How to Plan a DIY Home Renovation Project

If you are preparing a significant Do it yourself job in your residence, study these suggestions for how to system a Do it yourself residence renovation job, which includes concerns you should really request yourself just before you start transforming. 

As a self-taught DIYer, I’ve planned and executed a variety of Do it yourself residence renovation tasks. In this article on Remodelaholic, I’ve shared a couple, which includes my kitchen makeover, corridor closet transform, and suggestions for putting in trim and molding.

These days I’d like to share some thoughts on preparing Do it yourself residence tasks, which includes concerns to request *just before* you start out and some myths about DIYing.

How to Plan a DIY Home Renovation Project


Items to Think About Prior to You Begin a Do it yourself Venture

So You’re Contemplating About Do it yourself?

I have four young children. When making an attempt to teach them a lifetime skill, I’ll often say, “When you are out on your individual sometime, you are going to want you’d taken the time to study this!” To which my teenager responds, “But, Mom. There is YouTube. If I will need to do it, I’ll check out a video clip.”

Not the response I was hoping for, but sure! 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 clear-cut as it looks. 

Even with fantastic instruction, there is often extra to a Do it yourself job than we imagine. Be realistic . . . not so intimidated that you never ever give it a attempt, but not so naive that you choose on extra than you can manage.

In this article are a couple things I’d motivate individuals looking at a Do it yourself job to imagine about just before jumping in . . . some truths, some myths. 

Do it yourself Household Renovation Venture Scheduling: Myths & Truths

Real truth: Do it yourself tasks can be enormously gratifying.

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

  • There is a ton of self-fulfillment to be experienced in doing a thing yourself. 
  • You can likely develop a thing you could not obtain in a keep.
  • You get to deliver to lifetime the vision in your head, just as you want it and just as you see it. 
  • You can obtain new skills that you are going to be equipped to use in a lot of unique strategies and on long term tasks.
See how I transformed my kitchen with just a couple small details and quick Do it yourself tasks.

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

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

At times the toll on your time and strength, or when it is a job that is beyond your skill established, indicates it would be improved not to do it yourself.

Complex abilities is often essential to do a task and do it suitable. Some things are improved left to a experienced.

The outdated adage “you get what you pay out for” is legitimate, but so is “you get what you can do.” Take into consideration the quality and feasibility of the wished-for final result when deciding whether or not to go it by yourself or retain the services of some help.

Particularly when undertaking significant-scale Do it yourself tasks, the effect on your residence and your sanity is not insignificant. And, when calculating cost, really do not just take into consideration time-to-execute and cost-of-supplies, but also the time to prepare and system, the time to cleanse-up later on, and all the catch-up perform you are going to have to do in other regions of your lifetime when you have been prioritizing a Do it yourself job that is taken up all of your time and strength.

Before And After Built In Bookshelf

Myth: Executing a residence job myself is usually cheaper and saves me dollars.

Real truth: At times Do it yourself is not really cheaper than obtaining it at the keep or paying out someone else to do it.

Prior to you channel your internal HGTV star, some things to take into consideration:

Financial state of scale is a legitimate principle. Manufacturers have a proportionate preserving in expenses acquired by an improved degree of manufacturing. In other words, it expenses them a ton considerably less to buy the resources, and their procedure is considerably more rapidly and extra productive than yours is going to be. At times it truly is cheaper and extra realistic to buy it ready-created than to make it yourself.

Your time is really worth a thing. Time is dollars. Your time is dollars.

Option cost = “the loss of prospective gain from other alternatives when one alternative is decided on.” To give your time and strength to a Do it yourself job indicates you are not providing your time and strength to other things. So the cost of the Do it yourself job is not just your time and supplies, it is also the cost of all the other things you are not doing with that time and dollars.

Say you generate $20/hour at your day task. If you establish a bookcase yourself and it can take you 20 hours to do it, your labor expenses are essentially $400. And that doesn’t choose into account the above talked about opportunity cost for other things in your lifetime you did not devote that time on, or the cost of supplies. So, yeah, possibly not really worth it.

But if you are finding out a new skill established alongside the way or if it is supplying a inventive outlet for you, nicely, then, yeah, possibly it is really worth it.

See how I saved countless numbers of bucks putting in my individual trim perform and moldings.

Before And After Built In Laundry Hamper


Real truth: Do it yourself = tricky perform and a ton of it.

Even “easy” Do it yourself tasks choose tricky perform and even the easiest makeovers can convert into much larger tasks with unforeseen results. 

It can take a toll to incorporate a Do it yourself job to your to-do listing. Every single job I’ve ever taken on has experienced unforeseen established-backs (hello there, real lifetime) and has taken extended to total than I experienced planned on.

Do it yourself tasks, particularly residence renovation, are physically rigorous. You will be sweaty and filthy and weary and your muscles will ache from your head to your toes. You will have blisters and splinters and paint-splattered hair.

Based on the job, the perform can be incredibly bodily. Tons of significant lifting, crawling into restricted areas, climbing up and down ladders, doing the job exterior in the heat, etcetera. Take into consideration your wellbeing and physical fitness when pondering about a Do it yourself job.

You will strike a wall. (At times virtually, if that is element of the renovation system.) Particularly with significant tasks. It will be more difficult, choose extended, and be extra complicated than you planned on. You will want to quit just to be done with it. Just after all, you have already received a day task. A significant Do it yourself job can be like adding 20+hours to your perform 7 days.

At times it just will not perform out. You will have taken on extra than you can manage. Be straightforward about when it is time to deliver in the pros or request for help. It is all right. 

During And After Closet Built In

Inquiries to Question As You Approach a Do it yourself Household Renovation Venture

There are a ton of things to take into consideration as you system a Do it yourself job for your residence (beyond “What would Chip and Joanna Gaines do?”).

Is this job and skill established in your wheelhouse?

It took me a year to persuade my partner that I could do a significant trim job in our residence. (See In this article). Can you blame him? At the time, I experienced zero working experience in putting in trim. Our residence is our most major economical expense. What if I hadn’t been equipped to pull it off and we experienced to swallow the cost, or pay out even extra to deliver someone else in to take care of my errors? In our circumstance, it all turned out truly nicely, but it is clever to thoroughly take into consideration your skill established and the feasibility of a job just before committing.

In preparing, take into consideration the worst-circumstance situation should really your Do it yourself job not stop in trails of glory. Is it really worth any related pitfalls?

At times a job can force you to study new skills and improve existing types. Initiatives that force you and extend you are fantastic! But it is unrealistic to imagine you can bounce from developing one established of floating wall cabinets to one-handedly renovating a bathroom. Acquire on a very little at a time. Master as you go.

Before And After Wainscoting

How complex is this Do it yourself job? And how complex could it *come to be*?

For sure, there are some tasks you can check out one or two YouTube tutorials and you are fantastic to go. You will have it done in a day.

Other tasks, particularly residence renovation types, can be considerably, considerably extra associated than you’d imagine they’d be. Often, on the net tutorials are in excess of-simplified and the individual doing them is extra expert, so it can take them considerably less time to total a job than it would for you to do it.

These household flip shows wherever a rambler goes from drab to fab in one thirty-minute episode? Well, a ton of the blood, sweat, and tears it can take to make that take place finishes up on the slicing home floor. And, normally, individuals Do it yourself-ers are both expert household-flippers or they’re doing the job with professionals who are.

There are often levels of complexity to tasks that you really do not see on the surface area in the concluded merchandise. . . . there are developing codes you have to be conscious of and follow, there is wiring and plumbing in the partitions that you really do not know is there, etcetera.

You will face unforeseen problems that might not demonstrate up in that Do it yourself tutorial you watched. For instance, you check out ten videos on laying tile, you buy every little thing you imagine you are going to will need and get to perform, only to find that the subfloor is not degree so you are going to have to determine out how to take care of that just before you can dazzle your neighbors with your newfound tile-laying mastery.

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

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


What should really I system for?

At a least, Do it yourself job preparing should really include:

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

Approach for the just before, the through, and the right after of the job. 

Scheduling can often choose just as extensive, if not extended than the job alone.

Generating a finances and cost-comparing to get the most effective benefit for your supplies will choose time and effort and hard work.

Attempting to observe down that ‘perfect’ faucet you saw in an Instagram article can be a rabbit’s hole and a time suck. You will need to system for the time you are going to devote scouring sites for ideas and supplies.

What if I’m not equipped to total this as swiftly as I imagine I’m going to be equipped to? What will delays effect and how? Will delays suggest it finally expenses me extra?

There will be surprises, even with the most effective laid ideas. Create in more time and a very little more dollars to your system to allow for for the unforeseen.

See how I transformed my corridor closet and extra storage area.

What instruments will I will need?

When calculating the cost, really do not ignore to take into consideration the expenditure of obtaining, leasing, or borrowing the instruments you are going to will need. And a truck could possibly nicely be a needed tool—how are you going to transportation 4’ x 8’ items of plywood from the lumber keep to your household?

You will will need a location to use individuals instruments and keep individuals instruments. Think it by.

Annnnd . . . you are going to will need time to determine out how to use all individuals instruments or obtain someone to teach you. Not just how to use the instruments, but also how to change blades, etcetera. and manage them adequately so they function properly. It is most effective to use a new device for the to start with time on a lesser job so that you experience comfortable and self-confident in operating it accurately just before you shift on to even bigger things.

Linked Looking at: twelve Need to Have Instruments for Do it yourself Initiatives

How considerably area will I will need?

This is a biggie. Do you have somewhere to put the furnishings even though you substitute the flooring? Do you have somewhere to keep and use your instruments through the job? Do you have somewhere to keep the lumber you are making use of absent from the aspects?

What about when you start out painting all individuals cabinets you are making—you’re preparing to established up shop in your driveway, but what if it is raining for 3 times straight? Will it perform to park your car out in the street even though your garage is transformed into a workshop? Where by are you going to put the kids’ bikes if you have to obtain a location for that table saw you are borrowing from Uncle Joe?

Tips and Tricks for Planning a DIY Home Renovation Project

What safety safeguards and gear do I will need?

Be safe! Be safe! Be safe! On the net tutorials really do not usually present safety guidelines about shielding yourself when you perform. Protection is critical!

Quite often, to start with-time Do it yourself-ers are unfamiliar with even the easiest of safety principles:

  • Don’t use loose apparel or jewelry.
  • Tie your hair back and make sure nothing at all obstructs your vision.
  • Dress in closed-toe footwear that will defend your toes.
  • Familiarize yourselves with the safety guidelines that appear with just about every and every device you use, and honor individuals guidelines religiously.
  • Particles are a significant deal. You really do not want to be breathing in sawdust or chemical substances when you are doing the job. If you are a Do it yourself-er, you most very likely really do not have a constructed-in dust selection program like they do in experienced workshops. You will will need to use a mask and a fantastic one! And you have to use it not just when you are slicing, but the total time you are doing the job in that space—those particles are nevertheless floating in the air and you are breathing them in if you really do not have a mask. And, keep the area you are doing the job in nicely ventilated.
  • Function slow, regular, and cautious. Acquire a split if you are emotion weary or burned out. You make errors when you are weary or when you are rushed, and errors created even though operating a energy saw are, nicely, quite darn significant errors.
  • Use the suitable instruments for the task! Always! Attempting to ‘make do’ or jerry-rig a thing just to get by or keep away from the trouble of doing it suitable is not really worth it!
  • Recognize when you will need someone who is aware of a very little extra than you do. You can nevertheless be a Do it yourself goddess and request for help. Particularly with things like wiring or plumbing wherever failing to do a thing accurately can be a truly, truly significant deal.
Before And After Built In Bookshelf

Put in your individual constructed-in bookshelves with Justin and Cassity’s tutorial

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

When you choose on a job, it is not only a make any difference of opportunity cost (what you are not providing your time to instead considering the fact that you are doing the job on the job), but also a make any difference of how it impacts your day-to-day routines and individuals of everybody all-around you.

Wood generates a ton of saw dust. Paint can be messy and develop smelly fumes. Putting in flooring indicates you are not strolling on individuals flooring and your furnishings is not sitting on them. Think about how your living area will be restricted and how that will effect you and individuals you live with.

There are all forms of costs and delays you could not maybe system for. Probably your energy drill breaks mid-job and you have to go buy a new one. Probably you appear down with the flu and cannot perform on your job for a 7 days or two. Probably a job at your day task pops up and you are instantly putting in a lot of more hours at the business with no time for residence tasks.

Take into consideration the anxiety and psychological stress! It is stress filled to incorporate one extra merchandise to our occupied life and lengthy to-do lists, particularly if you are a guardian with younger youngsters or if you have an particularly demanding career. Your time and strength are in constrained source and you need to finances how you are going to use them.

If you live in an apartment or townhouse, you cannot run your energy drill at all hours of the day with out disturbing your neighbors. Also, you might have other extra complicating things, these kinds of as owning to program the assistance elevator to deliver your supplies up from the parking garage, etcetera.

You might obtain yourself eating out extra or paying out extra on conveniences and expert services to no cost up extra of your time to dedicate to the Do it yourself job. These expenses incorporate up and should really be taken into account in the finances for your job.

Linked Looking at: Cassity’s Strategies for Surviving Existence in a Rework

Scheduling a Learn Closet Renovation

Here’s a latest Do it yourself job I undertook—a master bed room and master closet renovation. Down below, I chat a very little about the procedure at the rear of the job to give you a improved sense of what is associated when deciding upon Do it yourself.

For some ideas and data about DIYing your individual closet renovation, attempt these posts:

During And After Closet Built In 2

Linked Looking at: 35 Do it yourself Closet Hacks to Build More House and Organize Your Closet


How Did You Approach?

Sketch Up

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

I made a Do it yourself job system that bundled 1) a finances 2) a timeline 3) a source listing four) tailor made establish ideas and 5) a system for not just the ‘what,’ but also the ‘how.’

I cleared all of my commitments for a solid two weeks to perform on the job entire-time. (It took extended than 2 weeks, but providing myself two weeks to perform entire-time received the job significantly ample alongside that I could finish it element-time from there).

I situated all of the supplies I would will need in advance. This bundled value-comparing and calculating transport/supply expenses so that I could keep in finances. And it meant every little thing from nails and screws to caulk and paint to lumber and hanging rods. Of system there had been random odds-and-finishes I needed as I went alongside, but the bulk of my supplies had been purchased and on-hand when I began my job.

I scheduled a community moving company for a 2-hour block to help me shift the much larger furnishings merchandise that I realized I could not manage on my individual in clearing out the area to be renovated.

IMG 4225

I scheduled the supply of the lumber I needed for my job and cleared a designated location to keep it.

I put in several hours looking at pictures of closets on the net to get ideas. I established up a Pinterest board wherever I pinned ‘inspiration’ tasks to refer to as I intended my closet format.

I took all the measurements, famous wherever there had been stores and other prospective obstructions, and came up with a structure system for equally my bed room and my closet. I drew it all up to scale.

I utilised SketchUp 3D software to design—from scratch—each and every one of the factors for the constructed-ins I was developing, and then I compiled a master listing of all the part items and their measurements.

I drew out specific reduce ideas for just about every piece of plywood to lower squander.

I took an inventory of my instruments and created sure I experienced what I needed for the job and that my instruments had been in fantastic maintenance. I also created sure I experienced more blades for my miter saw, more bags for my soaked/dry vac, etcetera., as nicely as safety equipment like masks and protecting eye use.

I thoroughly considered by what would be associated to make sure I experienced the skill established and know-how to see the job by.

I made a program for what to perform on just about every day, adjusting it as I went.

I retained all of my receipts and notes and ideas and measurements together in a binder that I could conveniently reference when needed.

IMG 5532

What Did Not Go As Prepared?

I experienced originally planned to rip up the outdated carpet and put in the new flooring myself, but as the 7 days progressed, I understood that I would not be concluded on program if I did not get a very little help.

I resolved that currently being done in time was significant ample to me to justify going in excess of finances a very little, and so I employed installers to appear in and do the floor. It took a 2-guy crew of expert installers a entire fifty percent-day to finish, which confirmed to me that I’d created the suitable preference in selecting out, as it most definitely would have taken me, doing the job on my individual, at minimum 4x as extensive.

I underestimated the toll that the heat would choose on me. For two straight weeks, I worked twelve- to 18-hour times. Most of that time was put in in my driveway and garage developing factors. It is grueling and exhausting perform on its individual, but created extra so by 90+ diploma temperatures and a hundred% humidity.

I realized that some of the job would choose extended 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 college year began. When I was no extended equipped to put in 18-hour times (mainly because, hello there, real lifetime), it took me considerably extended to finish the previous fifty percent of the job than it did the to start with fifty percent.

This was my greatest Do it yourself job but, and I underestimated how extensive cleansing-up-as-you-go would choose. When you are ripping dozens of boards a day, saw dust and scrap wood builds up swiftly. It took extra time than I experienced planned on to keep my perform area cleanse, orderly, and useful.

What Does Do it yourself Do To You?

You know how every Do it yourself blogger or Instagram influencer you have ever noticed has designer yoga trousers, correctly coiffed hair, and a entire confront of make-up in just about every of their motion pictures?

Yeah, nicely, I have no strategy how to do that. When I perform, I sweat. I stink. I’m putting on my oldest, rattiest t-shirt. I’m protected from head to toe in sawdust and paint and wood glue. My hair is pulled back in a frizzy pile. And I cannot use make-up mainly because it drives me crazy to use a respirator mask and protecting eye equipment when I have make-up on. That, and I just sweat any make-up I have suitable on off! Do it yourself is tricky perform!

DIY Built-In Bookshelves

Put in your individual constructed-in bookshelves with Justin and Cassity’s tutorial

What Arrives Just after the Do it yourself?

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

It took me hours and hours to put my garage back together. I experienced to rent a truck and make two separate trips to the dump with all of the leftover scraps and resources.

I experienced to shift all of the furnishings and apparel back into the master bed room and master closet and restore order to the other areas of the household that had been impacted by the upheaval.

Even though prioritizing a job of this dimension, other things in my lifetime took a back seat and so when I ultimately concluded the renovation, I experienced a ton of catch-up to do.

So, what are my most effective suggestions for preparing a Do it yourself job?

Begin small, system nicely, study as you go, and have enjoyment!

Read through extra about skills for Do it yourself residence renovation tasks:

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

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

Remodelaholic is a participant in the Amazon Companies LLC Associates System, an affiliate promotion plan intended to present a indicates for websites to generate promotion charges by promotion and linking to You should see our entire disclosure listed here.

About Jenny McArthur