop some thing you couldn’t discover in a retail outlet.
  • You get to convey to existence the vision in your head, just as you want it and just as you see it. 
  • You can receive new expertise that you will be ready to use in heaps of different ways and on future assignments.
See how I reworked my kitchen with just a few modest information and quick Do it yourself assignments.

Fantasy: If you can Do it yourself it, you need to.

Reality: Do it yourself is not always the way to go.

Sometimes the toll on your time and electricity, or when it is a project that is past your talent established, suggests it would be improved not to do it yourself.

Technical knowledge is sometimes expected to do a career and do it ideal. Some matters are improved remaining to a skilled.

The aged adage “you get what you shell out for” is real, but so is “you get what you can do.” Look at the excellent and feasibility of the wished-for consequence when deciding no matter if to go it by yourself or use some assistance.

Specially when endeavor substantial-scale Do it yourself assignments, the influence on your property and your sanity is not insignificant. And, when calculating price, really don’t just take into consideration time-to-execute and price-of-provides, but also the time to put together and strategy, the time to clean-up later on, and all the catch-up perform you will have to do in other regions of your existence when you’ve been prioritizing a Do it yourself project that’s taken up all of your time and electricity.

Before And After Built In Bookshelf

Fantasy: Carrying out a property project myself is always more cost-effective and saves me money.

Reality: Sometimes Do it yourself isn’t basically more cost-effective than purchasing it at the retail outlet or shelling out a person else to do it.

Right before you channel your internal HGTV star, some matters to take into consideration:

Financial system of scale is a real basic principle. Companies have a proportionate preserving in expenses attained by an amplified level of output. In other words, it expenses them a lot significantly less to get the components, and their method is a lot a lot quicker and more efficient than yours is likely to be. Sometimes it seriously is more cost-effective and more practical to get it ready-produced than to make it yourself.

Your time is worth some thing. Time is money. Your time is money.

Prospect price = “the reduction of probable acquire from other alternate options when one different is chosen.” To give your time and electricity to a Do it yourself project suggests you’re not supplying your time and electricity to other matters. So the price of the Do it yourself project is not just your time and provides, it is also the price of all the other matters you’re not accomplishing with that time and money.

Say you receive $twenty/hour at your day career. If you construct a bookcase yourself and it usually takes you twenty hrs to do it, your labor expenses are fundamentally $400. And that does not get into account the over talked about possibility price for other matters in your existence you did not expend that time on, or the price of provides. So, yeah, possibly not worth it.

But if you’re learning a new talent established together the way or if it is giving a creative outlet for you, properly, then, yeah, possibly it is worth it.

See how I saved hundreds of bucks installing my possess trim perform and moldings.

Before And After Built In Laundry Hamper


Reality: Do it yourself = really hard perform and a lot of it.

Even “easy” Do it yourself assignments get really hard perform and even the easiest makeovers can transform into larger assignments with unanticipated results. 

It usually takes a toll to increase a Do it yourself project to your to-do list. Every project I’ve at any time taken on has experienced unanticipated established-backs (hello there, genuine existence) and has taken for a longer period to complete than I experienced prepared on.

Do it yourself assignments, primarily property renovation, are bodily rigorous. You will be sweaty and dirty and fatigued and your muscles will ache from your head to your toes. You will have blisters and splinters and paint-splattered hair.

Depending on the project, the perform can be really bodily. Plenty of significant lifting, crawling into tight areas, climbing up and down ladders, doing the job exterior in the warmth, and many others. Look at your well being and fitness when thinking about a Do it yourself project.

You will hit a wall. (Sometimes basically, if that’s aspect of the renovation strategy.) Specially with big assignments. It will be tougher, get for a longer period, and be more complex than you prepared on. You will want to stop just to be done with it. Following all, you’ve presently bought a day career. A big Do it yourself project can be like including twenty+hrs to your perform 7 days.

Sometimes it just will not perform out. You will have taken on more than you can cope with. Be sincere about when it is time to convey in the professionals or inquire for assistance. It is alright. 

During And After Closet Built In

Thoughts to Check with As You System a Do it yourself House Renovation Venture

There are a lot of variables to take into consideration as you strategy a Do it yourself project for your property (past “What would Chip and Joanna Gaines do?”).

Is this project and talent established in your wheelhouse?

It took me a 12 months to convince my spouse that I could do a big trim project in our property. (See Below). Can you blame him? At the time, I experienced zero expertise in installing trim. Our property is our most significant economical expense. What if I hadn’t been ready to pull it off and we experienced to swallow the price, or shell out even more to convey a person else in to correct my faults? In our case, it all turned out seriously properly, but it is smart to meticulously take into consideration your talent established and the feasibility of a project before committing.

In preparing, take into consideration the worst-case circumstance need to your Do it yourself project not stop in trails of glory. Is it worth any linked pitfalls?

Sometimes a project can drive you to master new expertise and make improvements to existing types. Projects that drive you and stretch you are good! But it is unrealistic to feel you can soar from making one established of floating wall shelves to solitary-handedly renovating a rest room. Get on a minimal at a time. Master as you go.

Before And After Wainscoting

How elaborate is this Do it yourself project? And how elaborate could it *become*?

For confident, there are some assignments you can watch one or two YouTube tutorials and you’re good to go. You will have it done in a day.

Other assignments, primarily property renovation types, can be a lot, a lot more concerned than you’d feel they’d be. Normally, on-line tutorials are about-simplified and the person accomplishing them is more professional, so it usually takes them significantly less time to complete a project than it would for you to do it.

All those residence flip exhibits wherever a rambler goes from drab to fab in one thirty-minute episode? Properly, a lot of the blood, sweat, and tears it usually takes to make that occur finishes up on the reducing place flooring. And, normally, all those Do it yourself-ers are either professional residence-flippers or they’re doing the job with professionals who are.

There are often levels of complexity to assignments that you really don’t see on the area in the completed item. . . . there are making codes you have to be conscious of and stick to, there is wiring and plumbing in the partitions that you really don’t know is there, and many others.

You will come across unanticipated problems that may well not show up in that Do it yourself tutorial you watched. For illustration, you watch ten films on laying tile, you get every thing you feel you will require and get to perform, only to explore that the subfloor is not level so you will have to determine out how to correct that before you can dazzle your neighbors with your newfound tile-laying mastery.

There’s a before (the preparing) and an after (clean-up) to each individual project . . . really don’t neglect to strategy for that, as well!

Before And After Ceiling Wainscoting | Planning a DIY Home Renovation Project


What need to I strategy for?

At a least, Do it yourself project preparing need to consist of:

  1. a finances
  2. a timeline
  3. a provide list
  4. a strategy for not just the ‘what,’ but also the ‘how’

System for the before, the for the duration of, and the after of the project. 

Organizing can sometimes get just as extensive, if not for a longer period than the project itself.

Building a finances and price-comparing to get the very best worth for your provides will get time and hard work.

Hoping to track down that ‘perfect’ faucet you noticed in an Instagram submit can be a rabbit’s hole and a time suck. You require to strategy for the time you will expend scouring internet sites for concepts and provides.

What if I’m not ready to complete this as rapidly as I feel I’m likely to be ready to? What will delays influence and how? Will delays signify it in the long run expenses me more?

There will be surprises, even with the very best laid strategies. Make in added time and a minimal added money to your strategy to allow for the unanticipated.

See how I reworked my corridor closet and extra storage space.

What applications will I require?

When calculating the price, really don’t neglect to take into consideration the expense of purchasing, renting, or borrowing the applications you will require. And a truck may possibly properly be a desired tool—how are you likely to transport 4’ x 8’ pieces of plywood from the lumber retail outlet to your residence?

You will require a put to use all those applications and retail outlet all those applications. Believe it through.

Annnnd . . . you will require time to determine out how to use all all those applications or discover a person to instruct you. Not just how to use the applications, but also how to change blades, and many others. and keep them effectively so they operate safely. It is very best to use a new software for the very first time on a smaller sized project so that you feel comfortable and assured in running it accurately before you shift on to bigger matters.

Linked Looking through: twelve Need to Have Applications for Do it yourself Projects

How a lot space will I require?

This is a biggie. Do you have somewhere to set the furniture though you switch the flooring? Do you have somewhere to retail outlet and use your applications for the duration of the project? Do you have somewhere to retain the lumber you’re working with away from the components?

What about when you start painting all all those shelves you’re making—you’re preparing to established up shop in your driveway, but what if it is raining for 3 days straight? Will it perform to park your vehicle out in the avenue though your garage is reworked into a workshop? Wherever are you likely to set the kids’ bikes if you have to discover a put for that desk noticed you’re borrowing from Uncle Joe?

Tips and Tricks for Planning a DIY Home Renovation Project

What basic safety safety measures and equipment do I require?

Be harmless! Be harmless! Be harmless! On line tutorials really don’t always supply basic safety suggestions about preserving yourself when you perform. Protection is vital!

Quite often, very first-time Do it yourself-ers are unfamiliar with even the easiest of basic safety rules:

  • Do not put on loose apparel or jewelry.
  • Tie your hair back again and make confident almost nothing obstructs your vision.
  • Dress in closed-toe footwear that will defend your toes.
  • Familiarize yourselves with the basic safety suggestions that appear with every and each individual software you use, and honor all those suggestions religiously.
  • Particles are a big offer. You really don’t want to be breathing in sawdust or substances when you’re doing the job. If you’re a Do it yourself-er, you most very likely really don’t have a designed-in dust assortment procedure like they do in skilled workshops. You will require to put on a mask and a good one! And you have to put on it not just when you’re reducing, but the complete time you’re doing the job in that space—those particles are however floating in the air and you’re breathing them in if you really don’t have a mask. And, retain the space you’re doing the job in properly ventilated.
  • Perform slow, regular, and very careful. Get a split if you’re experience fatigued or burned out. You make faults when you’re fatigued or when you’re rushed, and faults produced though running a energy noticed are, properly, fairly darn big faults.
  • Use the ideal applications for the career! Normally! Hoping to ‘make do’ or jerry-rig some thing just to get by or avoid the issues of accomplishing it ideal is not worth it!
  • Realize when you require a person who is familiar with a minimal more than you do. You can however be a Do it yourself goddess and inquire for assistance. Specially with stuff like wiring or plumbing wherever failing to do some thing accurately can be a seriously, seriously big offer.
Before And After Built In Bookshelf

Put in your possess designed-in bookshelves with Justin and Cassity’s tutorial

What is the Do it yourself ripple result of this project?

When you get on a project, it is not only a matter of possibility price (what you’re not supplying your time to rather due to the fact you’re doing the job on the project), but also a matter of how it impacts your everyday routines and all those of every person all around you.

Wooden generates a lot of noticed dust. Paint can be messy and develop pungent fumes. Putting in flooring suggests you’re not strolling on all those flooring and your furniture isn’t sitting on them. Believe about how your living space will be restricted and how that will influence you and all those you reside with.

There are all forms of expenses and delays you couldn’t potentially strategy for. Maybe your energy drill breaks mid-project and you have to go get a new one. Maybe you appear down with the flu and just cannot perform on your project for a 7 days or two. Maybe a project at your day career pops up and you’re suddenly placing in heaps of added hrs at the office with no time for property assignments.

Look at the pressure and psychological load! It is demanding to increase one more product to our fast paced lives and prolonged to-do lists, primarily if you’re a dad or mum with younger children or if you have an primarily demanding vocation. Your time and electricity are in limited provide and you need to finances how you will use them.

If you reside in an condominium or townhouse, you just cannot run your energy drill at all hrs of the day without having disturbing your neighbors. Also, you may well have other extra complicating variables, these as having to timetable the service elevator to convey your provides up from the parking garage, and many others.

You may well discover yourself taking in out more or investing more on conveniences and providers to free of charge up more of your time to dedicate to the Do it yourself project. All those expenses increase up and need to be taken into account in the finances for your project.

Linked Looking through: Cassity’s Strategies for Surviving Existence in a Remodel

Organizing a Master Closet Renovation

Here’s a current Do it yourself project I undertook—a grasp bed room and grasp closet renovation. Under, I talk a minimal about the method driving the project to give you a improved perception of what’s concerned when selecting Do it yourself.

For some concepts and facts about DIYing your possess closet renovation, attempt these posts:

During And After Closet Built In 2

Linked Looking through: 35 Do it yourself Closet Hacks to Build A lot more Space and Manage Your Closet


How Did You System?

Sketch Up

In progress of commencing the project, I laid the groundwork and prepared every thing out.

I made a Do it yourself project strategy that integrated one) a finances 2) a timeline 3) a provide list 4) custom construct strategies and 5) a strategy for not just the ‘what,’ but also the ‘how.’

I cleared all of my commitments for a sound two months to perform on the project whole-time. (It took for a longer period than 2 months, but supplying myself two months to perform whole-time bought the project considerably adequate together that I could end it aspect-time from there).

I located all of the provides I would require in progress. This integrated price tag-comparing and calculating transport/supply expenses so that I could keep in finances. And it intended every thing from nails and screws to caulk and paint to lumber and hanging rods. Of program there ended up random odds-and-finishes I desired as I went together, but the bulk of my provides ended up acquired and on-hand when I commenced my project.

I scheduled a community going corporation for a 2-hour block to assistance me shift the larger furniture items that I realized I couldn’t deal with on my possess in clearing out the space to be renovated.

IMG 4225

I scheduled the supply of the lumber I desired for my project and cleared a designated area to retail outlet it.

I put in many hrs searching at pictures of closets on-line to get concepts. I established up a Pinterest board wherever I pinned ‘inspiration’ assignments to refer to as I intended my closet format.

I took all the measurements, observed wherever there ended up retailers and other probable road blocks, and came up with a style strategy for both my bed room and my closet. I drew it all up to scale.

I made use of SketchUp 3D software program to design—from scratch—each and each individual one of the factors for the designed-ins I was making, and then I compiled a grasp list of all the component pieces and their measurements.

I drew out in depth slash strategies for every piece of plywood to minimize squander.

I took an inventory of my applications and produced confident I experienced what I desired for the project and that my applications ended up in good maintenance. I also produced confident I experienced added blades for my miter noticed, added luggage for my damp/dry vac, and many others., as properly as basic safety equipment like masks and protective eye put on.

I meticulously thought through what would be concerned to make confident I experienced the talent established and know-how to see the project through.

I made a timetable for what to perform on every day, adjusting it as I went.

I saved all of my receipts and notes and strategies and measurements collectively in a binder that I could conveniently reference each time desired.

IMG 5532

What Did Not Go As Prepared?

I experienced originally prepared to rip up the aged carpet and set up the new flooring myself, but as the 7 days progressed, I understood that I would not be completed on timetable if I did not get a minimal assistance.

I made a decision that staying done in time was vital adequate to me to justify likely about finances a minimal, and so I employed installers to appear in and do the flooring. It took a 2-man staff of professional installers a whole half-day to end, which verified to me that I’d produced the ideal decision in employing out, as it most unquestionably would have taken me, doing the job on my possess, at least 4x as extensive.

I underestimated the toll that the warmth would get on me. For two straight months, I labored twelve- to 18-hour days. Most of that time was put in in my driveway and garage making factors. It is grueling and exhausting perform on its possess, but produced more so by ninety+ degree temperatures and 100% humidity.

I realized that some of the project would get for a longer period than 2 months, but I underestimated how disruptive the ongoing renovations would be to my spouse and children and our routines when the new faculty 12 months started out. When I was no for a longer period ready to set in 18-hour days (due to the fact, hello there, genuine existence), it took me a lot for a longer period to end the very last half of the project than it did the very first half.

This was my most significant Do it yourself project nonetheless, and I underestimated how extensive cleansing-up-as-you-go would get. When you’re ripping dozens of boards a day, noticed dust and scrap wood builds up rapidly. It took more time than I experienced prepared on to retain my perform space clean, orderly, and useful.

What Does Do it yourself Do To You?

You know how each individual Do it yourself blogger or Instagram influencer you’ve at any time found has designer yoga trousers, beautifully coiffed hair, and a whole face of make-up in every of their action shots?

Yeah, properly, I have no thought how to do that. When I perform, I sweat. I stink. I’m putting on my oldest, rattiest t-shirt. I’m covered from head to toe in sawdust and paint and wood glue. My hair is pulled back again in a frizzy pile. And I just cannot put on make-up due to the fact it drives me outrageous to put on a respirator mask and protective eye equipment when I have make-up on. That, and I just sweat any make-up I have ideal on off! Do it yourself is really hard perform!

DIY Built-In Bookshelves

Put in your possess designed-in bookshelves with Justin and Cassity’s tutorial

What Will come Following the Do it yourself?

The clean-up arrives after, that’s what.

It took me hrs and hrs to set my garage back again collectively. I experienced to hire a truck and make two individual trips to the dump with all of the leftover scraps and components.

I experienced to shift all of the furniture and apparel back again into the grasp bed room and grasp closet and restore purchase to the other areas of the residence that ended up impacted by the upheaval.

Though prioritizing a project of this sizing, other matters in my existence took a back again seat and so when I last but not least completed the renovation, I experienced a ton of catch-up to do.

So, what are my very best suggestions for preparing a Do it yourself project?

Commence modest, strategy properly, master as you go, and have entertaining!

Browse more about expertise for Do it yourself property renovation assignments:

Pin this to help save it for later on and share with your DIYing friends

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About Jenny McArthur