How to Plan a DIY Home Renovation Project

If you are setting up a significant Do-it-yourself project in your property, browse these guidelines for how to program a Do-it-yourself property renovation project, together with inquiries you need to question by yourself in advance of you commence transforming. 

As a self-taught DIYer, I have prepared and executed a number of Do-it-yourself property renovation assignments. Here on Remodelaholic, I have shared a couple of, together with my kitchen area makeover, hall closet remodel, and guidelines for putting in trim and molding.

Currently I’d like to share some views on setting up Do-it-yourself property assignments, together with inquiries to question *in advance of* you commence and some myths about DIYing.

How to Plan a DIY Home Renovation Project


Table of Contents

Items to Assume About Ahead of You Begin a Do-it-yourself Task

So You are Thinking About Do-it-yourself?

I have 4 youngsters. When attempting to teach them a lifestyle skill, I’ll typically say, “When you are out on your own sometime, you are going to want you’d taken the time to understand this!” To which my teenager responds, “But, Mother. There is YouTube. If I have to have to do it, I’ll check out a video.”

Not the reaction I was hoping for, but certainly! We have YouTube and a million weblog posts and Pinterest pins telling us we can do it ourselves and how. Only, it is not constantly as simple as it seems. 

Even with fantastic instruction, there’s typically far more to a Do-it-yourself project than we think. Be realistic . . . not so intimidated that you hardly ever give it a attempt, but not so naive that you consider on far more than you can take care of.

Here are a couple of factors I’d persuade those considering a Do-it-yourself project to think about in advance of leaping in . . . some truths, some myths. 

Do-it-yourself Residence Renovation Task Planning: Myths & Truths

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

Which is why there are so many of us who proudly declare the title of Remodelaholic!

  • There is a great deal of self-satisfaction to be experienced in carrying out anything by yourself. 
  • You can potentially develop anything you couldn’t come across in a retail store.
  • You get to convey to lifestyle the vision in your head, just as you want it and just as you see it. 
  • You can obtain new abilities that you’ll be ready to use in tons of unique techniques and on long term assignments.
See how I remodeled my kitchen area with just a couple of compact information and uncomplicated Do-it-yourself assignments.

Myth: If you can Do-it-yourself it, you need to.

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

At times the toll on your time and strength, or when it is a project that is beyond your skill set, implies it would be far better not to do it by yourself.

Technical abilities is sometimes necessary to do a career and do it ideal. Some factors are far better remaining to a skilled.

The aged adage “you get what you spend for” is genuine, but so is “you get what you can do.” Think about the excellent and feasibility of the wanted outcome when deciding whether to go it by yourself or employ the service of some aid.

Especially when endeavor large-scale Do-it-yourself assignments, the effect on your property and your sanity is not insignificant. And, when calculating cost, really do not just look at time-to-execute and cost-of-supplies, but also the time to prepare and program, the time to clear-up afterwards, and all the catch-up function you’ll have to do in other locations of your lifestyle when you’ve been prioritizing a Do-it-yourself project that is taken up all of your time and strength.

Before And After Built In Bookshelf

Myth: Accomplishing a property project myself is constantly much less expensive and will save me money.

Truth: At times Do-it-yourself is not actually much less expensive than obtaining it at the retail store or shelling out anyone else to do it.

Ahead of you channel your internal HGTV star, some factors to look at:

Overall economy of scale is a genuine basic principle. Manufacturers have a proportionate saving in charges acquired by an greater degree of production. In other phrases, it charges them a great deal much less to purchase the materials, and their method is considerably more rapidly and far more effective than yours is going to be. At times it truly is much less expensive and far more functional to purchase it prepared-made than to make it by yourself.

Your time is worthy of anything. Time is money. Your time is money.

Option cost = “the decline of likely obtain from other choices when one different is selected.” To give your time and strength to a Do-it-yourself project implies you are not offering your time and strength to other factors. So the cost of the Do-it-yourself project is not just your time and supplies, it is also the cost of all the other factors you are not carrying out with that time and money.

Say you make $20/hour at your day career. If you make a bookcase by yourself and it takes you 20 hrs to do it, your labor charges are primarily $400. And that does not consider into account the over outlined option cost for other factors in your lifestyle you didn’t expend that time on, or the cost of supplies. So, yeah, it’s possible not worthy of it.

But if you are mastering a new skill set along the way or if it is offering a artistic outlet for you, very well, then, yeah, it’s possible it is worthy of it.

See how I saved thousands of dollars putting in my own trim function and moldings.

Before And After Built In Laundry Hamper


Truth: Do-it-yourself = really hard function and a great deal of it.

Even “easy” Do-it-yourself assignments consider really hard function and even the most basic makeovers can flip into much larger assignments with sudden outcomes. 

It takes a toll to include a Do-it-yourself project to your to-do list. Every single project I have at any time taken on has experienced sudden set-backs (good day, authentic lifestyle) and has taken for a longer period to full than I experienced prepared on.

Do-it-yourself assignments, primarily property renovation, are physically intense. You’ll be sweaty and soiled and tired and your muscle mass will ache from your head to your toes. You’ll have blisters and splinters and paint-splattered hair.

Dependent on the project, the function can be really actual physical. Heaps of major lifting, crawling into tight spaces, climbing up and down ladders, working outside in the warmth, etcetera. Think about your wellbeing and conditioning when imagining about a Do-it-yourself project.

You’ll hit a wall. (At times pretty much, if that is part of the renovation program.) Especially with huge assignments. It will be harder, consider for a longer period, and be far more complex than you prepared on. You’ll want to stop just to be accomplished with it. Following all, you’ve previously acquired a day career. A huge Do-it-yourself project can be like introducing 20+hrs to your function 7 days.

At times it just won’t function out. You’ll have taken on far more than you can take care of. Be truthful about when it is time to convey in the pros or question for aid. It is all right. 

During And After Closet Built In

Questions to Inquire As You Strategy a Do-it-yourself Residence Renovation Task

There are a great deal of elements to look at as you program a Do-it-yourself project for your property (beyond “What would Chip and Joanna Gaines do?”).

Is this project and skill set in your wheelhouse?

It took me a year to persuade my partner that I could do a significant trim project in our property. (See Here). Can you blame him? At the time, I experienced zero working experience in putting in trim. Our property is our most important money expense. What if I hadn’t been ready to pull it off and we experienced to swallow the cost, or spend even far more to convey anyone else in to resolve my errors? In our case, it all turned out truly very well, but it is clever to cautiously look at your skill set and the feasibility of a project in advance of committing.

In setting up, look at the worst-case situation need to your Do-it-yourself project not finish in trails of glory. Is it worthy of any affiliated challenges?

At times a project can press you to understand new abilities and strengthen present kinds. Projects that press you and extend you are fantastic! But it is unrealistic to think you can leap from creating one set of floating wall shelves to one-handedly renovating a toilet. Get on a minimal at a time. Find out as you go.

Before And After Wainscoting

How complex is this Do-it-yourself project? And how complex could it *turn out to be*?

For positive, there are some assignments you can check out one or two YouTube tutorials and you are fantastic to go. You’ll have it accomplished in a day.

Other assignments, primarily property renovation kinds, can be considerably, considerably far more associated than you’d think they’d be. Often, on-line tutorials are above-simplified and the person carrying out them is far more professional, so it takes them much less time to full a project than it would for you to do it.

These dwelling flip shows where a rambler goes from drab to fab in one 30-minute episode? Properly, a great deal of the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to make that come about finishes up on the reducing home ground. And, generally, those Do-it-yourself-ers are both professional dwelling-flippers or they are working with specialists who are.

There are typically levels of complexity to assignments that you really do not see on the floor in the finished product. . . . there are creating codes you have to be conscious of and comply with, there is wiring and plumbing in the partitions that you really do not know is there, etcetera.

You’ll encounter sudden difficulties that may not clearly show up in that Do-it-yourself tutorial you viewed. For instance, you check out 10 films on laying tile, you purchase everything you think you’ll have to have and get to function, only to find that the subfloor is not degree so you’ll have to figure out how to resolve that in advance of you can dazzle your neighbors with your newfound tile-laying mastery.

There is a in advance of (the setting up) and an following (clear-up) to every single project . . . really do not forget about to program for that, too!

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


What need to I program for?

At a bare minimum, Do-it-yourself project setting up need to consist of:

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

Strategy for the in advance of, the all through, and the following of the project. 

Planning can sometimes consider just as extended, if not for a longer period than the project by itself.

Making a price range and cost-comparing to get the greatest price for your supplies will consider time and hard work.

Striving to track down that ‘perfect’ faucet you noticed in an Instagram write-up can be a rabbit’s hole and a time suck. You have to have to program for the time you’ll expend scouring sites for strategies and supplies.

What if I’m not ready to full this as promptly as I think I’m going to be ready to? What will delays effect and how? Will delays signify it finally charges me far more?

There will be surprises, even with the greatest laid strategies. Develop in added time and a minimal added money to your program to permit for the sudden.

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

What instruments will I have to have?

When calculating the cost, really do not forget about to look at the expenditure of obtaining, renting, or borrowing the instruments you’ll have to have. And a truck might very well be a desired tool—how are you going to transport 4’ x 8’ parts of plywood from the lumber retail store to your dwelling?

You’ll have to have a area to use those instruments and retail store those instruments. Assume it through.

Annnnd . . . you’ll have to have time to figure out how to use all those instruments or come across anyone to teach you. Not just how to use the instruments, but also how to alter blades, etcetera. and maintain them thoroughly so they operate properly. It is greatest to use a new resource for the very first time on a smaller project so that you truly feel cozy and self-assured in operating it accurately in advance of you shift on to bigger factors.

Linked Looking at: 12 Will have to Have Resources for Do-it-yourself Projects

How considerably area will I have to have?

This is a biggie. Do you have someplace to place the home furnishings when you switch the floors? Do you have someplace to retail store and use your instruments all through the project? Do you have someplace to retain the lumber you are working with absent from the features?

What about when you commence painting all those shelves you are making—you’re setting up to set up store in your driveway, but what if it is raining for three days straight? Will it function to park your auto out in the street when your garage is remodeled into a workshop? Wherever are you going to place the kids’ bikes if you have to come across a area for that desk noticed you are borrowing from Uncle Joe?

Tips and Tricks for Planning a DIY Home Renovation Project

What safety precautions and equipment do I have to have?

Be risk-free! Be risk-free! Be risk-free! On the net tutorials really do not constantly provide safety guidelines about defending by yourself when you function. Protection is essential!

In many cases, very first-time Do-it-yourself-ers are unfamiliar with even the most basic of safety principles:

  • Really don’t don unfastened apparel or jewelry.
  • Tie your hair back and make positive absolutely nothing obstructs your vision.
  • Wear closed-toe sneakers that will safeguard your feet.
  • Familiarize yourselves with the safety guidelines that occur with each and every and every single resource you use, and honor those guidelines religiously.
  • Particles are a huge deal. You really do not want to be respiration in sawdust or chemicals when you are working. If you are a Do-it-yourself-er, you most probable really do not have a built-in dust assortment process like they do in skilled workshops. You’ll have to have to don a mask and a fantastic one! And you have to don it not just when you are reducing, but the entire time you are working in that space—those particles are nonetheless floating in the air and you are respiration them in if you really do not have a mask. And, retain the area you are working in very well ventilated.
  • Perform gradual, steady, and cautious. Get a break if you are sensation tired or burned out. You make errors when you are tired or when you are rushed, and errors made when operating a electrical power noticed are, very well, really darn huge errors.
  • Use the ideal instruments for the career! Usually! Striving to ‘make do’ or jerry-rig anything just to get by or avoid the trouble of carrying out it ideal is not worthy of it!
  • Identify when you have to have anyone who understands a minimal far more than you do. You can nonetheless be a Do-it-yourself goddess and question for aid. Especially with stuff like wiring or plumbing where failing to do anything accurately can be a truly, truly huge deal.
Before And After Built In Bookshelf

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

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

When you consider on a project, it is not only a matter of option cost (what you are not offering your time to alternatively given that you are working on the project), but also a matter of how it impacts your each day routines and those of absolutely everyone all over you.

Wood generates a great deal of noticed dust. Paint can be messy and develop smelly fumes. Installing flooring implies you are not going for walks on those floors and your home furnishings is not sitting on them. Assume about how your dwelling area will be restricted and how that will effect you and those you stay with.

There are all types of costs and delays you couldn’t perhaps program for. Probably your electrical power drill breaks mid-project and you have to go purchase a new one. Probably you occur down with the flu and can not function on your project for a 7 days or two. Probably a project at your day career pops up and you are instantly placing in tons of added hrs at the office with no time for property assignments.

Think about the anxiety and emotional load! It is tense to include one far more item to our fast paced lives and lengthy to-do lists, primarily if you are a father or mother with youthful children or if you have an primarily demanding occupation. Your time and strength are in confined provide and you need to price range how you’ll use them.

If you stay in an condominium or townhouse, you can not run your electrical power drill at all hrs of the day devoid of disturbing your neighbors. Also, you may have other included complicating elements, these as acquiring to program the assistance elevator to convey your supplies up from the parking garage, etcetera.

You may come across by yourself ingesting out far more or expending far more on conveniences and products and services to totally free up far more of your time to devote to the Do-it-yourself project. These charges include up and need to be taken into account in the price range for your project.

Linked Looking at: Cassity’s Tips for Surviving Life in a Rework

Planning a Learn Closet Renovation

Here’s a current Do-it-yourself project I undertook—a master bed room and master closet renovation. Down below, I talk a minimal about the method driving the project to give you a far better perception of what is associated when picking Do-it-yourself.

For some strategies and data about DIYing your own closet renovation, attempt these posts:

During And After Closet Built In 2

Linked Looking at: 35 Do-it-yourself Closet Hacks to Develop A lot more Place and Manage Your Closet


How Did You Strategy?

Sketch Up

In progress of starting the project, I laid the groundwork and prepared everything out.

I made a Do-it-yourself project program that incorporated 1) a price range 2) a timeline three) a provide list 4) tailor made make strategies and 5) a program for not just the ‘what,’ but also the ‘how.’

I cleared all of my commitments for a sound two weeks to function on the project entire-time. (It took for a longer period than 2 weeks, but offering myself two weeks to function entire-time acquired the project far plenty of along that I could complete it part-time from there).

I situated all of the supplies I would have to have in progress. This incorporated price-comparing and calculating shipping/shipping charges so that I could continue to be in price range. And it intended everything from nails and screws to caulk and paint to lumber and hanging rods. Of class there have been random odds-and-finishes I desired as I went along, but the bulk of my supplies have been purchased and on-hand when I began my project.

I scheduled a community transferring organization for a 2-hour block to aid me shift the much larger home furnishings merchandise that I understood I couldn’t take care of on my own in clearing out the area to be renovated.

IMG 4225

I scheduled the shipping of the lumber I desired for my project and cleared a designated place to retail store it.

I used numerous hrs looking at photos of closets on-line to get strategies. I set up a Pinterest board where I pinned ‘inspiration’ assignments to refer to as I built my closet structure.

I took all the measurements, observed where there have been retailers and other likely obstacles, and came up with a design and style program for equally my bed room and my closet. I drew it all up to scale.

I employed SketchUp 3D application to design—from scratch—each and every single one of the factors for the built-ins I was creating, and then I compiled a master list of all the element parts and their measurements.

I drew out in depth lower strategies for each and every piece of plywood to lower squander.

I took an inventory of my instruments and made positive I experienced what I desired for the project and that my instruments have been in fantastic mend. I also made positive I experienced added blades for my miter noticed, added baggage for my soaked/dry vac, etcetera., as very well as safety gear like masks and protective eye don.

I cautiously assumed through what would be associated to make positive I experienced the skill set and know-how to see the project through.

I made a program for what to function on each and every day, changing it as I went.

I kept all of my receipts and notes and strategies and measurements together in a binder that I could quickly reference any time desired.

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 7 days progressed, I understood that I would not be finished on program if I didn’t get a minimal aid.

I resolved that being accomplished in time was vital plenty of to me to justify going above price range a minimal, and so I hired installers to occur in and do the ground. It took a 2-gentleman team of professional installers a entire 50 %-day to complete, which verified to me that I’d made the ideal preference in employing out, as it most undoubtedly would have taken me, working on my own, at the very least 4x as extended.

I underestimated the toll that the warmth would consider on me. For two straight weeks, I labored 12- to 18-hour days. Most of that time was used in my driveway and garage creating factors. It is grueling and exhausting function on its own, but made far more so by 90+ diploma temperatures and a hundred% humidity.

I understood that some of the project would consider for a longer period than 2 weeks, but I underestimated how disruptive the ongoing renovations would be to my household and our routines when the new school year begun. When I was no for a longer period ready to place in 18-hour days (because, good day, authentic lifestyle), it took me considerably for a longer period to complete the previous 50 % of the project than it did the very first 50 %.

This was my most important Do-it-yourself project nonetheless, and I underestimated how extended cleansing-up-as-you-go would consider. When you are ripping dozens of boards a day, noticed dust and scrap wooden builds up promptly. It took far more time than I experienced prepared on to retain my function area clear, orderly, and functional.

What Does Do-it-yourself Do To You?

You know how every single Do-it-yourself blogger or Instagram influencer you’ve at any time found has designer yoga pants, perfectly coiffed hair, and a entire confront of make-up in each and every of their action pictures?

Yeah, very well, I have no notion how to do that. When I function, I sweat. I stink. I’m carrying my oldest, rattiest t-shirt. I’m lined from head to toe in sawdust and paint and wooden glue. My hair is pulled back in a frizzy pile. And I can not don make-up because it drives me crazy to don a respirator mask and protective eye gear 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 function!

DIY Built-In Bookshelves

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

What Will come Following the Do-it-yourself?

The clear-up comes following, that is what.

It took me hrs and hrs to place my garage back together. I experienced to rent a truck and make two individual trips to the dump with all of the leftover scraps and materials.

I experienced to shift all of the home furnishings and apparel back into the master bed room and master closet and restore order to the other areas of the dwelling that have been impacted by the upheaval.

When prioritizing a project of this dimensions, other factors in my lifestyle took a back seat and so when I lastly finished the renovation, I experienced a ton of catch-up to do.

So, what are my greatest guidelines for setting up a Do-it-yourself project?

Begin compact, program very well, understand as you go, and have enjoyment!

Browse far more about abilities for Do-it-yourself property renovation assignments:

Pin this to help save it for later on 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