May 19, 2024


Making a New Home

How to Plan a DIY Home Renovation Project

20 min read

If you’re organizing a important Diy undertaking in your house, read these suggestions for how to prepare a Diy house renovation undertaking, which includes inquiries you should check with oneself ahead of you start out transforming. 

As a self-taught DIYer, I have prepared and executed a quantity of Diy house renovation tasks. Listed here on Remodelaholic, I have shared a number of, which includes my kitchen makeover, hall closet transform, and suggestions for installing trim and molding.

Right now I’d like to share some views on organizing Diy house tasks, which includes inquiries to check with *ahead of* you get started and some myths about DIYing.

How to Plan a DIY Home Renovation Project


Table of Contents

Things to Feel About Just before You Start a Diy Project

So You are Thinking About Diy?

I have 4 young children. When striving to instruct them a lifestyle talent, I’ll generally say, “When you’re out on your own sometime, you’re going to want you’d taken the time to discover this!” To which my teenager responds, “But, Mom. There is YouTube. If I need to have to do it, I’ll observe a movie.”

Not the reaction I was hoping for, but sure! We have YouTube and a million blog content articles and Pinterest pins telling us we can do it ourselves and how. Only, it is not constantly as straightforward as it looks. 

Even with great instruction, there’s generally a lot more to a Diy undertaking than we imagine. Be realistic . . . not so intimidated that you under no circumstances give it a try out, but not so naive that you just take on a lot more than you can manage.

Listed here are a number of issues I’d motivate all those thinking about a Diy undertaking to imagine about ahead of jumping in . . . some truths, some myths. 

Diy Home Renovation Project Scheduling: Myths & Truths

Reality: Diy tasks can be enormously rewarding.

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

  • There is a whole lot of self-pleasure to be experienced in performing a little something oneself. 
  • You can potentially make a little something you couldn’t uncover in a retail outlet.
  • You get to carry to lifestyle the eyesight in your head, just as you want it and just as you see it. 
  • You can receive new capabilities that you are going to be ready to use in tons of different means and on foreseeable future tasks.
See how I remodeled my kitchen with just a number of smaller particulars and straightforward Diy tasks.

Fantasy: If you can Diy it, you should.

Reality: Diy is not constantly the way to go.

Often the toll on your time and strength, or when it is a undertaking that is outside of your talent set, implies it would be much better not to do it oneself.

Technical knowledge is often expected to do a career and do it right. Some issues are much better still left to a qualified.

The aged adage “you get what you shell out for” is legitimate, but so is “you get what you can do.” Take into account the quality and feasibility of the preferred end result when choosing irrespective of whether to go it alone or employ the service of some assist.

Specifically when enterprise massive-scale Diy tasks, the effects on your house and your sanity is not insignificant. And, when calculating expense, don’t just take into consideration time-to-execute and expense-of-supplies, but also the time to prepare and prepare, the time to clean up-up afterwards, and all the catch-up operate you are going to have to do in other regions of your lifestyle when you have been prioritizing a Diy undertaking that’s taken up all of your time and strength.

Before And After Built In Bookshelf

Fantasy: Performing a house undertaking myself is constantly less expensive and will save me money.

Reality: Often Diy is not truly less expensive than getting it at the retail outlet or shelling out an individual else to do it.

Just before you channel your interior HGTV star, some issues to take into consideration:

Financial state of scale is a legitimate theory. Suppliers have a proportionate conserving in prices acquired by an improved amount of creation. In other words and phrases, it prices them a whole lot considerably less to obtain the materials, and their system is a lot faster and a lot more economical than yours is going to be. Often it really is less expensive and a lot more simple to obtain it completely ready-designed than to make it oneself.

Your time is value a little something. Time is money. Your time is money.

Opportunity expense = “the loss of prospective acquire from other alternatives when one particular choice is selected.” To give your time and strength to a Diy undertaking implies you
’re not giving your time and strength to other issues. So the expense of the Diy undertaking is not just your time and supplies, it is also the expense of all the other issues you’re not performing with that time and money.

Say you receive $twenty/hour at your day career. If you build a bookcase oneself and it normally takes you twenty several hours to do it, your labor prices are primarily $400. And that doesn’t just take into account the higher than stated possibility expense for other issues in your lifestyle you did not invest that time on, or the expense of supplies. So, yeah, perhaps not value it.

But if you’re learning a new talent set alongside the way or if it is offering a creative outlet for you, nicely, then, yeah, perhaps it is value it.

See how I saved 1000’s of dollars installing my own trim operate and moldings.

Before And After Built In Laundry Hamper


Reality: Diy = tough operate and a whole lot of it.

Even “easy” Diy tasks just take tough operate and even the most basic makeovers can change into bigger tasks with unexpected results. 

It normally takes a toll to incorporate a Diy undertaking to your to-do list. Each undertaking I have at any time taken on has experienced unexpected set-backs (good day, authentic lifestyle) and has taken extended to entire than I experienced prepared on.

Diy tasks, especially house renovation, are physically rigorous. You are going to be sweaty and dirty and worn out and your muscles will ache from your head to your toes. You are going to have blisters and splinters and paint-splattered hair.

Dependent on the undertaking, the operate can be very actual physical. Plenty of hefty lifting, crawling into restricted spaces, climbing up and down ladders, performing outside in the warmth, etcetera. Take into account your health and health and fitness when pondering about a Diy undertaking.

You are going to hit a wall. (Often pretty much, if that’s section of the renovation prepare.) Specifically with big tasks. It will be more challenging, just take extended, and be a lot more complex than you prepared on. You are going to want to quit just to be completed with it. Following all, you have previously acquired a day career. A big Diy undertaking can be like incorporating twenty+several hours to your operate week.

Often it just won’t operate out. You are going to have taken on a lot more than you can manage. Be genuine about when it is time to carry in the execs or check with for assist. It is ok. 

During And After Closet Built In

Questions to Inquire As You Program a Diy Home Renovation Project

There are a whole lot of elements to take into consideration as you prepare a Diy undertaking for your house (outside of “What would Chip and Joanna Gaines do?”).

Is this undertaking and talent set in your wheelhouse?

It took me a year to convince my husband that I could do a important trim undertaking in our house. (See Listed here). Can you blame him? At the time, I experienced zero experience in installing trim. Our house is our most sizeable economical expense. What if I hadn’t been ready to pull it off and we experienced to swallow the expense, or shell out even a lot more to carry an individual else in to resolve my issues? In our case, it all turned out really nicely, but it is smart to carefully take into consideration your talent set and the feasibility of a undertaking ahead of committing.

In organizing, take into consideration the worst-case scenario should your Diy undertaking not finish in trails of glory. Is it value any affiliated threats?

Often a undertaking can press you to discover new capabilities and strengthen existing kinds. Initiatives that press you and extend you are great! But it is unrealistic to imagine you can soar from making one particular set of floating wall cabinets to single-handedly renovating a rest room. Choose on a minimal at a time. Understand as you go.

Before And After Wainscoting

How complicated is this Diy undertaking? And how complicated could it *grow to be*?

For sure, there are some tasks you can observe one particular or two YouTube tutorials and you’re great to go. You are going to have it completed in a day.

Other tasks, especially house renovation kinds, can be a lot, a lot a lot more concerned than you’d imagine they’d be. Generally, online tutorials are in excess of-simplified and the person performing them is a lot more knowledgeable, so it normally takes them considerably less time to entire a undertaking than it would for you to do it.

These home flip reveals in which a rambler goes from drab to fab in one particular thirty-minute episode? Very well, a whole lot of the blood, sweat, and tears it normally takes to make that transpire ends up on the chopping place ground. And, ordinarily, all those Diy-ers are both knowledgeable home-flippers or they’re performing with professionals who are.

There are generally layers of complexity to tasks that you don’t see on the surface area in the concluded product. . . . there are making codes you have to be knowledgeable of and comply with, there is wiring and plumbing in the walls that you don’t know is there, etcetera.

You are going to face unexpected concerns that may not display up in that Diy tutorial y
ou watched. For case in point, you observe ten films on laying tile, you obtain all the things you imagine you are going to need to have and get to operate, only to find that the subfloor is not amount so you are going to have to determine out how to resolve that ahead of you can dazzle your neighbors with your newfound tile-laying mastery.

There is a ahead of (the organizing) and an just after (clean up-up) to every single undertaking . . . don’t fail to remember to prepare for that, far too!

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


What should I prepare for?

At a minimum amount, Diy undertaking organizing should incorporate:

  1. a price range
  2. a timeline
  3. a source list
  4. a prepare for not just the ‘what,’ but also the ‘how’

Program for the ahead of, the during, and the just after of the undertaking. 

Scheduling can often just take just as prolonged, if not extended than the undertaking itself.

Making a price range and expense-evaluating to get the best worth for your supplies will just take time and effort.

Making an attempt to track down that ‘perfect’ faucet you noticed in an Instagram post can be a rabbit’s hole and a time suck. You need to have to prepare for the time you are going to invest scouring web sites for concepts and supplies.

What if I’m not ready to entire this as quickly as I imagine I’m going to be ready to? What will delays effects and how? Will delays necessarily mean it in the long run prices me a lot more?

There will be surprises, even with the best laid strategies. Create in extra time and a minimal extra money to your prepare to enable for the unexpected.

See how I remodeled my hall closet and added storage area.

What equipment will I need to have?

When calculating the expense, don’t fail to remember to take into consideration the price of getting, leasing, or borrowing the equipment you are going to need to have. And a truck might nicely be a essential tool—how are you going to transport 4’ x 8’ parts of plywood from the lumber retail outlet to your home?

You are going to need to have a location to use all those equipment and retail outlet all those equipment. Feel it as a result of.

Annnnd . . . you are going to need to have time to determine out how to use all all those equipment or uncover an individual to instruct you. Not just how to use the equipment, but also how to alter blades, etcetera. and sustain them thoroughly so they function safely. It is best to use a new tool for the initially time on a smaller undertaking so that you feel snug and self-assured in running it properly ahead of you move on to larger issues.

Linked Looking at: 12 Need to Have Applications for Diy Initiatives

How a lot area will I need to have?

This is a biggie. Do you have someplace to set the furnishings even though you replace the floors? Do you have someplace to retail outlet and use your equipment during the undertaking? Do you have someplace to hold the lumber you’re applying away from the elements?

What about when you get started painting all all those cabinets you’re making—you’re organizing to set up shop in your driveway, but what if it is raining for three days straight? Will it operate to park your automobile out in the road even though your garage is remodeled into a workshop? The place are you going to set the kids’ bikes if you have to uncover a location for that desk noticed you’re borrowing from Uncle Joe?

Tips and Tricks for Planning a DIY Home Renovation Project

What basic safety safeguards and machines do I need to have?

Be safe and sound! Be safe and sound! Be safe and sound! On the internet tutorials don’t constantly supply basic safety suggestions about shielding oneself when you operate. Safety is vital!

Quite often, initially-time Diy-ers are unfamiliar with even the most basic of basic safety rules:

  • Do not wear free apparel or jewellery.
  • Tie your hair back and make sure absolutely nothing obstructs your eyesight.
  • Dress in closed-toe shoes that will guard your ft.
  • Familiarize yourselves with the basic safety suggestions that come with just about every and every single tool you use, and honor all those suggestions religiously.
  • Particles are a big deal. You don’t want to be respiration in sawdust or substances when you’re performing. If you’re a Diy-er, you most probably don’t have a constructed-in dust assortment program like they do in qualified workshops. You are going to need to have to wear a mask and a great one particular! And you have to wear it not just when you’re chopping, but the complete time you’re performing in that space—those particles are even now floating in the air and you’re respiration them in if you don’t have a mask. And, hold the area you’re performing in nicely ventilated.
  • Get the job done gradual, continuous, and mindful. Choose a split if you’re experience worn out or burned out. You make issues when you’re worn out or when you’re rushed, and issues designed even though running a electrical power noticed are, nicely, really darn big issues.
  • Use the right equipment for the career! Usually! Making an attempt to ‘make do’ or jerry-rig a little something just to get by or stay clear of the problems of performing
    it right is not value it!
  • Understand when you need to have an individual who is aware of a minimal a lot more than you do. You can even now be a Diy goddess and check with for assist. Specifically with things like wiring or plumbing in which failing to do a little something properly can be a really, really big deal.
Before And After Built In Bookshelf

Install your own constructed-in bookshelves with Justin and Cassity’s tutorial

What is the Diy ripple outcome of this undertaking?

When you just take on a undertaking, it is not only a make any difference of possibility expense (what you’re not giving your time to instead given that you’re performing on the undertaking), but also a make any difference of how it impacts your day by day routines and all those of anyone around you.

Wood generates a whole lot of noticed dust. Paint can be messy and make pungent fumes. Putting in flooring implies you’re not walking on all those floors and your furnishings is not sitting down on them. Feel about how your residing area will be limited and how that will effects you and all those you are living with.

There are all kinds of charges and delays you couldn’t quite possibly prepare for. Perhaps your electrical power drill breaks mid-undertaking and you have to go obtain a new one particular. Perhaps you come down with the flu and just cannot operate on your undertaking for a week or two. Perhaps a undertaking at your day career pops up and you’re all of a sudden putting in tons of extra several hours at the office with no time for house tasks.

Take into account the stress and emotional burden! It is nerve-racking to incorporate one particular a lot more merchandise to our chaotic life and prolonged to-do lists, especially if you’re a mum or dad with younger young children or if you have an especially demanding profession. Your time and strength are in restricted source and you have to price range how you are going to use them.

If you are living in an condominium or townhouse, you just cannot operate your electrical power drill at all several hours of the day with no disturbing your neighbors. Also, you may have other added complicating elements, these kinds of as possessing to routine the company elevator to carry your supplies up from the parking garage, etcetera.

You may uncover oneself taking in out a lot more or paying out a lot more on conveniences and expert services to cost-free up a lot more of your time to commit to the Diy undertaking. These prices incorporate up and should be taken into account in the price range for your undertaking.

Linked Looking at: Cassity’s Ideas for Surviving Everyday living in a Rework

Scheduling a Master Closet Renovation

Here’s a the latest Diy undertaking I undertook—a master bedroom and master closet renovation. Beneath, I talk a minimal about the system at the rear of the undertaking to give you a much better perception of what is concerned when picking out Diy.

For some concepts and facts about DIYing your own closet renovation, try out these posts:

During And After Closet Built In 2

Linked Looking at: 35 Diy Closet Hacks to Make More Room and Organize Your Closet


How Did You Program?

Sketch Up

In progress of beginning the undertaking, I laid the groundwork and prepared all the things out.

I made a Diy undertaking prepare that incorporated 1) a price range two) a timeline three) a source list four) custom made build strategies and 5) a prepare for not just the ‘what,’ but also the ‘how.’

I cleared all of my commitments for a good two weeks to operate on the undertaking complete-time. (It took extended than two weeks, but giving myself two weeks to operate complete-time acquired the undertaking far more than enough alongside that I could finish it section-time from there).

I found all of the supplies I would need to have in progress. This incorporated price-evaluating and calculating transport/shipping and delivery prices so that I could stay in price range. And it intended all the things from nails and screws to caulk and paint to lumber and hanging rods. Of program there were random odds-and-ends I essential as I went alongside, but the bulk of my supplies were bought and on-hand when I started my undertaking.

I scheduled a local transferring company for a two-hour block to assist me move the bigger furnishings items that I understood I couldn’t control on my own in clearing out the area to be renovated.

IMG 4225

I scheduled the shipping and delivery of the lumber I essential for my undertaking and cleared a designated space to retail outlet it.

I invested a number of several hours hunting at photographs of closets online to get concepts. I set up a Pinterest board in which I pinned ‘inspiration’ tasks to refer to as I designed my closet format.

I took all the measurements, noted in which there were retailers and other prospective road blocks, and arrived up with a structure prepare for both my bedroom and my closet. I drew it all up to scale.

I applied SketchUp 3D software to design—from scratch—each and every single one particular of the factors for the constructed-ins I was making, and then I compiled a master list of all the element parts and their measurements.

I drew out detailed minimize strategies for just about every piece of plywood to reduce squander.

I took an stock of my equipment and designed sure I experienced what I essential for the undertaking and that my equipment were in great mend. I also designed sure I experienced extra blades for my miter noticed, extra luggage for my moist/dry vac, etcetera., as nicely as basic safety gear like masks and protective eye wear.

I carefully considered as a result of what would be concerned to make sure I experienced the talent set and know-how to see the undertaking as a result of.

I made a routine for what to operate on just about every day, altering it as I went.

I held all of my receipts and notes and strategies and measurements together in a binder that I could easily reference when essential.

IMG 5532

What Did Not Go As Prepared?

I experienced originally prepared to rip up the aged carpet and install the new flooring myself, but as the week progressed, I realized that I would not be concluded on routine if I did not get a minimal assist.

I made a decision that being completed in time was vital more than enough to me to justify going in excess of price range a minimal, and so I employed installers to come in and do the ground. It took a two-guy staff of knowledgeable installers a complete 50 percent-day to finish, which verified to me that I’d designed the right preference in selecting out, as it most absolutely would have taken me, performing on my own, at the very least 4x as prolonged.

I underestimated the toll that the warmth would just take on me. For two straight weeks, I labored 12- to eighteen-hour days. Most of that time was invested in my driveway and garage making factors. It is grueling and exhausting operate on its own, but designed a lot more so by 90+ diploma temperatures and 100% humidity.

I understood that some of the undertaking would just take extended than two weeks, but I underestimated how disruptive the ongoing renovations would be to my family and our routines as soon as the new faculty year begun. When I was no extended ready to set in eighteen-hour days (for the reason that, good day, authentic lifestyle), it took me a lot extended to finish the last 50 percent of the undertaking than it did the initially 50 percent.

This was my largest Diy undertaking yet, and I underestimated how prolonged cleansing-up-as-you-go would just take. When you’re ripping dozens of boards a day, noticed dust and scrap wood builds up quickly. It took a lot more time than I experienced prepared on to hold my operate area clean up, orderly, and useful.

What Does Diy Do To You?

You know how every single Diy blogger or Instagram influencer you have at any time found has designer yoga pants, correctly coiffed hair, and a complete deal with of make-up in just about every of their action shots?

Yeah, nicely, I have no idea how to do that. When I operate, I sweat. I stink. I’m carrying my oldest, rattiest t-shirt. I’m lined from head to toe in sawdust and paint and wood glue. My hair is pulled back in a frizzy pile. And I just cannot wear make-up for the reason that it drives me insane to wear a respirator mask and protective eye gear when I have make-up on. That, and I just sweat any make-up I have right on off! Diy is tough operate!

DIY Built-In Bookshelves

Install your own constructed-in bookshelves with Justin and Cassity’s tutorial

What Comes Following the Diy?

The clean up-up comes just after, that’s what.

It took me several hours and several hours to set my garage back together. I experienced to lease a truck and make two individual outings to the dump with all of the leftover scraps and materials.

I experienced to move all of the furnishings and apparel back into the master bedroom and master closet and restore get to the other sections of the home that were impacted by the upheaval.

Though prioritizing a undertaking of this dimension, other issues in my lifestyle took a back seat and so when I lastly concluded the renovation, I experienced a ton of catch-up to do.

So, what are my best suggestions for organizing a Diy undertaking?

Start smaller, prepare nicely, discover as you go, and have pleasurable!

Browse a lot more about capabilities for Diy house renovation tasks:

Pin this to help you save it for later and share with your DIYing mates

How to Plan a DIY Home Renovation Project: Truths and Myths about DIYing

How to Plan a DIY Home Renovation Project: Truths and Myths about the Nitty Gritty Work of DIY Projects

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About Jenny McArthur