December 8, 2022

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How to Plan a DIY Home Renovation Project

If you’re setting up a important Do it yourself project in your home, study these guidelines for how to strategy a Do it yourself home renovation project, which include concerns you ought to talk to your self before you start off transforming. 

As a self-taught DIYer, I have planned and executed a range of Do it yourself home renovation tasks. Listed here on Remodelaholic, I have shared a couple, which include my kitchen makeover, hall closet remodel, and guidelines for installing trim and molding.

Right now I’d like to share some thoughts on setting up Do it yourself home tasks, which include concerns to talk to *before* you commence and some myths about DIYing.

How to Plan a DIY Home Renovation Project


Matters to Assume About Right before You Start off a Do it yourself Venture

So You are Imagining About Do it yourself?

I have four kids. When striving to teach them a lifestyle skill, I’ll frequently say, “When you’re out on your own someday, you’re heading to would like you’d taken the time to find out this!” To which my teen responds, “But, Mom. There’s YouTube. If I will need to do it, I’ll enjoy a video clip.”

Not the response I was hoping for, but of course! We have YouTube and a million web site content articles and Pinterest pins telling us we can do it ourselves and how. Only, it is not usually as easy as it appears. 

Even with very good instruction, there’s frequently much more to a Do it yourself project than we believe. Be reasonable . . . not so intimidated that you hardly ever give it a attempt, but not so naive that you get on much more than you can tackle.

Listed here are a couple items I’d really encourage individuals considering a Do it yourself project to believe about before leaping in . . . some truths, some myths. 

Do it yourself Property Renovation Venture Planning: Myths & Truths

Truth of the matter: Do it yourself tasks can be enormously worthwhile.

Which is why there are so quite a few of us who proudly declare the title of Remodelaholic!

  • There’s a large amount of self-satisfaction to be experienced in doing a thing your self. 
  • You can possibly build a thing you couldn’t discover in a retail store.
  • You get to provide to lifestyle the vision in your head, just as you want it and just as you see it. 
  • You can purchase new capabilities that you’ll be ready to use in loads of different approaches and on upcoming tasks.
See how I reworked my kitchen with just a couple little particulars and straightforward Do it yourself tasks.

Fantasy: If you can Do it yourself it, you ought to.

Truth of the matter: Do it yourself is not usually the way to go.

Sometimes the toll on your time and vitality, or when it is a project that is over and above your skill set, indicates it would be much better not to do it your self.

Specialized experience is in some cases demanded to do a occupation and do it suitable. Some items are much better left to a qualified.

The aged adage “you get what you pay for” is correct, but so is “you get what you can do.” Look at the quality and feasibility of the desired outcome when selecting no matter if to go it on your own or seek the services of some enable.

In particular when undertaking huge-scale Do it yourself tasks, the effect on your home and your sanity is not insignificant. And, when calculating expense, never just consider time-to-execute and expense-of-supplies, but also the time to put together and strategy, the time to clear-up later on, and all the capture-up work you’ll have to do in other places of your lifestyle when you’ve been prioritizing a Do it yourself project that is taken up all of your time and vitality.

Before And After Built In Bookshelf

Fantasy: Performing a home project myself is usually less costly and will save me revenue.

Truth of the matter: Sometimes Do it yourself is not truly less costly than buying it at the retail store or paying anyone else to do it.

Right before you channel your internal HGTV star, some items to consider:

Economy of scale is a correct basic principle. Makers have a proportionate saving in charges obtained by an elevated level of creation. In other phrases, it charges them a large amount significantly less to get the resources, and their process is considerably more rapidly and much more economical than yours is heading to be. Sometimes it actually is less costly and much more sensible to get it completely ready-manufactured than to make it your self.

Your time is value a thing. Time is revenue. Your time is revenue.

Prospect expense = “the decline of prospective obtain from other solutions when just one choice is chosen.” To give your time and vitali
ty to a Do it yourself project indicates you’re not providing your time and vitality to other items. So the expense of the Do it yourself project is not just your time and supplies, it is also the expense of all the other items you’re not doing with that time and revenue.

Say you get paid $20/hour at your day occupation. If you construct a bookcase your self and it requires you 20 hours to do it, your labor charges are fundamentally $four hundred. And that doesn’t get into account the higher than stated opportunity expense for other items in your lifestyle you did not expend that time on, or the expense of supplies. So, yeah, it’s possible not value it.

But if you’re studying a new skill set together the way or if it is delivering a innovative outlet for you, properly, then, yeah, it’s possible it is value it.

See how I saved thousands of bucks installing my own trim work and moldings.

Before And After Built In Laundry Hamper


Truth of the matter: Do it yourself = tough work and a large amount of it.

Even “easy” Do it yourself tasks get tough work and even the most straightforward makeovers can turn into much larger tasks with unpredicted outcomes. 

It requires a toll to add a Do it yourself project to your to-do checklist. Each and every project I have at any time taken on has experienced unpredicted set-backs (hello there, real lifestyle) and has taken more time to entire than I experienced planned on.

Do it yourself tasks, especially home renovation, are bodily intensive. You are going to be sweaty and dirty and weary and your muscular tissues will ache from your head to your toes. You are going to have blisters and splinters and paint-splattered hair.

Based on the project, the work can be quite bodily. Loads of hefty lifting, crawling into tight spaces, climbing up and down ladders, working outside the house in the warmth, and many others. Look at your overall health and health and fitness when wondering about a Do it yourself project.

You are going to strike a wall. (Sometimes actually, if that is element of the renovation strategy.) In particular with major tasks. It will be more difficult, get more time, and be much more intricate than you planned on. You are going to want to stop just to be performed with it. Right after all, you’ve previously acquired a day occupation. A major Do it yourself project can be like incorporating 20+hours to your work week.

Sometimes it just won’t work out. You are going to have taken on much more than you can tackle. Be genuine about when it is time to provide in the execs or talk to for enable. It is ok. 

During And After Closet Built In

Queries to Check with As You System a Do it yourself Property Renovation Venture

There are a large amount of variables to consider as you strategy a Do it yourself project for your home (over and above “What would Chip and Joanna Gaines do?”).

Is this project and skill set in your wheelhouse?

It took me a 12 months to convince my husband that I could do a important trim project in our home. (See Listed here). Can you blame him? At the time, I experienced zero encounter in installing trim. Our home is our most significant economical financial investment. What if I hadn’t been ready to pull it off and we experienced to swallow the expense, or pay even much more to provide anyone else in to correct my errors? In our circumstance, it all turned out actually properly, but it is wise to cautiously consider your skill set and the feasibility of a project before committing.

In setting up, consider the worst-circumstance situation ought to your Do it yourself project not conclude in trails of glory. Is it value any involved hazards?

Sometimes a project can thrust you to find out new capabilities and strengthen existing types. Jobs that thrust you and stretch you are very good! But it is unrealistic to believe you can leap from building just one set of floating wall cabinets to solitary-handedly renovating a bathroom. Consider on a small at a time. Master 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 tasks you can enjoy just one or two YouTube tutorials and you’re very good to go. You are going to have it performed in a day.

Other tasks, especially home renovation types, can be considerably, considerably much more involved than you’d believe they’d be. Usually, on-line tutorials are over-simplified and the person doing them is much more professional, so it requires them significantly less time to entire a project than it would for you to do it.

Those people residence flip displays where a rambler goes from drab to fab in just one 30-minute episode? Well, a large amount of the blood, sweat, and tears it requires to make that take place ends up on the reducing home flooring. And, normally, individuals Do it yourself-ers are either professional residence-flippers or they are working with experts who are.

There are frequently levels of complexity to tasks that you never see on the area in the completed products. . . . there are building codes you have to be knowledgeable of and comply with, there is wiring and plumbing in the walls that you never know is there, and many others.

are going to encounter unpredicted difficulties
that may well not exhibit up in that Do it yourself tutorial you viewed. For example, you enjoy 10 movies on laying tile, you get almost everything you believe you’ll will need and get to work, only to explore that the subfloor is not level so you’ll have to determine out how to correct that before you can dazzle your neighbors with your newfound tile-laying mastery.

There’s a before (the setting up) and an after (clear-up) to just about every project . . . never ignore to strategy for that, far too!

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


What ought to I strategy for?

At a minimum, Do it yourself project setting up ought to include:

  1. a budget
  2. a timeline
  3. a source checklist
  4. a strategy for not just the ‘what,’ but also the ‘how’

System for the before, the throughout, and the after of the project. 

Planning can in some cases get just as extended, if not more time than the project itself.

Making a budget and expense-evaluating to get the ideal benefit for your supplies will get time and work.

Trying to track down that ‘perfect’ faucet you saw in an Instagram submit can be a rabbit’s gap and a time suck. You will need to strategy for the time you’ll expend scouring web sites for suggestions and supplies.

What if I’m not ready to entire this as rapidly as I believe I’m heading to be ready to? What will delays effect and how? Will delays suggest it eventually charges me much more?

There will be surprises, even with the ideal laid designs. Construct in further time and a small further revenue to your strategy to allow for for the unpredicted.

See how I reworked my hall closet and added storage house.

What resources will I will need?

When calculating the expense, never ignore to consider the expenditure of buying, renting, or borrowing the resources you’ll will need. And a truck might properly be a needed tool—how are you heading to transport 4’ x 8’ items of plywood from the lumber retail store to your residence?

You are going to will need a position to use individuals resources and retail store individuals resources. Assume it as a result of.

Annnnd . . . you’ll will need time to determine out how to use all individuals resources or discover anyone to teach you. Not just how to use the resources, but also how to adjust blades, and many others. and preserve them effectively so they work safely and securely. It is ideal to use a new resource for the to start with time on a smaller sized project so that you experience comfortable and confident in operating it the right way before you transfer on to bigger items.

Linked Looking at: 12 Have to Have Applications for Do it yourself Jobs

How considerably house will I will need?

This is a biggie. Do you have somewhere to put the furniture when you switch the floors? Do you have somewhere to retail store and use your resources throughout the project? Do you have somewhere to continue to keep the lumber you’re applying absent from the components?

What about when you commence painting all individuals cabinets you’re making—you’re setting up to set up store in your driveway, but what if it is raining for 3 days straight? Will it work to park your vehicle out in the street when your garage is reworked into a workshop? Wherever are you heading to put the kids’ bikes if you have to discover a position for that table saw you’re borrowing from Uncle Joe?

Tips and Tricks for Planning a DIY Home Renovation Project

What basic safety precautions and machines do I will need?

Be secure! Be secure! Be secure! On the internet tutorials never usually supply basic safety guidelines about guarding your self when you work. Basic safety is vital!

In many cases, to start with-time Do it yourself-ers are unfamiliar with even the most straightforward of basic safety guidelines:

  • Never have on unfastened clothing or jewelry.
  • Tie your hair again and make certain absolutely nothing obstructs your vision.
  • Don shut-toe sneakers that will secure your toes.
  • Familiarize yourselves with the basic safety guidelines that appear with each individual and just about every resource you use, and honor individuals guidelines religiously.
  • Particles are a major deal. You never want to be respiratory in sawdust or chemicals when you’re working. If you’re a Do it yourself-er, you most likely never have a built-in dust selection program like they do in qualified workshops. You are going to will need to have on a mask and a very good just one! And you have to have on it not just when you’re reducing, but the full time you’re working in that space—those particles are nevertheless floating in the air and you’re respiratory them in if you never have a mask. And, continue to keep the house you’re working in properly ventilated.
  • Do the job sluggish, regular, and very careful. Consider a break if you’re sensation weary or burned out. You make errors when you’re weary or when you’re rushed, and errors manufactured when operating a ability saw are, properly, very darn major errors.
  • Use the suitable resources for the occupation! Always! Trying to ‘make do’ or jerry-rig a thing just to get by or avoid the problems of doing
    it suitable is not value it!
  • Identify when you will need anyone who knows a small much more than you do. You can nevertheless be a Do it yourself goddess and talk to for enable. In particular with stuff like wiring or plumbing where failing to do a thing the right way can be a actually, actually major 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 result of this project?

When you get on a project, it is not only a issue of opportunity expense (what you’re not providing your time to rather considering the fact that you’re working on the project), but also a issue of how it impacts your day by day routines and individuals of everyone all around you.

Wooden generates a large amount of saw dust. Paint can be messy and build pungent fumes. Setting up flooring indicates you’re not going for walks on individuals floors and your furniture is not sitting on them. Assume about how your residing house will be restricted and how that will effect you and individuals you are living with.

There are all varieties of charges and delays you couldn’t maybe strategy for. Perhaps your ability drill breaks mid-project and you have to go get a new just one. Perhaps you appear down with the flu and just can’t work on your project for a week or two. Perhaps a project at your day occupation pops up and you’re quickly putting in loads of further hours at the office with no time for home tasks.

Look at the tension and psychological stress! It is stressful to add just one much more product to our fast paced lives and lengthy to-do lists, especially if you’re a parent with young children or if you have an especially demanding job. Your time and vitality are in constrained source and you must budget how you’ll use them.

If you are living in an apartment or townhouse, you just can’t run your ability drill at all hours of the day without disturbing your neighbors. Also, you may well have other added complicating variables, these kinds of as possessing to plan the assistance elevator to provide your supplies up from the parking garage, and many others.

You may well discover your self eating out much more or shelling out much more on conveniences and solutions to free up much more of your time to devote to the Do it yourself project. Those people charges add up and ought to be taken into account in the budget for your project.

Linked Looking at: Cassity’s Guidelines for Surviving Existence in a Transform

Planning a Grasp Closet Renovation

Here’s a latest Do it yourself project I undertook—a learn bedroom and learn closet renovation. Underneath, I communicate a small about the process guiding the project to give you a much better perception of what’s involved when selecting Do it yourself.

For some suggestions and info 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 Make A lot more Room and Manage Your Closet


How Did You System?

Sketch Up

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

I developed a Do it yourself project strategy that included one) a budget two) a timeline 3) a source checklist four) custom made construct designs and five) a strategy for not just the ‘what,’ but also the ‘how.’

I cleared all of my commitments for a sound two weeks to work on the project whole-time. (It took more time than two weeks, but providing myself two weeks to work whole-time acquired the project significantly plenty of together that I could end it element-time from there).

I situated all of the supplies I would will need in advance. This included price tag-evaluating and calculating shipping/shipping charges so that I could continue to be in budget. And it intended almost everything from nails and screws to caulk and paint to lumber and hanging rods. Of course there ended up random odds-and-ends I needed as I went together, but the bulk of my supplies ended up acquired and on-hand when I started my project.

I scheduled a community relocating enterprise for a two-hour block to enable me transfer the much larger furniture goods that I understood I couldn’t handle on my own in clearing out the house to be renovated.

IMG 4225

I scheduled the shipping of the
lumber I needed for my project and cleared a selected area to retail store it.

I put in a number of hours looking at photos of closets on-line to get suggestions. I set up a Pinterest board where I pinned ‘inspiration’ tasks to refer to as I developed my closet structure.

I took all the measurements, pointed out where there ended up stores and other prospective obstacles, and came up with a style and design strategy for the two my bedroom and my closet. I drew it all up to scale.

I utilised SketchUp 3D computer software to design—from scratch—each and just about every just one of the parts for the built-ins I was building, and then I compiled a learn checklist of all the ingredient items and their measurements.

I drew out specific slice designs for each individual piece of plywood to limit squander.

I took an stock of my resources and manufactured certain I experienced what I needed for the project and that my resources ended up in very good maintenance. I also manufactured certain I experienced further blades for my miter saw, further baggage for my wet/dry vac, and many others., as properly as basic safety gear like masks and protective eye have on.

I cautiously assumed as a result of what would be involved to make certain I experienced the skill set and know-how to see the project as a result of.

I developed a plan for what to work on each individual day, changing it as I went.

I retained all of my receipts and notes and designs and measurements alongside one another in a binder that I could easily reference anytime needed.

IMG 5532

What Did Not Go As Planned?

I experienced originally planned to rip up the aged carpet and set up the new flooring myself, but as the week progressed, I understood that I would not be completed on plan if I did not get a small enable.

I made the decision that remaining performed in time was important plenty of to me to justify heading over budget a small, and so I hired installers to appear in and do the flooring. It took a two-man team of professional installers a whole fifty percent-day to end, which verified to me that I’d manufactured the suitable choice in hiring out, as it most definitely would have taken me, working on my own, at minimum 4x as extended.

I underestimated the toll that the warmth would get on me. For two straight weeks, I worked 12- to 18-hour days. Most of that time was put in in my driveway and garage building parts. It is grueling and exhausting work on its own, but manufactured much more so by ninety+ degree temperatures and a hundred% humidity.

I understood that some of the project would get more time than two weeks, but I underestimated how disruptive the ongoing renovations would be to my family and our routines once the new faculty 12 months commenced. When I was no more time ready to put in 18-hour days (for the reason that, hello there, real lifestyle), it took me considerably more time to end the very last fifty percent of the project than it did the to start with fifty percent.

This was my largest Do it yourself project nevertheless, and I underestimated how extended cleansing-up-as-you-go would get. When you’re ripping dozens of boards a day, saw dust and scrap wood builds up rapidly. It took much more time than I experienced planned on to continue to keep my work house clear, orderly, and useful.

What Does Do it yourself Do To You?

You know how just about every Do it yourself blogger or Instagram influencer you’ve at any time found has designer yoga trousers, perfectly coiffed hair, and a whole face of make-up in each individual of their action pictures?

Yeah, properly, I have no concept how to do that. When I work, I sweat. I stink. I’m wearing my oldest, rattiest t-shirt. I’m lined 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 have on make-up for the reason that it drives me ridiculous to have on a respirator mask and protective eye gear when I have make-up on. That, and I just sweat any make-up I have suitable on off! Do it yourself is tough work!

DIY Built-In Bookshelves

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

What Arrives Right after the Do it yourself?

The clear-up will come after, that is what.

It took me hours and hours to put my garage again alongside one another. I experienced to rent a truck and make two separate excursions to the dump with all of the leftover scraps and resources.

I experienced to transfer all of the furniture and clothing again into the learn bedroom and learn closet and restore buy to the other sections of the residence that ended up impacted by the upheaval.

Though prioritizing a project of this dimension, other items in my lifestyle took a again seat and so when I lastly completed the renovation, I experienced a ton of capture-up to do.

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

Start off little, strategy properly, find out as you go, and have entertaining!

Browse much more about capabilities for Do it yourself home renovation tasks:

Pin this to help you 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