February 29, 2024


Living – be prepared

How to Plan a DIY Home Renovation Project

19 min read

Table of Contents

If you’re scheduling a main Do it yourself task in your dwelling, go through these strategies for how to system a Do it yourself dwelling renovation task, such as queries you must check with oneself just before you get started transforming. 

As a self-taught DIYer, I’ve prepared and executed a amount of Do it yourself dwelling renovation initiatives. Listed here on Remodelaholic, I’ve shared a couple, such as my kitchen area makeover, hall closet remodel, and strategies for setting up trim and molding.

Currently I’d like to share some views on scheduling Do it yourself dwelling initiatives, such as queries to check with *just before* you get started and some myths about DIYing.

How to Plan a DIY Home Renovation Project


Points to Feel About Just before You Start a Do it yourself Project

So You’re Pondering About Do it yourself?

I have 4 young ones. When hoping to educate them a life skill, I’ll generally say, “When you’re out on your personal sometime, you’re heading to desire you’d taken the time to learn this!” To which my teen responds, “But, Mother. There is YouTube. If I have to have to do it, I’ll view a video.”

Not the response I was hoping for, but certainly! We have YouTube and a million blog article content and Pinterest pins telling us we can do it ourselves and how. Only, it’s not constantly as simple as it would seem. 

Even with fantastic instruction, there is generally extra to a Do it yourself task than we assume. Be realistic . . . not so intimidated that you by no means give it a check out, but not so naive that you get on extra than you can manage.

Listed here are a couple things I’d really encourage people thinking about a Do it yourself task to assume about just before leaping in . . . some truths, some myths. 

Do it yourself Household Renovation Project Preparing: Myths & Truths

Truth: Do it yourself initiatives can be enormously worthwhile.

That’s why there are so several of us who proudly claim the title of Remodelaholic!

  • There is a lot of self-gratification to be experienced in accomplishing anything oneself. 
  • You can potentially generate anything you couldn’t locate in a retail outlet.
  • You get to bring to life the eyesight in your head, just as you want it and just as you see it. 
  • You can acquire new abilities that you are going to be able to use in lots of distinct techniques and on long run initiatives.
See how I transformed my kitchen area with just a couple small particulars and simple Do it yourself initiatives.

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

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

Sometimes the toll on your time and energy, or when it’s a task that is further than your skill established, implies it would be superior not to do it oneself.

Specialized expertise is occasionally essential to do a work and do it proper. Some things are superior left to a specialist.

The previous adage “you get what you fork out for” is correct, but so is “you get what you can do.” Look at the excellent and feasibility of the preferred result when choosing irrespective of whether to go it on your own or employ the service of some assistance.

Particularly when undertaking significant-scale Do it yourself initiatives, the impression on your dwelling and your sanity is not insignificant. And, when calculating cost, really don’t just take into account time-to-execute and cost-of-materials, but also the time to put together and system, the time to cleanse-up afterwards, and all the catch-up function you are going to have to do in other places of your life when you have been prioritizing a Do it yourself task that is taken up all of your time and energy.

Before And After Built In Bookshelf

Fantasy: Accomplishing a dwelling task myself is constantly cheaper and saves me money.

Truth: Sometimes Do it yourself is not truly cheaper than obtaining it at the retail outlet or having to pay a person else to do it.

Just before you channel your internal HGTV star, some things to take into account:

Economic climate of scale is a correct basic principle. Manufacturers have a proportionate saving in expenses gained by an elevated degree of creation. In other phrases, it expenses them a lot significantly less to get the supplies, and their approach is significantly more rapidly and extra successful than yours is heading to be. Sometimes it seriously is cheaper and extra sensible to get it all set-designed than to make it oneself.

Your time is value anything. Time is money. Your time is money.

Chance cost = “the decline of possible obtain from other possibilities when just one choice is preferred.” To give your time and energy to a Do it yourself task implies you’re not giving your time and energy to other things. So the cost of the Do it yourself task is not just your time and materials, it’s also the cost of all the other things you’re not accomplishing with that time and money.

Say you receive $twenty/hour at your working day work. If you create a bookcase oneself and it normally takes you twenty hours to do it, your labor expenses are fundamentally $400. And that does not get into account the higher than mentioned opportunity cost for other things in your life you did not commit that time on, or the cost of materials. So, yeah, perhaps not value it.

But if you’re understanding a new skill established together the way or if it’s providing a artistic outlet for you, well, then, yeah, perhaps it is value it.

See how I saved 1000’s of bucks setting up my personal trim function and moldings.

Before And After Built In Laundry Hamper


Truth: Do it yourself = really hard function and a lot of it.

Even “easy” Do it yourself initiatives get really hard function and even the simplest makeovers can convert into larger initiatives with unforeseen outcomes. 

It normally takes a toll to increase a Do it yourself task to your to-do list. Just about every task I’ve ever taken on has experienced unforeseen established-backs (hello, real life) and has taken more time to comprehensive than I experienced prepared on.

Do it yourself initiatives, in particular dwelling renovation, are bodily intensive. You’ll be sweaty and dirty and fatigued 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 function can be extremely actual physical. Heaps of weighty lifting, crawling into restricted spaces, climbing up and down ladders, working outside in the heat, etc. Look at your well being and exercise when wondering about a Do it yourself task.

You’ll hit a wall. (Sometimes literally, if that is section of the renovation system.) Particularly with large initiatives. It will be more challenging, get more time, and be extra complicated than you prepared on. You’ll want to quit just to be carried out with it. Soon after all, you have now obtained a working day work. A large Do it yourself task can be like incorporating twenty+hours to your function 7 days.

Sometimes it just won’t function out. You’ll have taken on extra than you can manage. Be straightforward about when it’s time to bring in the execs or check with for assistance. It’s alright. 

During And After Closet Built In

Thoughts to Question As You Approach a Do it yourself Household Renovation Project

There are a lot of aspects to take into account as you system a Do it yourself task for your dwelling (further than “What would Chip and Joanna Gaines do?”).

Is this task and skill established in your wheelhouse?

It took me a yr to persuade my partner that I could do a main trim task in our dwelling. (See Listed here). Can you blame him? At the time, I experienced zero expertise in setting up trim. Our dwelling is our most important monetary financial commitment. What if I hadn’t been able to pull it off and we experienced to swallow the cost, or fork out even extra to bring a person else in to fix my blunders? In our circumstance, it all turned out seriously well, but it’s clever to very carefully take into account your skill established and the feasibility of a task just before committing.

In scheduling, take into account the worst-circumstance circumstance must your Do it yourself task not conclusion in trails of glory. Is it value any related risks?

Sometimes a task can thrust you to learn new abilities and boost present kinds. Initiatives that thrust you and stretch you are fantastic! But it’s unrealistic to assume you can leap from creating just one established of floating wall cabinets to single-handedly renovating a bathroom. Choose on a little at a time. Understand as you go.

Before And After Wainscoting

How sophisticated is this Do it yourself task? And how sophisticated could it *grow to be*?

For sure, there are some initiatives you can view just one or two YouTube tutorials and you’re fantastic to go. You’ll have it carried out in a working day.

Other initiatives, in particular dwelling renovation kinds, can be significantly, significantly extra included than you’d assume they’d be. Typically, on the web tutorials are around-simplified and the man or woman accomplishing them is extra expert, so it normally takes them significantly less time to comprehensive a task than it would for you to do it.

Individuals house flip displays in which a rambler goes from drab to fab in just one 30-moment episode? Perfectly, a lot of the blood, sweat, and tears it normally takes to make that materialize ends up on the cutting place floor. And, typically, people Do it yourself-ers are either expert house-flippers or they are working with pros who are.

There are generally layers of complexity to initiatives that you really don’t see on the surface in the concluded item. . . . there are creating codes you have to be informed of and abide by, there is wiring and plumbing in the partitions that you really don’t know is there, etc.

You’ll face unforeseen challenges that may well not demonstrate up in that Do it yourself tutorial you watched. For illustration, you view ten movies on laying tile, you get anything you assume you are going to have to have and get to function, only to explore that the subfloor is not degree so you are going to have to determine out how to fix that just before you can dazzle your neighbors with your newfound tile-laying mastery.

There is a just before (the scheduling) and an just after (cleanse-up) to every task . . . really don’t ignore to system for that, much too!

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


What must I system for?

At a minimal, Do it yourself task scheduling must include things like:

  1. a price range
  2. a timeline
  3. a provide list
  4. a system 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 task. 

Preparing can occasionally get just as extended, if not more time than the task alone.

Making a price range and cost-comparing to get the greatest worth for your materials will get time and exertion.

Trying to track down that ‘perfect’ faucet you saw in an Instagram submit can be a rabbit’s gap and a time suck. You have to have to system for the time you are going to commit scouring sites for concepts and materials.

What if I’m not able to comprehensive this as speedily as I assume I’m heading to be able to? What will delays impression and how? Will delays signify it finally expenses me extra?

There will be surprises, even with the greatest laid strategies. Make in additional time and a little additional money to your system to allow for the unforeseen.

See how I transformed my hall closet and added storage room.

What equipment will I have to have?

When calculating the cost, really don’t ignore to take into account the expense of obtaining, leasing, or borrowing the equipment you are going to have to have. And a truck could possibly well be a wanted tool—how are you heading to transportation 4’ x 8’ parts of plywood from the lumber retail outlet to your house?

You’ll have to have a location to use people equipment and retail outlet people equipment. Feel it by.

Annnnd . . . you are going to have to have time to determine out how to use all people equipment or locate a person to educate you. Not just how to use the equipment, but also how to adjust blades, etc. and manage them correctly so they run safely and securely. It’s greatest to use a new instrument for the 1st time on a scaled-down task so that you sense at ease and assured in working it the right way just before you go on to larger things.

Connected Studying: twelve Will have to Have Instruments for Do it yourself Initiatives

How significantly room will I have to have?

This is a biggie. Do you have someplace to set the furnishings whilst you swap the flooring? Do you have someplace to retail outlet and use your equipment for the duration of the task? Do you have someplace to retain the lumber you’re applying away from the things?

What about when you get started portray all people cabinets you’re making—you’re scheduling to established up shop in your driveway, but what if it’s raining for three days straight? Will it function to park your car or truck out in the avenue whilst your garage is transformed into a workshop? In which are you heading to set the kids’ bikes if you have to locate a location for that table saw you’re borrowing from Uncle Joe?

Tips and Tricks for Planning a DIY Home Renovation Project

What security safeguards and machines do I have to have?

Be safe! Be safe! Be safe! On the web tutorials really don’t constantly supply security tips about defending oneself when you function. Basic safety is necessary!

Quite often, 1st-time Do it yourself-ers are unfamiliar with even the simplest of security guidelines:

  • Never put on free garments or jewellery.
  • Tie your hair back and make sure practically nothing obstructs your eyesight.
  • Use shut-toe footwear that will safeguard your toes.
  • Familiarize yourselves with the security tips that arrive with every single and every instrument you use, and honor people tips religiously.
  • Particles are a large deal. You really don’t want to be respiratory in sawdust or substances when you’re working. If you’re a Do it yourself-er, you most most likely really don’t have a constructed-in dust collection process like they do in specialist workshops. You’ll have to have to put on a mask and a fantastic just one! And you have to put on it not just when you’re cutting, but the complete time you’re working in that space—those particles are nevertheless floating in the air and you’re respiratory them in if you really don’t have a mask. And, retain the room you’re working in well ventilated.
  • Get the job done gradual, continual, and careful. Choose a break if you’re feeling fatigued or burned out. You make blunders when you’re fatigued or when you’re rushed, and blunders designed whilst working a electric power saw are, well, very darn large blunders.
  • Use the proper equipment for the work! Always! Trying to ‘make do’ or jerry-rig anything just to get by or prevent the difficulty of accomplishing it proper is not value it!
  • Acknowledge when you have to have a person who appreciates a little extra than you do. You can nevertheless be a Do it yourself goddess and check with for assistance. Particularly with stuff like wiring or plumbing in which failing to do anything the right way can be a seriously, seriously large deal.
Before And After Built In Bookshelf

Set up your personal constructed-in bookshelves with Justin and Cassity’s tutorial

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

When you get on a task, it’s not only a issue of opportunity cost (what you’re not giving your time to in its place considering that you’re working on the task), but also a issue of how it impacts your everyday routines and people of everyone all-around you.

Wood generates a lot of saw dust. Paint can be messy and generate pungent fumes. Putting in flooring implies you’re not walking on people flooring and your furnishings is not sitting down on them. Feel about how your living room will be restricted and how that will impression you and people you dwell with.

There are all forms of expenses and delays you couldn’t potentially system for. Probably your electric power drill breaks mid-task and you have to go get a new just one. Probably you arrive down with the flu and can not function on your task for a 7 days or two. Probably a task at your working day work pops up and you’re abruptly placing in lots of additional hours at the business office with no time for dwelling initiatives.

Look at the worry and psychological burden! It is stress filled to increase just one extra merchandise to our busy lives and lengthy to-do lists, in particular if you’re a mum or dad with youthful little ones or if you have an in particular demanding job. Your time and energy are in minimal provide and you must price range how you are going to use them.

If you dwell in an apartment or townhouse, you can not run your electric power drill at all hours of the working day without the need of disturbing your neighbors. Also, you may well have other added complicating aspects, such as getting to agenda the provider elevator to bring your materials up from the parking garage, etc.

You may well locate oneself eating out extra or expending extra on conveniences and providers to absolutely free up extra of your time to commit to the Do it yourself task. Individuals expenses increase up and must be taken into account in the price range for your task.

Connected Studying: Cassity’s Guidelines for Surviving Lifestyle in a Transform

Preparing a Master Closet Renovation

Here’s a the latest Do it yourself task I undertook—a grasp bedroom and grasp closet renovation. Down below, I chat a little about the approach powering the task to give you a superior sense of what’s included when choosing Do it yourself.

For some concepts and facts about DIYing your personal closet renovation, check out these posts:

During And After Closet Built In 2

Connected Studying: 35 Do it yourself Closet Hacks to Create Extra House and Organize Your Closet


How Did You Approach?

Sketch Up

In progress of beginning the task, I laid the groundwork and prepared anything out.

I made a Do it yourself task system that bundled one) a price range 2) a timeline three) a provide list four) custom create strategies and 5) a system for not just the ‘what,’ but also the ‘how.’

I cleared all of my commitments for a stable two months to function on the task total-time. (It took more time than 2 months, but giving myself two months to function total-time obtained the task considerably ample together that I could complete it section-time from there).

I found all of the materials I would have to have in progress. This bundled selling price-comparing and calculating delivery/supply expenses so that I could stay in price range. And it intended anything from nails and screws to caulk and paint to lumber and hanging rods. Of system there had been random odds-and-ends I wanted as I went together, but the bulk of my materials had been acquired and on-hand when I commenced my task.

I scheduled a area shifting business for a 2-hour block to assistance me go the larger furnishings items that I knew I couldn’t deal with on my personal in clearing out the room to be renovated.

IMG 4225

I scheduled the supply of the lumber I wanted for my task and cleared a designated place to retail outlet it.

I expended various hours hunting at pics of closets on the web to get concepts. I established up a Pinterest board in which I pinned ‘inspiration’ initiatives to refer to as I intended my closet format.

I took all the measurements, famous in which there had been shops and other possible obstacles, and arrived up with a structure system for equally my bedroom and my closet. I drew it all up to scale.

I made use of SketchUp 3D software to design—from scratch—each and every just one of the factors for the constructed-ins I was creating, and then I compiled a grasp list of all the ingredient parts and their measurements.

I drew out specific lower strategies for every single piece of plywood to lessen waste.

I took an stock of my equipment and designed sure I experienced what I wanted for the task and that my equipment had been in fantastic mend. I also designed sure I experienced additional blades for my miter saw, additional luggage for my soaked/dry vac, etc., as well as security equipment like masks and protecting eye put on.

I very carefully thought by what would be included to make sure I experienced the skill established and know-how to see the task by.

I made a agenda for what to function on every single working day, modifying it as I went.

I held all of my receipts and notes and strategies and measurements jointly in a binder that I could very easily reference any time wanted.

IMG 5532

What Did Not Go As Planned?

I experienced initially prepared to rip up the previous carpet and put in the new flooring myself, but as the 7 days progressed, I recognized that I would not be concluded on agenda if I did not get a little assistance.

I made a decision that becoming carried out in time was crucial ample to me to justify heading around price range a little, and so I employed installers to arrive in and do the floor. It took a 2-guy staff of expert installers a total 50 percent-working day to complete, which verified to me that I’d designed the proper selection in hiring out, as it most absolutely would have taken me, working on my personal, at the very least 4x as extended.

I underestimated the toll that the heat would get on me. For two straight months, I worked twelve- to 18-hour days. Most of that time was expended in my driveway and garage creating factors. It’s grueling and exhausting function on its personal, but designed extra so by ninety+ diploma temperatures and a hundred% humidity.

I knew that some of the task would get more time than 2 months, but I underestimated how disruptive the ongoing renovations would be to my relatives and our routines when the new university yr started out. When I was no more time able to set in 18-hour days (because, hello, real life), it took me significantly more time to complete the very last 50 percent of the task than it did the 1st 50 percent.

This was my greatest Do it yourself task still, and I underestimated how extended cleaning-up-as-you-go would get. When you’re ripping dozens of boards a working day, saw dust and scrap wood builds up speedily. It took extra time than I experienced prepared on to retain my function room cleanse, orderly, and practical.

What Does Do it yourself Do To You?

You know how every Do it yourself blogger or Instagram influencer you have ever viewed has designer yoga trousers, properly coiffed hair, and a total deal with of make-up in every single of their action photographs?

Yeah, well, I have no idea 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 wood glue. My hair is pulled back in a frizzy pile. And I can not put on makeup because it drives me nuts to put on a respirator mask and protecting eye equipment when I have makeup on. That, and I just sweat any makeup I have proper on off! Do it yourself is really hard function!

DIY Built-In Bookshelves

Set up your personal constructed-in bookshelves with Justin and Cassity’s tutorial

What Comes Soon after the Do it yourself?

The cleanse-up comes just after, that is what.

It took me hours and hours to set my garage back jointly. I experienced to lease a truck and make two separate outings to the dump with all of the leftover scraps and supplies.

I experienced to go all of the furnishings and garments back into the grasp bedroom and grasp closet and restore get to the other sections of the house that had been impacted by the upheaval.

Though prioritizing a task of this dimensions, other things in my life took a back seat and so when I at last concluded the renovation, I experienced a ton of catch-up to do.

So, what are my greatest strategies for scheduling a Do it yourself task?

Start small, system well, learn as you go, and have pleasurable!

Browse extra about abilities for Do it yourself dwelling renovation initiatives:

Pin this to save it for later on 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