January 19, 2022


Anything but ordinary

How to Plan a DIY Home Renovation Project

If you’re preparing a major Do it yourself project in your property, read these recommendations for how to strategy a Do it yourself property renovation project, which include issues you really should question you ahead of you start out transforming. 

As a self-taught DIYer, I’ve planned and executed a quantity of Do it yourself property renovation tasks. Right here on Remodelaholic, I’ve shared a several, which include my kitchen area makeover, hall closet remodel, and recommendations for putting in trim and molding.

These days I’d like to share some thoughts on preparing Do it yourself property tasks, which include issues to question *ahead of* you commence and some myths about DIYing.

How to Plan a DIY Home Renovation Project


Things to Consider About Right before You Begin a Do it yourself Job

So You are Contemplating About Do it yourself?

I have 4 young ones. When trying to instruct them a lifetime skill, I’ll normally say, “When you’re out on your possess someday, you’re heading to wish you’d taken the time to discover this!” To which my teen responds, “But, Mom. There is YouTube. If I need to do it, I’ll view a video clip.”

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

Even with superior instruction, there’s normally much more to a Do it yourself project than we imagine. Be practical . . . not so intimidated that you by no means give it a test, but not so naive that you get on much more than you can cope with.

Right here are a several matters I’d really encourage individuals thinking about a Do it yourself project to imagine about ahead of leaping in . . . some truths, some myths. 

Do it yourself Household Renovation Job Arranging: Myths & Truths

Reality: Do it yourself tasks can be enormously rewarding.

That’s why there are so quite a few of us who proudly declare the title of Remodelaholic!

  • There is a lot of self-pleasure to be had in undertaking one thing you. 
  • You can perhaps produce one thing you couldn’t uncover in a retailer.
  • You get to provide to lifetime the vision in your head, just as you want it and just as you see it. 
  • You can get new capabilities that you will be in a position to use in tons of unique means and on future tasks.
See how I reworked my kitchen area with just a several compact particulars and quick Do it yourself tasks.

Myth: If you can Do it yourself it, you really should.

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

From time to time the toll on your time and electrical power, or when it is a project that is further than your skill established, signifies it would be much better not to do it you.

Technological experience is from time to time needed to do a task and do it ideal. Some matters are much better remaining to a professional.

The aged adage “you get what you pay for” is legitimate, but so is “you get what you can do.” Take into account the quality and feasibility of the preferred consequence when deciding whether or not to go it by yourself or employ the service of some assistance.

In particular when endeavor significant-scale Do it yourself tasks, the impression on your property and your sanity is not insignificant. And, when calculating price tag, don’t just take into account time-to-execute and price tag-of-supplies, but also the time to put together and strategy, the time to clear-up later on, and all the capture-up operate you will have to do in other locations of your lifetime when you have been prioritizing a Do it yourself project that’s taken up all of your time and electrical power.

Before And After Built In Bookshelf

Myth: Accomplishing a property project myself is always more cost-effective and saves me dollars.

Reality: From time to time Do it yourself is not in fact more cost-effective than acquiring it at the retailer or having to pay someone else to do it.

Right before you channel your internal HGTV star, some matters to take into account:

Financial state of scale is a legitimate theory. Manufacturers have a proportionate preserving in expenses obtained by an improved degree of output. In other terms, it expenses them a lot a lot less to invest in the supplies, and their process is a great deal quicker and much more productive than yours is heading to be. From time to time it truly is more cost-effective and much more practical to invest in it completely ready-manufactured than to make it you.

Your time is value one thing. Time is dollars. Your time is dollars.

Chance price tag = “the loss of possible get from other options when 1 option is decided on.” To give your time and electrical power to a Do it yourself project signifies you’re not supplying your time and electrical power to other matters. So the price tag of the Do it yourself project is not just your time and supplies, it is also the price tag of all the other matters you’re not undertaking with that time and dollars.

Say you earn $20/hour at your working day task. If you make a bookcase you and it usually takes you 20 hours to do it, your labor expenses are fundamentally $400. And that does not get into account the over mentioned possibility price tag for other matters in your lifetime you did not invest that time on, or the price tag of supplies. So, yeah, maybe not value it.

But if you’re learning a new skill established together the way or if it is supplying a inventive outlet for you, well, then, yeah, maybe it is value it.

See how I saved thousands of bucks putting in my possess trim operate and moldings.

Before And After Built In Laundry Hamper


Reality: Do it yourself = challenging operate and a lot of it.

Even “easy” Do it yourself tasks get challenging operate and even the most straightforward makeovers can turn into greater tasks with surprising outcomes. 

It usually takes a toll to include a Do it yourself project to your to-do listing. Every single project I’ve ever taken on has had surprising established-backs (hello there, true lifetime) and has taken longer to comprehensive than I had planned on.

Do it yourself tasks, specially property renovation, are bodily intensive. You’ll be sweaty and soiled and fatigued and your muscle tissue will ache from your head to your toes. You’ll have blisters and splinters and paint-splattered hair.

Dependent on the project, the operate can be quite physical. Heaps of large lifting, crawling into restricted areas, climbing up and down ladders, doing the job exterior in the warmth, etcetera. Take into account your health and fitness when pondering about a Do it yourself project.

You’ll hit a wall. (From time to time literally, if that’s aspect of the renovation strategy.) In particular with big tasks. It will be more durable, get longer, and be much more intricate than you planned on. You’ll want to quit just to be performed with it. Just after all, you have presently obtained a working day task. A big Do it yourself project can be like adding 20+hours to your operate 7 days.

From time to time it just will not operate out. You’ll have taken on much more than you can cope with. Be truthful about when it is time to provide in the pros or question for assistance. It’s alright. 

During And After Closet Built In

Questions to Ask As You Strategy a Do it yourself Household Renovation Job

There are a lot of things to take into account as you strategy a Do it yourself project for your property (further than “What would Chip and Joanna Gaines do?”).

Is this project and skill established in your wheelhouse?

It took me a year to convince my partner that I could do a major trim project in our property. (See Right here). Can you blame him? At the time, I had zero practical experience in putting in trim. Our property is our most substantial fiscal expense. What if I hadn’t been in a position to pull it off and we had to swallow the price tag, or pay even much more to provide someone else in to take care of my mistakes? In our case, it all turned out truly well, but it is intelligent to carefully take into account your skill established and the feasibility of a project ahead of committing.

In preparing, take into account the worst-case state of affairs really should your Do it yourself project not stop in trails of glory. Is it value any connected challenges?

From time to time a project can thrust you to discover new capabilities and increase present types. Projects that thrust you and stretch you are superior! But it is unrealistic to imagine you can bounce from building 1 established of floating wall shelves to single-handedly renovating a toilet. Choose on a small at a time. Master as you go.

Before And After Wainscoting

How intricate is this Do it yourself project? And how intricate could it *come to be*?

For confident, there are some tasks you can view 1 or two YouTube tutorials and you’re superior to go. You’ll have it performed in a working day.

Other tasks, specially property renovation types, can be a great deal, a great deal much more associated than you’d imagine they’d be. Often, on the net tutorials are above-simplified and the human being undertaking them is much more skilled, so it usually takes them a lot less time to comprehensive a project than it would for you to do it.

People residence flip exhibits where by a rambler goes from drab to fab in 1 30-minute episode? Well, a lot of the blood, sweat, and tears it usually takes to make that come about ends up on the slicing place ground. And, generally, individuals Do it yourself-ers are either skilled residence-flippers or they’re doing the job with industry experts who are.

There are normally layers of complexity to tasks that you don’t see on the floor in the concluded solution. . . . there are building codes you have to be conscious of and follow, there is wiring and plumbing in the walls that you don’t know is there, etcetera.

You’ll experience surprising challenges that could not show up in that Do it yourself tutorial you viewed. For example, you view ten films on laying tile, you invest in every thing you imagine you will need and get to operate, only to find that the subfloor is not degree so you will have to determine out how to take care of that ahead of you can dazzle your neighbors with your newfound tile-laying mastery.

There is a ahead of (the preparing) and an immediately after (clear-up) to just about every project . . . don’t fail to remember to strategy for that, also!

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


What really should I strategy for?

At a minimum, Do it yourself project preparing really should include:

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

Strategy for the ahead of, the for the duration of, and the immediately after of the project. 

Arranging can from time to time get just as very long, if not longer than the project by itself.

Developing a price range and price tag-comparing to get the finest price for your supplies will get time and effort and hard work.

Trying to keep track of down that ‘perfect’ faucet you observed in an Instagram put up can be a rabbit’s gap and a time suck. You need to strategy for the time you will invest scouring web sites for suggestions and supplies.

What if I’m not in a position to comprehensive this as swiftly as I imagine I’m heading to be in a position to? What will delays impression and how? Will delays mean it in the long run expenses me much more?

There will be surprises, even with the finest laid ideas. Make in more time and a small more dollars to your strategy to let for the surprising.

See how I reworked my hall closet and additional storage area.

What equipment will I need?

When calculating the price tag, don’t fail to remember to take into account the cost of acquiring, leasing, or borrowing the equipment you will need. And a truck may well well be a necessary tool—how are you heading to transportation 4’ x 8’ items of plywood from the lumber retailer to your residence?

You’ll need a area to use individuals equipment and retailer individuals equipment. Consider it through.

Annnnd . . . you will need time to determine out how to use all individuals equipment or uncover someone to instruct you. Not just how to use the equipment, but also how to adjust blades, etcetera. and sustain them correctly so they run securely. It’s finest to use a new instrument for the 1st time on a smaller project so that you feel cozy and confident in working it correctly ahead of you shift on to larger matters.

Related Examining: twelve Must Have Equipment for Do it yourself Projects

How a great deal area will I need?

This is a biggie. Do you have somewhere to place the household furniture though you replace the flooring? Do you have somewhere to retailer and use your equipment for the duration of the project? Do you have somewhere to continue to keep the lumber you’re working with away from the features?

What about when you commence painting all individuals shelves you’re making—you’re preparing to established up store in your driveway, but what if it is raining for 3 days straight? Will it operate to park your auto out in the street though your garage is reworked into a workshop? The place are you heading to place the kids’ bikes if you have to uncover a area for that table observed you’re borrowing from Uncle Joe?

Tips and Tricks for Planning a DIY Home Renovation Project

What basic safety precautions and devices do I need?

Be protected! Be protected! Be protected! On line tutorials don’t always provide basic safety tips about guarding you when you operate. Safety is vital!

Oftentimes, 1st-time Do it yourself-ers are unfamiliar with even the most straightforward of basic safety rules:

  • Don’t use loose clothes or jewelry.
  • Tie your hair again and make confident very little obstructs your vision.
  • Have on closed-toe sneakers that will secure your toes.
  • Familiarize yourselves with the basic safety tips that come with every single and just about every instrument you use, and honor individuals tips religiously.
  • Particles are a big deal. You don’t want to be respiration in sawdust or substances when you’re doing the job. If you’re a Do it yourself-er, you most most likely don’t have a created-in dust selection method like they do in professional workshops. You’ll need to use a mask and a superior 1! And you have to use it not just when you’re slicing, but the complete time you’re doing the job in that space—those particles are still floating in the air and you’re respiration them in if you don’t have a mask. And, continue to keep the area you’re doing the job in well ventilated.
  • Function gradual, constant, and very careful. Choose a split if you’re experience fatigued or burned out. You make mistakes when you’re fatigued or when you’re rushed, and mistakes manufactured though working a power observed are, well, fairly darn big mistakes.
  • Use the ideal equipment for the task! Normally! Trying to ‘make do’ or jerry-rig one thing just to get by or stay away from the trouble of undertaking it ideal is not value it!
  • Understand when you need someone who is familiar with a small much more than you do. You can still be a Do it yourself goddess and question for assistance. In particular with things like wiring or plumbing where by failing to do one thing correctly can be a truly, truly big deal.
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 result of this project?

When you get on a project, it is not only a subject of possibility price tag (what you’re not supplying your time to in its place considering that you’re doing the job on the project), but also a subject of how it impacts your every day routines and individuals of everybody all over you.

Wooden generates a lot of observed dust. Paint can be messy and produce smelly fumes. Putting in flooring signifies you’re not going for walks on individuals flooring and your household furniture is not sitting down on them. Consider about how your residing area will be limited and how that will impression you and individuals you stay with.

There are all types of fees and delays you couldn’t quite possibly strategy for. It’s possible your power drill breaks mid-project and you have to go invest in a new 1. It’s possible you come down with the flu and just cannot operate on your project for a 7 days or two. It’s possible a project at your working day task pops up and you’re quickly putting in tons of more hours at the place of work with no time for property tasks.

Take into account the worry and emotional stress! It is stress filled to include 1 much more item to our fast paced lives and prolonged to-do lists, specially if you’re a guardian with young small children or if you have an specially demanding profession. Your time and electrical power are in confined supply and you must price range how you will use them.

If you stay in an condominium or townhouse, you just cannot operate your power drill at all hours of the working day devoid of disturbing your neighbors. Also, you could have other additional complicating things, these types of as having to routine the company elevator to provide your supplies up from the parking garage, etcetera.

You could uncover you consuming out much more or investing much more on conveniences and solutions to absolutely free up much more of your time to dedicate to the Do it yourself project. People expenses include up and really should be taken into account in the price range for your project.

Related Examining: Cassity’s Recommendations for Surviving Life in a Rework

Arranging a Learn Closet Renovation

Here’s a modern Do it yourself project I undertook—a master bed room and master closet renovation. Down below, I speak a small about the process behind the project to give you a much better feeling of what’s associated when selecting Do it yourself.

For some suggestions and info about DIYing your possess closet renovation, test these posts:

During And After Closet Built In 2

Related Examining: 35 Do it yourself Closet Hacks to Create Much more Place and Arrange Your Closet


How Did You Strategy?

Sketch Up

In advance of commencing the project, I laid the groundwork and planned every thing out.

I established a Do it yourself project strategy that included one) a price range 2) a timeline 3) a supply listing 4) customized make ideas and 5) a strategy for not just the ‘what,’ but also the ‘how.’

I cleared all of my commitments for a solid two weeks to operate on the project total-time. (It took longer than 2 weeks, but supplying myself two weeks to operate total-time obtained the project considerably more than enough together that I could end it aspect-time from there).

I located all of the supplies I would need in advance. This included selling price-comparing and calculating shipping and delivery/shipping expenses so that I could remain in price range. And it meant every thing from nails and screws to caulk and paint to lumber and hanging rods. Of course there have been random odds-and-ends I necessary as I went together, but the bulk of my supplies have been acquired and on-hand when I began my project.

I scheduled a local going business for a 2-hour block to assistance me shift the greater household furniture products that I knew I couldn’t control on my possess in clearing out the area to be renovated.

IMG 4225

I scheduled the shipping of the lumber I necessary for my project and cleared a specified location to retailer it.

I used numerous hours looking at shots of closets on the net to get suggestions. I established up a Pinterest board where by I pinned ‘inspiration’ tasks to refer to as I created my closet layout.

I took all the measurements, pointed out where by there have been shops and other possible obstacles, and arrived up with a structure strategy for both my bed room and my closet. I drew it all up to scale.

I used SketchUp 3D computer software to design—from scratch—each and just about every 1 of the parts for the created-ins I was building, and then I compiled a master listing of all the element items and their measurements.

I drew out thorough slash ideas for every single piece of plywood to lessen waste.

I took an inventory of my equipment and manufactured confident I had what I necessary for the project and that my equipment have been in superior repair service. I also manufactured confident I had more blades for my miter observed, more luggage for my damp/dry vac, etcetera., as well as basic safety equipment like masks and protective eye use.

I carefully considered through what would be associated to make confident I had the skill established and know-how to see the project through.

I established a routine for what to operate on every single working day, modifying it as I went.

I held all of my receipts and notes and ideas and measurements collectively in a binder that I could easily reference anytime necessary.

IMG 5532

What Did Not Go As Planned?

I had initially planned to rip up the aged carpet and install the new flooring myself, but as the 7 days progressed, I realized that I would not be concluded on routine if I did not get a small assistance.

I made a decision that being performed in time was vital more than enough to me to justify heading above price range a small, and so I employed installers to come in and do the ground. It took a 2-person staff of skilled installers a total fifty percent-working day to end, which verified to me that I’d manufactured the ideal option in choosing out, as it most absolutely would have taken me, doing the job on my possess, at the very least 4x as very long.

I underestimated the toll that the warmth would get on me. For two straight weeks, I labored twelve- to 18-hour days. Most of that time was used in my driveway and garage building parts. It’s grueling and exhausting operate on its possess, but manufactured much more so by 90+ diploma temperatures and a hundred% humidity.

I knew that some of the project would get longer than 2 weeks, but I underestimated how disruptive the ongoing renovations would be to my relatives and our routines as soon as the new faculty year started. When I was no longer in a position to place in 18-hour days (simply because, hello there, true lifetime), it took me a great deal longer to end the past fifty percent of the project than it did the 1st fifty percent.

This was my largest Do it yourself project yet, and I underestimated how very long cleaning-up-as-you-go would get. When you’re ripping dozens of boards a working day, observed dust and scrap wooden builds up swiftly. It took much more time than I had planned on to continue to keep my operate area clear, 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 ever witnessed has designer yoga trousers, flawlessly coiffed hair, and a total experience of make-up in every single of their action pictures?

Yeah, well, I have no concept how to do that. When I operate, I sweat. I stink. I’m donning my oldest, rattiest t-shirt. I’m covered from head to toe in sawdust and paint and wooden glue. My hair is pulled again in a frizzy pile. And I just cannot use makeup simply because it drives me outrageous to use a respirator mask and protective eye equipment when I have makeup on. That, and I just sweat any makeup I have ideal on off! Do it yourself is challenging operate!

DIY Built-In Bookshelves

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

What Will come Just after the Do it yourself?

The clear-up arrives immediately after, that’s what.

It took me hours and hours to place my garage again collectively. I had to rent a truck and make two independent outings to the dump with all of the leftover scraps and supplies.

I had to shift all of the household furniture and clothes again into the master bed room and master closet and restore order to the other pieces of the residence that have been impacted by the upheaval.

Though prioritizing a project of this measurement, other matters in my lifetime took a again seat and so when I at last concluded the renovation, I had a ton of capture-up to do.

So, what are my finest recommendations for preparing a Do it yourself project?

Begin compact, strategy well, discover as you go, and have fun!

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

Pin this to save it for later and share with your DIYing good 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