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How to Plan a DIY Home Renovation Project

If you are preparing a significant Do-it-yourself project in your property, read these strategies for how to prepare a Do-it-yourself property renovation project, like inquiries you must question oneself just before you begin transforming. 

As a self-taught DIYer, I’ve planned and executed a amount of Do-it-yourself property renovation assignments. Right here on Remodelaholic, I’ve shared a handful of, like my kitchen makeover, corridor closet remodel, and strategies for putting in trim and molding.

These days I’d like to share some thoughts on preparing Do-it-yourself property assignments, like inquiries to question *just before* you commence and some myths about DIYing.

How to Plan a DIY Home Renovation Project


Table of Contents

Items to Believe About Right before You Start out a Do-it-yourself Undertaking

So You’re Wondering About Do-it-yourself?

I have four kids. When striving to educate them a lifetime ability, I’ll typically say, “When you are out on your very own sometime, you are likely to wish you’d taken the time to find out this!” To which my teenager responds, “But, Mother. There is YouTube. If I have to have to do it, I’ll check out a online video.”

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

Even with superior instruction, there is typically additional to a Do-it-yourself project than we feel. Be practical . . . not so intimidated that you never give it a consider, but not so naive that you just take on additional than you can take care of.

Right here are a handful of things I’d encourage these thinking of a Do-it-yourself project to feel about just before jumping in . . . some truths, some myths. 

Do-it-yourself Household Renovation Undertaking Planning: Myths & Truths

Truth: Do-it-yourself assignments can be enormously rewarding.

That is why there are so a lot of of us who proudly declare the title of Remodelaholic!

  • There is a lot of self-satisfaction to be had in carrying out a thing oneself. 
  • You can most likely create a thing you couldn’t come across in a retailer.
  • You get to deliver to lifetime the vision in your head, just as you want it and just as you see it. 
  • You can receive new capabilities that you’ll be capable to use in plenty of unique methods and on long run assignments.
See how I remodeled my kitchen with just a handful of little aspects and simple Do-it-yourself assignments.

Myth: If you can Do-it-yourself it, you must.

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

At times the toll on your time and electricity, or when it is a project that is further than your ability set, indicates it would be superior not to do it oneself.

Complex knowledge is sometimes expected to do a job and do it appropriate. Some things are superior left to a qualified.

The outdated adage “you get what you fork out for” is true, but so is “you get what you can do.” Consider the good quality and feasibility of the desired outcome when selecting no matter whether to go it by yourself or retain the services of some help.

Particularly when enterprise significant-scale Do-it-yourself assignments, the influence on your property and your sanity is not insignificant. And, when calculating charge, don’t just take into consideration time-to-execute and charge-of-provides, but also the time to get ready and prepare, the time to thoroughly clean-up afterwards, and all the catch-up get the job done you’ll have to do in other parts of your lifetime when you have been prioritizing a Do-it-yourself project which is taken up all of your time and electricity.

Before And After Built In Bookshelf

Myth: Performing a property project myself is always less expensive and saves me funds.

Truth: At times Do-it-yourself isn’t basically less expensive than obtaining it at the retailer or having to pay a person else to do it.

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

Financial state of scale is a true theory. Makers have a proportionate saving in costs received by an greater stage of manufacturing. In other words and phrases, it costs them a lot less to invest in the elements, and their process is much a lot quicker and additional productive than yours is likely to be. At times it truly is less expensive and additional realistic to invest in it all set-designed than to make it oneself.

Your time is worth a thing. Time is funds. Your time is funds.

Possibility charge = “the reduction of probable attain from other choices when a single substitute is decided on.” To give your ti
me and electricity to a Do-it-yourself project indicates you are not providing your time and electricity to other things. So the charge of the Do-it-yourself project is not just your time and provides, it is also the charge of all the other things you are not carrying out with that time and funds.

Say you gain $twenty/hour at your working day job. If you construct a bookcase oneself and it usually takes you twenty several hours to do it, your labor costs are primarily $400. And that doesn’t just take into account the above described opportunity charge for other things in your lifetime you did not commit that time on, or the charge of provides. So, yeah, possibly not worth it.

But if you are mastering a new ability set along the way or if it is offering a artistic outlet for you, perfectly, then, yeah, possibly it is worth it.

See how I saved 1000’s of pounds putting in my very own trim get the job done and moldings.

Before And After Built In Laundry Hamper


Truth: Do-it-yourself = tricky get the job done and a lot of it.

Even “easy” Do-it-yourself assignments just take tricky get the job done and even the easiest makeovers can flip into greater assignments with unforeseen results. 

It usually takes a toll to add a Do-it-yourself project to your to-do list. Every single project I’ve ever taken on has had unforeseen set-backs (hello there, true lifetime) and has taken more time to entire than I had planned on.

Do-it-yourself assignments, specifically property renovation, are bodily powerful. You are going to be sweaty and filthy and drained and your muscular tissues will ache from your head to your toes. You are going to have blisters and splinters and paint-splattered hair.

Relying on the project, the get the job done can be really actual physical. Heaps of weighty lifting, crawling into limited areas, climbing up and down ladders, working outdoors in the warmth, and many others. Consider your wellbeing and fitness when wondering about a Do-it-yourself project.

You are going to strike a wall. (At times practically, if which is part of the renovation prepare.) Particularly with massive assignments. It will be more challenging, just take more time, and be additional difficult than you planned on. You are going to want to give up just to be done with it. Just after all, you have by now bought a working day job. A massive Do-it-yourself project can be like incorporating twenty+several hours to your get the job done week.

At times it just will not get the job done out. You are going to have taken on additional than you can take care of. Be sincere about when it is time to deliver in the professionals or question for help. It is okay. 

During And After Closet Built In

Concerns to Ask As You Approach a Do-it-yourself Household Renovation Undertaking

There are a lot of things to take into consideration as you prepare a Do-it-yourself project for your property (further than “What would Chip and Joanna Gaines do?”).

Is this project and ability set in your wheelhouse?

It took me a 12 months to influence my husband that I could do a significant trim project in our property. (See Right here). Can you blame him? At the time, I had zero knowledge in putting in trim. Our property is our most considerable financial expense. What if I hadn’t been capable to pull it off and we had to swallow the charge, or fork out even additional to deliver a person else in to resolve my mistakes? In our circumstance, it all turned out truly perfectly, but it is smart to very carefully take into consideration your ability set and the feasibility of a project just before committing.

In preparing, take into consideration the worst-circumstance scenario must your Do-it-yourself project not conclude in trails of glory. Is it worth any associated risks?

At times a project can push you to find out new capabilities and strengthen existing kinds. Tasks that push you and extend you are superior! But it is unrealistic to feel you can leap from setting up a single set of floating wall shelves to single-handedly renovating a lavatory. Take on a tiny at a time. Understand as you go.

Before And After Wainscoting

How advanced is this Do-it-yourself project? And how advanced could it *develop into*?

For certain, there are some assignments you can check out a single or two YouTube tutorials and you are superior to go. You are going to have it done in a working day.

Other assignments, specifically property renovation kinds, can be much, much additional concerned than you’d feel they’d be. Typically, on line tutorials are more than-simplified and the individual carrying out them is additional skilled, so it usually takes them less time to entire a project than it would for you to do it.

People household flip demonstrates wherever a rambler goes from drab to fab in a single 30-moment episode? Effectively, a lot of the blood, sweat, and tears it usually takes to make that take place finishes up on the slicing area flooring. And, usually, these Do-it-yourself-ers are possibly skilled household-flippers or they are working with specialists who are.

There are typically layers of complexity to assignments that you don’t see on the area in the finished products. . . . there are setting up codes you have to be conscious of and abide by, there is wiring and plumbing in
the partitions that you don’t know is there, and many others.

You are going to encounter unforeseen challenges that might not display up in that Do-it-yourself tutorial you viewed. For example, you check out ten video clips on laying tile, you invest in everything you feel you’ll have to have and get to get the job done, only to learn that the subfloor is not stage so you’ll have to figure out how to resolve that just before you can dazzle your neighbors with your newfound tile-laying mastery.

There is a just before (the preparing) and an just after (thoroughly clean-up) to each and every project . . . don’t forget about to prepare for that, much too!

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


What must I prepare for?

At a minimal, Do-it-yourself project preparing must include things like:

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

Approach for the just before, the for the duration of, and the just after of the project. 

Planning can sometimes just take just as lengthy, if not more time than the project itself.

Building a funds and charge-evaluating to get the best price for your provides will just take time and effort and hard work.

Attempting to track down that ‘perfect’ faucet you observed in an Instagram article can be a rabbit’s gap and a time suck. You have to have to prepare for the time you’ll commit scouring websites for ideas and provides.

What if I’m not capable to entire this as promptly as I feel I’m likely to be capable to? What will delays influence and how? Will delays suggest it in the end costs me additional?

There will be surprises, even with the best laid ideas. Establish in extra time and a tiny extra funds to your prepare to make it possible for for the unforeseen.

See how I remodeled my corridor closet and added storage place.

What applications will I have to have?

When calculating the charge, don’t forget about to take into consideration the price of obtaining, leasing, or borrowing the applications you’ll have to have. And a truck may well perfectly be a desired tool—how are you likely to transport 4’ x 8’ pieces of plywood from the lumber retailer to your household?

You are going to have to have a put to use these applications and retailer these applications. Believe it via.

Annnnd . . . you’ll have to have time to figure out how to use all these applications or come across a person to educate you. Not just how to use the applications, but also how to transform blades, and many others. and preserve them correctly so they function properly. It is best to use a new software for the first time on a lesser project so that you truly feel comfortable and confident in working it effectively just before you shift on to even bigger things.

Relevant Reading through: 12 Have to Have Instruments for Do-it-yourself Tasks

How much place will I have to have?

This is a biggie. Do you have someplace to set the home furniture while you substitute the flooring? Do you have someplace to retailer and use your applications for the duration of the project? Do you have someplace to keep the lumber you are working with away from the features?

What about when you commence painting all these shelves you are making—you’re preparing to set up shop in your driveway, but what if it is raining for three days straight? Will it get the job done to park your vehicle out in the road while your garage is remodeled into a workshop? The place are you likely to set the kids’ bikes if you have to come across a put for that desk observed you are borrowing from Uncle Joe?

Tips and Tricks for Planning a DIY Home Renovation Project

What protection safety measures and tools do I have to have?

Be safe! Be safe! Be safe! On the web tutorials don’t always give protection tips about shielding oneself when you get the job done. Security is essential!

Quite often, first-time Do-it-yourself-ers are unfamiliar with even the easiest of protection guidelines:

  • Really do not put on loose clothing or jewellery.
  • Tie your hair again and make certain nothing at all obstructs your vision.
  • Have on shut-toe footwear that will defend your toes.
  • Familiarize yourselves with the protection tips that occur with every single and each and every software you use, and honor these tips religiously.
  • Particles are a massive offer. You don’t want to be respiration in sawdust or chemical substances when you are working. If you are a Do-it-yourself-er, you most most likely don’t have a created-in dust selection technique like they do in qualified workshops. You are going to have to have to put on a mask and a superior a single! And you have to put on it not just when you are slicing, but the whole time you are working in that space—those particles are nevertheless floating in the air and you are respiration them in if you don’t have a mask. And, keep the place you are working in perfectly ventilated.
  • Get the job done sluggish, continual, and mindful. Take a crack if you are experience drained or burned out. You make mistakes when you are drained or when you are rushed, and mistakes designed while working a power observed are, perfectly, fairly darn massive mistakes.
  • Use the appropriate applications for the job! Often! Attempting to ‘make do’ or jerry-rig a thing just to get by or avoid the hassle of carrying out it appropriate is not worth it!
  • Acknowledge when you have to have a person who is familiar with a tiny additional than you do. You can nevertheless be a Do-it-yourself goddess and question for help. Particularly with stuff like wiring or plumbing wherever failing to do a thing effectively can be a truly, truly massive offer.
Before And After Built In Bookshelf

Put in your very own created-in bookshelves with Justin and Cassity’s tutorial

What is the Do-it-yourself ripple influence of this project?

When you just take on a project, it is not only a subject of opportunity charge (what you are not providing your time to rather considering that you are working on the project), but also a subject of how it impacts your day by day routines and these of absolutely everyone close to you.

Wood generates a lot of observed dust. Paint can be messy and create smelly fumes. Installing flooring indicates you are not strolling on these flooring and your home furniture isn’t sitting down on them. Believe about how your living place will be restricted and how that will influence you and these you reside with.

There are all varieties of expenses and delays you couldn’t possibly prepare for. Maybe your power drill breaks mid-project and you have to go invest in a new a single. Maybe you occur down with the flu and just can’t get the job done on your project for a week or two. Maybe a project at your working day job pops up and you are abruptly putting in plenty of extra several hours at the business with no time for property assignments.

Consider the anxiety and emotional load! It is nerve-racking to add a single additional merchandise to our hectic life and prolonged to-do lists, specifically if you are a parent with youthful children or if you have an specifically demanding job. Your time and electricity are in limited supply and you ought to funds how you’ll use them.

If you reside in an condominium or townhouse, you just can’t run your power drill at all several hours of the working day devoid of disturbing your neighbors. Also, you might have other added complicating things, such as getting to program the assistance elevator to deliver your provides up from the parking garage, and many others.

You might come across oneself having out additional or investing additional on conveniences and providers to cost-free up additional of your time to dedicate to the Do-it-yourself project. People costs add up and must be taken into account in the funds for your project.

Relevant Reading through: Cassity’s Suggestions for Surviving Existence in a Transform

Planning a Master Closet Renovation

Here’s a latest Do-it-yourself project I undertook—a grasp bedroom and grasp closet renovation. Underneath, I communicate a tiny about the process driving the project to give you a superior perception of what is concerned when picking out Do-it-yourself.

For some ideas and information about DIYing your very own closet renovation, consider these posts:

During And After Closet Built In 2

Relevant Reading through: 35 Do-it-yourself Closet Hacks to Make Far more Space and Arrange Your Closet


How Did You Approach?

Sketch Up

In advance of beginning the project, I laid the groundwork and planned everything out.

I made a Do-it-yourself project prepare that bundled 1) a funds 2) a timeline three) a supply list four) tailor made construct ideas and five) a prepare for not just the ‘what,’ but also the ‘how.’

I cleared all of my commitments for a solid two weeks to get the job done on the project comprehensive-time. (It took more time than 2 weeks, but providing myself two weeks to get the job done comprehensive-time bought the project considerably more than enough along that I could finish it part-time from there).

I located all of the provides I would have to have in advance. This bundled rate-evaluating and calculating shipping and delivery/shipping costs so that I could continue to be in funds. And it intended everything from nails and screws to caulk and paint to lumber and hanging rods. Of system there have been random odds-and-finishes I desired as I went along, but the bulk of my provides have been acquired and on-hand when I started my project.

I scheduled a area transferring enterprise for a 2-hour block to help me shift the greater home furniture merchandise that I realized I couldn’t deal with on my very own in clearing out the place to be renovated.

IMG 4225

I scheduled the shipping of the lumber I desired for my project and cleared a specified area to retailer it.

I invested a number of several hours on the lookout at pics of closets on line to get ideas. I set up a Pinterest board wherever I pinned ‘inspiration’ assignments to refer to as I designed my closet layout.

I took all the measurements, famous wherever there have been shops and other probable obstructions, and arrived up with a style prepare for each my bedroom and my closet. I drew it all up to scale.

I employed SketchUp 3D software package to design—from scratch—each and each and every a single of the elements for the created-ins I was setting up, and then I compiled a grasp list of all the element pieces and their measurements.

I drew out comprehensive lower ideas for every single piece of plywood to lessen squander.

I took an inventory of my applications and designed certain I had what I desired for the project and that my applications have been in superior repair service. I also designed certain I had extra blades for my miter observed, extra baggage for my moist/dry vac, and many others., as perfectly as protection equipment like masks and protecting eye put on.

I very carefully thought via what would be concerned to make certain I had the ability set and know-how to see the project via.

I made a program for what to get the job done on every single working day, modifying it as I went.

I held all of my receipts and notes and ideas and measurements collectively in a binder that I could easily reference any time desired.

IMG 5532

What Did Not Go As Planned?

I had at first planned to rip up the outdated carpet and install the new flooring myself, but as the week progressed, I understood that I would not be finished on program if I did not get a tiny help.

I made the decision that being done in time was essential more than enough to me to justify likely more than funds a tiny, and so I hired installers to occur in and do the flooring. It took a 2-gentleman staff of skilled installers a comprehensive half-working day to finish, which verified to me that I’d designed the appropriate choice in choosing out, as it most undoubtedly would have taken me, working on my very own, at minimum 4x as lengthy.

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 setting up elements. It is grueling and exhausting get the job done on its very own, but designed additional so by ninety+ diploma temperatures and a hundred% humidity.

I realized that some of the project would just take more time than 2 weeks, but I underestimated how disruptive the ongoing renovations would be to my relatives and our routines after the new school 12 months begun. When I was no more time capable to set in eighteen-hour days (because, hello there, true lifetime), it took me much more time to finish the final half of the project than it did the first half.

This was my most significant Do-it-yourself project yet, and I underestimated how lengthy cleansing-up-as-you-go would just take. When you are ripping dozens of boards a working day, observed dust and scrap wood builds up promptly. It took additional time than I had planned on to keep my get the job done place thoroughly clean, orderly, and purposeful.

What Does Do-it-yourself Do To You?

You know how each and every Do-it-yourself blogger or Instagram influencer you have ever witnessed has designer yoga pants, beautifully coiffed hair, and a comprehensive experience of make-up in every single of their action pictures?

Yeah, perfectly, I have no concept how to do that. When I get the job done, I sweat. I stink. I’m carrying my oldest, rattiest t-shirt. I’m protected from head to toe in sawdust and paint and wood glue. My hair is pulled again in a frizzy pile. And I just can’t put on makeup because it drives me outrageous to put on a respirator mask and protecting eye equipment when I have makeup on. That, and I just sweat any makeup I have appropriate on off! Do-it-yourself is tricky get the job done!

DIY Built-In Bookshelves

Put in your very own created-in bookshelves with Justin and Cassity’s tutorial

What Arrives Just after the Do-it-yourself?

The thoroughly clean-up arrives just after, which is what.

It took me several hours and several hours to set my garage again collectively. I had to hire a truck and make two different journeys to the dump with all of the leftover scraps and elements.

I had to shift all of the home furniture and clothing again into the grasp bedroom and grasp closet and restore purchase to the other pieces of the household that have been impacted by the upheaval.

When prioritizing a project of this measurement, other things in my lifetime took a again seat and so when I ultimately finished the renovation, I had a ton of catch-up to do.

So, what are my best strategies for preparing a Do-it-yourself project?

Start out little, prepare perfectly, find out as you go, and have fun!

Study additional about capabilities for Do-it-yourself property renovation assignments:

Pin this to conserve it for afterwards and share with your DIYing close friends

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