How to Plan a DIY Home Renovation Project

If you’re arranging a important Do it yourself task in your home, go through these recommendations for how to system a Do it yourself home renovation task, which include issues you should ask your self right before you get started reworking. 

As a self-taught DIYer, I have planned and executed a quantity of Do it yourself home renovation assignments. Below on Remodelaholic, I have shared a couple, which include my kitchen area makeover, hall closet remodel, and recommendations for installing trim and molding.

Nowadays I’d like to share some thoughts on arranging Do it yourself home assignments, which include issues to ask *right before* you start and some myths about DIYing.

How to Plan a DIY Home Renovation Project


Table of Contents

Things to Feel About Before You Start out a Do it yourself Venture

So You’re Wondering About Do it yourself?

I have 4 little ones. When hoping to instruct them a life ability, I’ll usually say, “When you’re out on your possess sometime, you’re heading to would like you’d taken the time to study this!” To which my teen responds, “But, Mother. There is YouTube. If I want to do it, I’ll observe a online video.”

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

Even with fantastic instruction, there is usually more to a Do it yourself task than we consider. Be practical . . . not so intimidated that you never ever give it a consider, but not so naive that you choose on more than you can cope with.

Below are a couple things I’d encourage those considering a Do it yourself task to consider about right before jumping in . . . some truths, some myths. 

Do it yourself Residence Renovation Venture Scheduling: Myths & Truths

Fact: Do it yourself assignments can be enormously gratifying.

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

  • There is a great deal of self-fulfillment to be experienced in undertaking one thing your self. 
  • You can possibly generate one thing you couldn’t find in a retail store.
  • You get to deliver to life the eyesight in your head, just as you want it and just as you see it. 
  • You can obtain new expertise that you will be ready to use in a lot of diverse ways and on long run assignments.
See how I reworked my kitchen area with just a couple small particulars and straightforward Do it yourself assignments.

Fantasy: If you can Do it yourself it, you should.

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

In some cases the toll on your time and vitality, or when it’s a task that is beyond your ability established, implies it would be far better not to do it your self.

Technical experience is in some cases required to do a work and do it correct. Some things are far better still left to a specialist.

The previous adage “you get what you spend for” is correct, but so is “you get what you can do.” Look at the high-quality and feasibility of the preferred result when determining irrespective of whether to go it alone or seek the services of some assist.

Particularly when enterprise substantial-scale Do it yourself assignments, the effect on your home and your sanity is not insignificant. And, when calculating expense, do not just consider time-to-execute and expense-of-materials, but also the time to get ready and system, the time to cleanse-up afterwards, and all the catch-up do the job you will have to do in other parts of your life when you have been prioritizing a Do it yourself task that is taken up all of your time and vitality.

Before And After Built In Bookshelf

Fantasy: Accomplishing a home task myself is always more affordable and saves me revenue.

Fact: In some cases Do it yourself is not in fact more affordable than buying it at the retail store or spending a person else to do it.

Before you channel your internal HGTV star, some things to consider:

Economic system of scale is a correct principle. Producers have a proportionate preserving in fees acquired by an amplified amount of manufacturing. In other terms, it fees them a great deal significantly less to invest in the resources, and their system is significantly faster and more productive than yours is heading to be. In some cases it seriously is more affordable and more sensible to invest in it completely ready-manufactured than to make it your self.

Your time is worth one thing. Time is revenue. Your time is revenue.

Prospect expense = “the reduction of prospective attain from other options when a single choice is picked out.” To give your time and vitality to a Do it yourself task implies you’re not offering your time and vitality to other things. So the expense of the Do it yourself task is not just your time and materials, it’s also the expense of all the other things you’re not undertaking with that time and revenue.

Say you generate $20/hour at your working day work. If you create a bookcase your self and it takes you 20 hours to do it, your labor fees are in essence $400. And that doesn’t choose into account the higher than talked about option expense for other things in your life you did not expend that time on, or the expense of materials. So, yeah, it’s possible not worth it.

But if you’re finding out a new ability established together the way or if it’s providing a imaginative outlet for you, well, then, yeah, it’s possible it is worth it.

See how I saved 1000’s of dollars installing my possess trim do the job and moldings.

Before And After Built In Laundry Hamper


Fact: Do it yourself = tricky do the job and a great deal of it.

Even “easy” Do it yourself assignments choose tricky do the job and even the simplest makeovers can flip into bigger assignments with unexpected results. 

It takes a toll to add a Do it yourself task to your to-do listing. Each individual task I have at any time taken on has experienced unexpected established-backs (hi there, serious life) and has taken extended to entire than I experienced planned on.

Do it yourself assignments, primarily home renovation, are bodily rigorous. You’ll be sweaty and dirty and tired and your muscular tissues will ache from your head to your toes. You’ll have blisters and splinters and paint-splattered hair.

Depending on the task, the do the job can be extremely actual physical. Loads of weighty lifting, crawling into limited spaces, climbing up and down ladders, doing the job outdoors in the heat, and so forth. Look at your health and health when imagining about a Do it yourself task.

You’ll strike a wall. (In some cases virtually, if that is portion of the renovation system.) Particularly with massive assignments. It will be more challenging, choose extended, and be more complicated than you planned on. You’ll want to quit just to be completed with it. Right after all, you have now bought a working day work. A massive Do it yourself task can be like introducing 20+hours to your do the job week.

In some cases it just won’t do the job out. You’ll have taken on more than you can cope with. Be straightforward about when it’s time to deliver in the execs or ask for assist. It’s alright. 

During And After Closet Built In

Concerns to Talk to As You Program a Do it yourself Residence Renovation Venture

There are a great deal of variables to consider as you system a Do it yourself task for your home (beyond “What would Chip and Joanna Gaines do?”).

Is this task and ability established in your wheelhouse?

It took me a calendar year to influence my partner that I could do a important trim task in our home. (See Below). Can you blame him? At the time, I experienced zero encounter in installing trim. Our home is our most major monetary expenditure. What if I hadn’t been ready to pull it off and we experienced to swallow the expense, or spend even more to deliver a person else in to repair my blunders? In our circumstance, it all turned out seriously well, but it’s smart to diligently consider your ability established and the feasibility of a task right before committing.

In arranging, consider the worst-circumstance circumstance should your Do it yourself task not end in trails of glory. Is it worth any involved dangers?

In some cases a task can thrust you to study new expertise and strengthen present types. Jobs that thrust you and stretch you are fantastic! But it’s unrealistic to consider you can bounce from setting up a single established of floating wall shelves to single-handedly renovating a rest room. Choose on a tiny at a time. Understand as you go.

Before And After Wainscoting

How complicated is this Do it yourself task? And how complicated could it *become*?

For certain, there are some assignments you can observe a single or two YouTube tutorials and you’re fantastic to go. You’ll have it completed in a working day.

Other assignments, primarily home renovation types, can be significantly, significantly more concerned than you’d consider they’d be. Generally, on line tutorials are more than-simplified and the human being undertaking them is more expert, so it takes them significantly less time to entire a task than it would for you to do it.

Those home flip reveals wherever a rambler goes from drab to fab in a single thirty-minute episode? Effectively, a great deal of the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to make that take place finishes up on the cutting room floor. And, normally, those Do it yourself-ers are possibly expert home-flippers or they’re doing the job with experts who are.

There are usually levels of complexity to assignments that you do not see on the surface area in the completed item. . . . there are setting up codes you have to be conscious of and abide by, there is wiring and plumbing in the walls that you do not know is there, and so forth.

You’ll come upon unexpected troubles that may possibly not exhibit up in that Do it yourself tutorial you watched. For case in point, you observe ten films on laying tile, you invest in all the things you consider you will want and get to do the job, only to discover that the subfloor is not amount so you will have to figure out how to repair that right before you can dazzle your neighbors with your newfound tile-laying mastery.

There is a right before (the arranging) and an just after (cleanse-up) to just about every task . . . do not ignore to system for that, way too!

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


What should I system for?

At a least, Do it yourself task arranging should contain:

  1. a spending budget
  2. a timeline
  3. a supply listing
  4. a system for not just the ‘what,’ but also the ‘how’

Program for the right before, the all through, and the just after of the task. 

Scheduling can in some cases choose just as extensive, if not extended than the task alone.

Generating a spending budget and expense-evaluating to get the best price for your materials will choose time and energy.

Trying to monitor down that ‘perfect’ faucet you noticed in an Instagram submit can be a rabbit’s hole and a time suck. You want to system for the time you will expend scouring internet sites for tips and materials.

What if I’m not ready to entire this as quickly as I consider I’m heading to be ready to? What will delays effect and how? Will delays signify it in the long run fees me more?

There will be surprises, even with the best laid designs. Make in extra time and a tiny extra revenue to your system to let for the unexpected.

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

What resources will I want?

When calculating the expense, do not ignore to consider the cost of buying, leasing, or borrowing the resources you will want. And a truck may well well be a desired tool—how are you heading to transport 4’ x 8’ parts of plywood from the lumber retail store to your home?

You’ll want a spot to use those resources and retail store those resources. Feel it via.

Annnnd . . . you will want time to figure out how to use all those resources or find a person to instruct you. Not just how to use the resources, but also how to change blades, and so forth. and keep them effectively so they work securely. It’s best to use a new instrument for the initially time on a smaller sized task so that you really feel cozy and confident in functioning it correctly right before you go on to bigger things.

Associated Looking at: twelve Ought to Have Tools for Do it yourself Jobs

How significantly space will I want?

This is a biggie. Do you have someplace to set the household furniture although you exchange the flooring? Do you have someplace to retail store and use your resources all through the task? Do you have someplace to maintain the lumber you’re applying absent from the elements?

What about when you start portray all those shelves you’re making—you’re arranging to established up shop in your driveway, but what if it’s raining for 3 times straight? Will it do the job to park your automobile out in the avenue although your garage is reworked into a workshop? The place are you heading to set the kids’ bikes if you have to find a spot for that desk noticed you’re borrowing from Uncle Joe?

Tips and Tricks for Planning a DIY Home Renovation Project

What safety safeguards and tools do I want?

Be secure! Be secure! Be secure! On the internet tutorials do not always present safety pointers about shielding your self when you do the job. Protection is essential!

Quite often, initially-time Do it yourself-ers are unfamiliar with even the simplest of safety policies:

  • Really don’t have on loose garments or jewelry.
  • Tie your hair back again and make certain nothing at all obstructs your eyesight.
  • Don shut-toe shoes that will defend your feet.
  • Familiarize yourselves with the safety pointers that occur with each and just about every instrument you use, and honor those pointers religiously.
  • Particles are a massive offer. You do not want to be breathing in sawdust or chemical substances when you’re doing the job. If you’re a Do it yourself-er, you most likely do not have a created-in dust collection system like they do in specialist workshops. You’ll want to have on a mask and a fantastic a single! And you have to have on it not just when you’re cutting, but the total time you’re doing the job in that space—those particles are nevertheless floating in the air and you’re breathing them in if you do not have a mask. And, maintain the space you’re doing the job in well ventilated.
  • Operate slow, steady, and very careful. Choose a break if you’re emotion tired or burned out. You make blunders when you’re tired or when you’re rushed, and blunders manufactured although functioning a power noticed are, well, pretty darn massive blunders.
  • Use the correct resources for the work! Often! Trying to ‘make do’ or jerry-rig one thing just to get by or keep away from the problems of undertaking it correct is not worth it!
  • Understand when you want a person who appreciates a tiny more than you do. You can nevertheless be a Do it yourself goddess and ask for assist. Particularly with things like wiring or plumbing wherever failing to do one thing correctly can be a seriously, seriously massive offer.
Before And After Built In Bookshelf

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

What is the Do it yourself ripple influence of this task?

When you choose on a task, it’s not only a make any difference of option expense (what you’re not offering your time to as an alternative due to the fact you’re doing the job on the task), but also a make any difference of how it impacts your daily routines and those of everyone close to you.

Wood generates a great deal of noticed dust. Paint can be messy and generate stinky fumes. Setting up flooring implies you’re not going for walks on those flooring and your household furniture is not sitting on them. Feel about how your dwelling space will be restricted and how that will effect you and those you stay with.

There are all forms of bills and delays you couldn’t quite possibly system for. It’s possible your power drill breaks mid-task and you have to go invest in a new a single. It’s possible you occur down with the flu and simply cannot do the job on your task for a week or two. It’s possible a task at your working day work pops up and you’re instantly placing in a lot of extra hours at the business office with no time for home assignments.

Look at the stress and psychological load! It is demanding to add a single more product to our occupied lives and lengthy to-do lists, primarily if you’re a mum or dad with youthful children or if you have an primarily demanding profession. Your time and vitality are in confined supply and you ought to spending budget how you will use them.

If you stay in an apartment or townhouse, you simply cannot operate your power drill at all hours of the working day with no disturbing your neighbors. Also, you may possibly have other extra complicating variables, this kind of as having to schedule the service elevator to deliver your materials up from the parking garage, and so forth.

You may possibly find your self feeding on out more or spending more on conveniences and companies to absolutely free up more of your time to devote to the Do it yourself task. Those fees add up and should be taken into account in the spending budget for your task.

Associated Looking at: Cassity’s Suggestions for Surviving Daily life in a Remodel

Scheduling a Grasp Closet Renovation

Here’s a new Do it yourself task I undertook—a grasp bedroom and grasp closet renovation. Down below, I discuss a tiny about the system at the rear of the task to give you a far better perception of what is concerned when deciding upon Do it yourself.

For some tips and facts about DIYing your possess closet renovation, consider these posts:

During And After Closet Built In 2

Associated Looking at: 35 Do it yourself Closet Hacks to Make A lot more Place and Organize Your Closet


How Did You Program?

Sketch Up

In progress of commencing the task, I laid the groundwork and planned all the things out.

I established a Do it yourself task system that bundled one) a spending budget two) a timeline 3) a supply listing four) custom made create designs and five) a system for not just the ‘what,’ but also the ‘how.’

I cleared all of my commitments for a stable two weeks to do the job on the task comprehensive-time. (It took extended than two weeks, but offering myself two weeks to do the job comprehensive-time bought the task far sufficient together that I could complete it portion-time from there).

I situated all of the materials I would want in progress. This bundled selling price-evaluating and calculating shipping/supply fees so that I could remain in spending budget. And it intended all the things from nails and screws to caulk and paint to lumber and hanging rods. Of training course there had been random odds-and-finishes I desired as I went together, but the bulk of my materials had been purchased and on-hand when I started my task.

I scheduled a community moving business for a two-hour block to assist me go the bigger household furniture products that I realized I couldn’t take care of on my possess in clearing out the space to be renovated.

IMG 4225

I scheduled the supply of the lumber I desired for my task and cleared a specified location to retail store it.

I used quite a few hours wanting at photographs of closets on line to get tips. I established up a Pinterest board wherever I pinned ‘inspiration’ assignments to refer to as I made my closet structure.

I took all the measurements, pointed out wherever there had been stores and other prospective road blocks, and arrived up with a style system for both of those my bedroom and my closet. I drew it all up to scale.

I applied SketchUp 3D software package to design—from scratch—each and just about every a single of the parts for the created-ins I was setting up, and then I compiled a grasp listing of all the element parts and their measurements.

I drew out detailed slash designs for each piece of plywood to limit waste.

I took an inventory of my resources and manufactured certain I experienced what I desired for the task and that my resources had been in fantastic mend. I also manufactured certain I experienced extra blades for my miter noticed, extra baggage for my damp/dry vac, and so forth., as well as safety gear like masks and protective eye have on.

I diligently believed via what would be concerned to make certain I experienced the ability established and know-how to see the task via.

I established a schedule for what to do the job on each working day, changing it as I went.

I kept all of my receipts and notes and designs and measurements jointly in a binder that I could easily reference each time desired.

IMG 5532

What Did Not Go As Planned?

I experienced initially planned to rip up the previous carpet and install the new flooring myself, but as the week progressed, I recognized that I would not be completed on schedule if I did not get a tiny assist.

I decided that getting completed in time was essential sufficient to me to justify heading more than spending budget a tiny, and so I hired installers to occur in and do the floor. It took a two-man crew of expert installers a comprehensive 50 %-working day to complete, which confirmed to me that I’d manufactured the correct choice in using the services of out, as it most certainly would have taken me, doing the job on my possess, at the very least 4x as extensive.

I underestimated the toll that the heat would choose on me. For two straight weeks, I worked twelve- to eighteen-hour times. Most of that time was used in my driveway and garage setting up parts. It’s grueling and exhausting do the job on its possess, but manufactured more so by ninety+ diploma temperatures and one hundred% humidity.

I realized that some of the task would choose extended than two weeks, but I underestimated how disruptive the ongoing renovations would be to my spouse and children and our routines once the new university calendar year started out. When I was no extended ready to set in eighteen-hour times (because, hi there, serious life), it took me significantly extended to complete the past 50 % of the task than it did the initially 50 %.

This was my biggest Do it yourself task yet, and I underestimated how extensive cleansing-up-as-you-go would choose. When you’re ripping dozens of boards a working day, noticed dust and scrap wood builds up quickly. It took more time than I experienced planned on to maintain my do the job space cleanse, orderly, and functional.

What Does Do it yourself Do To You?

You know how just about every Do it yourself blogger or Instagram influencer you have at any time viewed has designer yoga trousers, properly coiffed hair, and a comprehensive facial area of make-up in each of their action photographs?

Yeah, well, I have no thought how to do that. When I do the job, I sweat. I stink. I’m wearing my oldest, rattiest t-shirt. I’m protected from head to toe in sawdust and paint and wood glue. My hair is pulled back again in a frizzy pile. And I simply cannot have on makeup because it drives me insane to have on a respirator mask and protective eye gear when I have makeup on. That, and I just sweat any makeup I have correct on off! Do it yourself is tricky do the job!

DIY Built-In Bookshelves

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

What Comes Right after the Do it yourself?

The cleanse-up will come just after, that is what.

It took me hours and hours to set my garage back again jointly. I experienced to lease a truck and make two different journeys to the dump with all of the leftover scraps and resources.

I experienced to go all of the household furniture and garments back again into the grasp bedroom and grasp closet and restore get to the other parts of the home that had been impacted by the upheaval.

Whilst prioritizing a task of this dimension, other things in my life took a back again seat and so when I finally completed the renovation, I experienced a ton of catch-up to do.

So, what are my best recommendations for arranging a Do it yourself task?

Start out small, system well, study as you go, and have fun!

Examine more about expertise for Do it yourself home renovation assignments:

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

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About Jenny McArthur