How to Plan a DIY Home Renovation Project

If you are planning a main Do-it-yourself task in your household, read through these tips for how to plan a Do-it-yourself household renovation task, like thoughts you must inquire yourself in advance of you commence reworking. 

As a self-taught DIYer, I have prepared and executed a amount of Do-it-yourself household renovation initiatives. In this article on Remodelaholic, I have shared a couple of, like my kitchen makeover, hall closet rework, and tips for putting in trim and molding.

Nowadays I’d like to share some views on planning Do-it-yourself household initiatives, like thoughts to inquire *in advance of* you start out and some myths about DIYing.

How to Plan a DIY Home Renovation Project


Matters to Feel About Before You Start a Do-it-yourself Job

So You are Thinking About Do-it-yourself?

I have 4 little ones. When hoping to teach them a existence skill, I’ll typically say, “When you are out on your very own sometime, you are likely to wish you’d taken the time to master this!” To which my teen responds, “But, Mother. There is YouTube. If I have to have to do it, I’ll check out a online video.”

Not the response I was hoping for, but certainly! We have YouTube and a million website articles and Pinterest pins telling us we can do it ourselves and how. Only, it is not usually as clear-cut as it would seem. 

Even with superior instruction, there is typically far more to a Do-it-yourself task than we feel. Be real looking . . . not so intimidated that you by no means give it a test, but not so naive that you acquire on far more than you can take care of.

In this article are a couple of points I’d persuade those people looking at a Do-it-yourself task to feel about in advance of jumping in . . . some truths, some myths. 

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

Real truth: Do-it-yourself initiatives can be enormously fulfilling.

Which is why there are so several of us who proudly assert the title of Remodelaholic!

  • There is a great deal of self-satisfaction to be had in performing a thing yourself. 
  • You can possibly create a thing you could not obtain in a retailer.
  • You get to convey to existence the vision in your head, just as you want it and just as you see it. 
  • You can acquire new expertise that you are going to be capable to use in heaps of diverse strategies and on long term initiatives.
See how I transformed my kitchen with just a couple of small facts and simple Do-it-yourself initiatives.

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

Real truth: Do-it-yourself is not usually the way to go.

Sometimes the toll on your time and energy, or when it is a task that is past your skill set, means it would be superior not to do it yourself.

Specialized know-how is at times demanded to do a task and do it suitable. Some points are superior left to a expert.

The previous adage “you get what you spend for” is genuine, but so is “you get what you can do.” Take into account the high-quality and feasibility of the ideal final result when deciding regardless of whether to go it by itself or retain the services of some enable.

In particular when endeavor big-scale Do-it-yourself initiatives, the impact on your household and your sanity is not insignificant. And, when calculating price, never just consider time-to-execute and price-of-supplies, but also the time to put together and plan, the time to clear-up later on, and all the capture-up perform you are going to have to do in other regions of your existence when you’ve been prioritizing a Do-it-yourself task that is taken up all of your time and energy.

Before And After Built In Bookshelf

Myth: Accomplishing a household task myself is usually less expensive and will save me revenue.

Real truth: Sometimes Do-it-yourself isn’t really less expensive than shopping for it at the retailer or paying out an individual else to do it.

Before you channel your interior HGTV star, some points to consider:

Economy of scale is a genuine principle. Manufacturers have a proportionate saving in fees gained by an improved stage of generation. In other words and phrases, it fees them a great deal a lot less to buy the supplies, and their course of action is considerably quicker and far more successful than yours is likely to be. Sometimes it genuinely is less expensive and far more realistic to buy it all set-produced than to make it yourself.

Your time is well worth a thing. Time is revenue. Your time is revenue.

Chance price = “the reduction of possible acquire from other alternate options when a person alternate is decided on.” To give your time and energy to a Do-it-yourself task means you are not givi
ng your time and energy to other points. So the price of the Do-it-yourself task is not just your time and supplies, it is also the price of all the other points you are not performing with that time and revenue.

Say you generate $20/hour at your day task. If you create a bookcase yourself and it takes you 20 hours to do it, your labor fees are fundamentally $four hundred. And that doesn’t acquire into account the earlier mentioned described opportunity price for other points in your existence you didn’t spend that time on, or the price of supplies. So, yeah, it’s possible not well worth it.

But if you are understanding a new skill set along the way or if it is delivering a imaginative outlet for you, well, then, yeah, it’s possible it is well worth it.

See how I saved hundreds of dollars putting in my very own trim perform and moldings.

Before And After Built In Laundry Hamper


Real truth: Do-it-yourself = challenging perform and a great deal of it.

Even “easy” Do-it-yourself initiatives acquire challenging perform and even the simplest makeovers can switch into larger initiatives with unpredicted results. 

It takes a toll to insert a Do-it-yourself task to your to-do checklist. Each and every task I have ever taken on has had unpredicted set-backs (hello there, true existence) and has taken longer to comprehensive than I had prepared on.

Do-it-yourself initiatives, in particular household renovation, are bodily powerful. You are going to be sweaty and dirty and weary and your muscle mass will ache from your head to your toes. You are going to have blisters and splinters and paint-splattered hair.

Based on the task, the perform can be really actual physical. A lot of major lifting, crawling into tight areas, climbing up and down ladders, doing the job outside in the heat, and many others. Take into account your wellness and physical fitness when imagining about a Do-it-yourself task.

You are going to strike a wall. (Sometimes literally, if that is portion of the renovation plan.) In particular with huge initiatives. It will be tougher, acquire longer, and be far more intricate than you prepared on. You are going to want to stop just to be done with it. Just after all, you’ve now bought a day task. A huge Do-it-yourself task can be like introducing 20+hours to your perform week.

Sometimes it just will not perform out. You are going to have taken on far more than you can take care of. Be honest about when it is time to convey in the pros or inquire for enable. It’s all right. 

During And After Closet Built In

Concerns to Inquire As You Approach a Do-it-yourself Household Renovation Job

There are a great deal of things to consider as you plan a Do-it-yourself task for your household (past “What would Chip and Joanna Gaines do?”).

Is this task and skill set in your wheelhouse?

It took me a yr to persuade my husband that I could do a main trim task in our household. (See In this article). Can you blame him? At the time, I had zero working experience in putting in trim. Our household is our most major fiscal financial commitment. What if I hadn’t been capable to pull it off and we had to swallow the price, or spend even far more to convey an individual else in to deal with my errors? In our situation, it all turned out genuinely well, but it is sensible to diligently consider your skill set and the feasibility of a task in advance of committing.

In planning, consider the worst-situation scenario must your Do-it-yourself task not end in trails of glory. Is it well worth any involved risks?

Sometimes a task can press you to master new expertise and increase present types. Initiatives that press you and stretch you are superior! But it is unrealistic to feel you can soar from setting up a person set of floating wall shelves to one-handedly renovating a bathroom. Take on a tiny at a time. Study as you go.

Before And After Wainscoting

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

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

Other initiatives, in particular household renovation types, can be considerably, considerably far more included than you’d feel they’d be. Usually, on the internet tutorials are about-simplified and the man or woman performing them is far more knowledgeable, so it takes them a lot less time to comprehensive a task than it would for you to do it.

All those residence flip reveals exactly where a rambler goes from drab to fab in a person 30-moment episode? Very well, a great deal of the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to make that materialize finishes up on the cutting area floor. And, typically, those people Do-it-yourself-ers are either knowledgeable residence-flippers or they’re doing the job with gurus who are.

There are typically layers of complexity to initiatives that you never see on the floor in the finished item. . . . there are setting up codes you have to be conscious of and observe, there is wiring and plumbing in the partitions that you never know is there, and many others.

You are going to come across unpredicted problems that may not demonstrate up in that Do-
it-yourself tutorial you watched. For case in point, you check out 10 videos on laying tile, you buy almost everything you feel you are going to have to have and get to perform, only to explore that the subfloor is not stage so you are going to have to figure out how to deal with that in advance of you can dazzle your neighbors with your newfound tile-laying mastery.

There is a in advance of (the planning) and an soon after (clear-up) to every task . . . never forget to plan for that, far too!

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


What must I plan for?

At a minimum amount, Do-it-yourself task planning must contain:

  1. a price range
  2. a timeline
  3. a supply checklist
  4. a plan for not just the ‘what,’ but also the ‘how’

Approach for the in advance of, the throughout, and the soon after of the task. 

Planning can at times acquire just as extended, if not longer than the task alone.

Developing a price range and price-comparing to get the greatest worth for your supplies will acquire time and hard work.

Striving to observe down that ‘perfect’ faucet you observed in an Instagram submit can be a rabbit’s gap and a time suck. You have to have to plan for the time you are going to spend scouring web-sites for concepts and supplies.

What if I’m not capable to comprehensive this as rapidly as I feel I’m likely to be capable to? What will delays impact and how? Will delays imply it eventually fees me far more?

There will be surprises, even with the greatest laid programs. Construct in extra time and a tiny extra revenue to your plan to enable for the unpredicted.

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

What instruments will I have to have?

When calculating the price, never forget to consider the expenditure of shopping for, renting, or borrowing the instruments you are going to have to have. And a truck could well be a desired tool—how are you likely to transportation 4’ x 8’ items of plywood from the lumber retailer to your residence?

You are going to have to have a put to use those people instruments and retailer those people instruments. Feel it as a result of.

Annnnd . . . you are going to have to have time to figure out how to use all those people instruments or obtain an individual to teach you. Not just how to use the instruments, but also how to adjust blades, and many others. and sustain them properly so they work safely. It’s greatest to use a new instrument for the to start with time on a scaled-down task so that you sense at ease and self-assured in functioning it appropriately in advance of you go on to bigger points.

Relevant Examining: twelve Must Have Instruments for Do-it-yourself Initiatives

How considerably room will I have to have?

This is a biggie. Do you have somewhere to place the home furnishings even though you switch the floors? Do you have somewhere to retailer and use your instruments throughout the task? Do you have somewhere to preserve the lumber you are using absent from the elements?

What about when you start out painting all those people shelves you are making—you’re planning to set up store in your driveway, but what if it is raining for three times straight? Will it perform to park your car or truck out in the avenue even though your garage is transformed into a workshop? Wherever are you likely to place the kids’ bikes if you have to obtain a put for that table observed you are borrowing from Uncle Joe?

Tips and Tricks for Planning a DIY Home Renovation Project

What protection safeguards and equipment do I have to have?

Be protected! Be protected! Be protected! On the internet tutorials never usually supply protection pointers about safeguarding yourself when you perform. Protection is crucial!

In many cases, to start with-time Do-it-yourself-ers are unfamiliar with even the simplest of protection procedures:

  • Do not dress in free outfits or jewelry.
  • Tie your hair back again and make certain very little obstructs your vision.
  • Have on shut-toe shoes that will secure your feet.
  • Familiarize yourselves with the protection pointers that come with just about every and every instrument you use, and honor those people pointers religiously.
  • Particles are a huge deal. You never want to be breathing in sawdust or chemical compounds when you are doing the job. If you are a Do-it-yourself-er, you most very likely never have a designed-in dust assortment technique like they do in expert workshops. You are going to have to have to dress in a mask and a superior a person! And you have to dress in it not just when you are cutting, but the total time you are doing the job in that space—those particles are even now floating in the air and you are breathing them in if you never have a mask. And, preserve the room you are doing the job in well ventilated.
  • Perform slow, constant, and mindful. Take a crack if you are emotion weary or burned out. You make errors when you are weary or when you are rushed, and errors produced even though functioning a electricity observed are, well, quite darn huge errors.
  • Use the suitable instruments for the task! Constantly! Striving to ‘make do’ or jerry-rig a thing just to get by or avoid the difficulties of performing it suitable is not wel
    l worth it!
  • Identify when you have to have an individual who is familiar with a tiny far more than you do. You can even now be a Do-it-yourself goddess and inquire for enable. In particular with stuff like wiring or plumbing exactly where failing to do a thing appropriately can be a genuinely, genuinely huge deal.
Before And After Built In Bookshelf

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

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

When you acquire on a task, it is not only a make any difference of opportunity price (what you are not giving your time to rather considering that you are doing the job on the task), but also a make any difference of how it impacts your each day routines and those people of anyone all over you.

Wood generates a great deal of observed dust. Paint can be messy and create pungent fumes. Putting in flooring means you are not walking on those people floors and your home furnishings isn’t sitting on them. Feel about how your living room will be restricted and how that will impact you and those people you dwell with.

There are all varieties of charges and delays you could not probably plan for. Probably your electricity drill breaks mid-task and you have to go buy a new a person. Probably you come down with the flu and can not perform on your task for a week or two. Probably a task at your day task pops up and you are abruptly putting in heaps of extra hours at the workplace with no time for household initiatives.

Take into account the tension and emotional burden! It is demanding to insert a person far more merchandise to our fast paced lives and prolonged to-do lists, in particular if you are a guardian with youthful kids or if you have an in particular demanding career. Your time and energy are in restricted supply and you will have to price range how you are going to use them.

If you dwell in an condominium or townhouse, you can not run your electricity drill at all hours of the day without the need of disturbing your neighbors. Also, you may have other added complicating things, these as getting to schedule the provider elevator to convey your supplies up from the parking garage, and many others.

You may obtain yourself consuming out far more or investing far more on conveniences and products and services to free of charge up far more of your time to devote to the Do-it-yourself task. All those fees insert up and must be taken into account in the price range for your task.

Relevant Examining: Cassity’s Strategies for Surviving Lifestyle in a Rework

Planning a Learn Closet Renovation

Here’s a the latest Do-it-yourself task I undertook—a grasp bedroom and grasp closet renovation. Beneath, I speak a tiny about the course of action guiding the task to give you a superior feeling of what is included when deciding upon Do-it-yourself.

For some concepts and facts about DIYing your very own closet renovation, test these posts:

During And After Closet Built In 2

Relevant Examining: 35 Do-it-yourself Closet Hacks to Create Far more Room and Manage Your Closet


How Did You Approach?

Sketch Up

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

I developed a Do-it-yourself task plan that bundled one) a price range 2) a timeline three) a supply checklist four) custom create programs and 5) a plan for not just the ‘what,’ but also the ‘how.’

I cleared all of my commitments for a stable two weeks to perform on the task full-time. (It took longer than 2 weeks, but giving myself two weeks to perform full-time bought the task far sufficient along that I could end it portion-time from there).

I located all of the supplies I would have to have in progress. This bundled rate-comparing and calculating delivery/delivery fees so that I could stay in price range. And it intended almost everything from nails and screws to caulk and paint to lumber and hanging rods. Of system there have been random odds-and-finishes I desired as I went along, but the bulk of my supplies have been ordered and on-hand when I commenced my task.

I scheduled a local shifting business for a 2-hour block to enable me go the larger home furnishings merchandise that I knew I could not handle on my very own in clearing out the room to be renovated.

IMG 4225

I scheduled the delivery of the lumber I desired f
or my task and cleared a specified space to retailer it.

I used many hours seeking at pics of closets on the internet to get concepts. I set up a Pinterest board exactly where I pinned ‘inspiration’ initiatives to refer to as I designed my closet format.

I took all the measurements, pointed out exactly where there have been outlets and other possible obstacles, and came up with a layout plan for equally my bedroom and my closet. I drew it all up to scale.

I made use of SketchUp 3D software package to design—from scratch—each and every a person of the factors for the designed-ins I was setting up, and then I compiled a grasp checklist of all the element items and their measurements.

I drew out thorough minimize programs for just about every piece of plywood to lower waste.

I took an stock of my instruments and produced certain I had what I desired for the task and that my instruments have been in superior maintenance. I also produced certain I had extra blades for my miter observed, extra bags for my damp/dry vac, and many others., as well as protection gear like masks and protecting eye dress in.

I diligently assumed as a result of what would be included to make certain I had the skill set and know-how to see the task as a result of.

I developed a schedule for what to perform on just about every day, changing it as I went.

I held all of my receipts and notes and programs and measurements alongside one another in a binder that I could simply reference whenever desired.

IMG 5532

What Did Not Go As Planned?

I had originally prepared to rip up the previous carpet and put in the new flooring myself, but as the week progressed, I realized that I would not be finished on schedule if I didn’t get a tiny enable.

I decided that becoming done in time was vital sufficient to me to justify likely about price range a tiny, and so I employed installers to come in and do the floor. It took a 2-person workforce of knowledgeable installers a full half-day to end, which verified to me that I’d produced the suitable selection in using the services of out, as it most certainly would have taken me, doing the job on my very own, at the very least 4x as extended.

I underestimated the toll that the heat would acquire on me. For two straight weeks, I labored twelve- to 18-hour times. Most of that time was used in my driveway and garage setting up factors. It’s grueling and exhausting perform on its very own, but produced far more so by 90+ degree temperatures and 100% humidity.

I knew that some of the task would acquire longer than 2 weeks, but I underestimated how disruptive the ongoing renovations would be to my family members and our routines at the time the new school yr started. When I was no longer capable to place in 18-hour times (due to the fact, hello there, true existence), it took me considerably longer to end the previous half of the task than it did the to start with half.

This was my greatest Do-it-yourself task but, and I underestimated how extended cleaning-up-as-you-go would acquire. When you are ripping dozens of boards a day, observed dust and scrap wooden builds up rapidly. It took far more time than I had prepared on to preserve my perform room clear, orderly, and purposeful.

What Does Do-it-yourself Do To You?

You know how every Do-it-yourself blogger or Instagram influencer you’ve ever seen has designer yoga pants, correctly coiffed hair, and a full deal with of make-up in just about every of their action shots?

Yeah, well, I have no idea how to do that. When I perform, I sweat. I stink. I’m carrying my oldest, rattiest t-shirt. I’m protected from head to toe in sawdust and paint and wooden glue. My hair is pulled back again in a frizzy pile. And I can not dress in makeup due to the fact it drives me crazy to dress in a respirator mask and protecting eye gear when I have makeup on. That, and I just sweat any makeup I have suitable on off! Do-it-yourself is challenging perform!

DIY Built-In Bookshelves

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

What Comes Just after the Do-it-yourself?

The clear-up comes soon after, that is what.

It took me hours and hours to place my garage back again alongside one another. I had to rent a truck and make two individual excursions to the dump with all of the leftover scraps and supplies.

I had to go all of the home furnishings and outfits back again into the grasp bedroom and grasp closet and restore order to the other parts of the residence that have been impacted by the upheaval.

While prioritizing a task of this size, other points in my existence took a back again seat and so when I ultimately finished the renovation, I had a ton of capture-up to do.

So, what are my greatest tips for planning a Do-it-yourself task?

Start small, plan well, master as you go, and have enjoyment!

Browse far more about expertise for Do-it-yourself household renovation initiatives:

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

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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