How to Plan a DIY Home Renovation Project

If you’re scheduling a key Diy venture in your household, go through these guidelines for how to plan a Diy household renovation venture, which include issues you ought to question on your own ahead of you start transforming. 

As a self-taught DIYer, I have prepared and executed a quantity of Diy household renovation assignments. Here on Remodelaholic, I have shared a number of, which include my kitchen area makeover, hall closet transform, and guidelines for setting up trim and molding.

Now I’d like to share some thoughts on scheduling Diy household assignments, which include issues to question *ahead of* you get started and some myths about DIYing.

How to Plan a DIY Home Renovation Project


Items to Feel About Just before You Start out a Diy Undertaking

So You are Considering About Diy?

I have 4 young ones. When making an attempt to teach them a life ability, I’ll often say, “When you’re out on your have someday, you’re likely to would like you’d taken the time to master this!” To which my teenager responds, “But, Mom. There’s YouTube. If I need to have to do it, I’ll view a video clip.”

Not the response I was hoping for, but certainly! We have YouTube and a million blog site content and Pinterest pins telling us we can do it ourselves and how. Only, it’s not often as clear-cut as it appears to be. 

Even with superior instruction, there’s often much more to a Diy venture than we feel. Be real looking . . . not so intimidated that you never ever give it a attempt, but not so naive that you consider on much more than you can tackle.

Here are a number of issues I’d motivate these considering a Diy venture to feel about ahead of jumping in . . . some truths, some myths. 

Diy Residence Renovation Undertaking Setting up: Myths & Truths

Fact: Diy assignments can be enormously gratifying.

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

  • There’s a great deal of self-pleasure to be experienced in performing a thing on your own. 
  • You can perhaps make a thing you couldn’t find in a retailer.
  • You get to provide to life the eyesight in your head, just as you want it and just as you see it. 
  • You can get new expertise that you are going to be capable to use in loads of various methods and on upcoming assignments.
See how I transformed my kitchen area with just a number of smaller particulars and uncomplicated Diy assignments.

Fantasy: If you can Diy it, you ought to.

Fact: Diy is not often the way to go.

Occasionally the toll on your time and energy, or when it’s a venture that is further than your ability set, indicates it would be better not to do it on your own.

Complex skills is in some cases expected to do a task and do it right. Some issues are better remaining to a expert.

The aged adage “you get what you pay for” is true, but so is “you get what you can do.” Take into consideration the excellent and feasibility of the wished-for end result when selecting irrespective of whether to go it by yourself or employ some support.

Particularly when undertaking massive-scale Diy assignments, the effect on your household and your sanity is not insignificant. And, when calculating charge, really do not just think about time-to-execute and charge-of-provides, but also the time to put together and plan, the time to clean up-up afterwards, and all the capture-up work you are going to have to do in other parts of your life when you’ve been prioritizing a Diy venture that’s taken up all of your time and energy.

Before And After Built In Bookshelf

Fantasy: Undertaking a household venture myself is often more cost-effective and saves me funds.

Fact: Occasionally Diy isn’t essentially more cost-effective than shopping for it at the retailer or paying anyone else to do it.

Just before you channel your interior HGTV star, some issues to think about:

Financial state of scale is a true principle. Brands have a proportionate preserving in expenditures gained by an amplified degree of production. In other terms, it expenditures them a great deal significantly less to obtain the elements, and their approach is considerably a lot quicker and much more productive than yours is likely to be. Occasionally it genuinely is more cost-effective and much more realistic to obtain it completely ready-produced than to make it on your own.

Your time is worthy of a thing. Time is funds. Your time is funds.

Opportunity charge = “the loss of prospective obtain from other alternate options when a single substitute is chosen.” To give your time and energy to a Diy venture indicates you’re not offering your time and energy to other issues. So the charge of the Diy venture is not just your time and provides, it’s also the charge of all the other issues you’re not performing with that time and funds.

Say you generate $20/hour at your day task. If you create a bookcase on your own and it normally takes you 20 hours to do it, your labor expenditures are fundamentally $four hundred. And that doesn’t consider into account the higher than pointed out opportunity charge for other issues in your life you didn’t invest that time on, or the charge of provides. So, yeah, it’s possible not worthy of it.

But if you’re studying a new ability set together the way or if it’s offering a imaginative outlet for you, effectively, then, yeah, it’s possible it is worthy of it.

See how I saved countless numbers of bucks setting up my have trim work and moldings.

Before And After Built In Laundry Hamper


Fact: Diy = difficult work and a great deal of it.

Even “easy” Diy assignments consider difficult work and even the most basic makeovers can turn into greater assignments with unpredicted results. 

It normally takes a toll to incorporate a Diy venture to your to-do list. Each individual venture I have ever taken on has experienced unpredicted set-backs (good day, true life) and has taken for a longer period to total than I experienced prepared on.

Diy assignments, primarily household renovation, are physically powerful. You will be sweaty and soiled and drained and your muscle tissues will ache from your head to your toes. You will have blisters and splinters and paint-splattered hair.

Dependent on the venture, the work can be pretty actual physical. Plenty of large lifting, crawling into limited areas, climbing up and down ladders, doing work outdoors in the heat, and so forth. Take into consideration your health and fitness and fitness when imagining about a Diy venture.

You will hit a wall. (Occasionally virtually, if that’s element of the renovation plan.) Particularly with significant assignments. It will be tougher, consider for a longer period, and be much more difficult than you prepared on. You will want to give up just to be performed with it. After all, you’ve presently received a day task. A significant Diy venture can be like adding 20+hours to your work week.

Occasionally it just won’t work out. You will have taken on much more than you can tackle. Be straightforward about when it’s time to provide in the professionals or question for support. It is all right. 

During And After Closet Built In

Inquiries to Check with As You Strategy a Diy Residence Renovation Undertaking

There are a great deal of aspects to think about as you plan a Diy venture for your household (further than “What would Chip and Joanna Gaines do?”).

Is this venture and ability set in your wheelhouse?

It took me a yr to influence my husband that I could do a key trim venture in our household. (See Here). Can you blame him? At the time, I experienced zero expertise in setting up trim. Our household is our most important money financial commitment. What if I hadn’t been capable to pull it off and we experienced to swallow the charge, or pay even much more to provide anyone else in to resolve my errors? In our situation, it all turned out genuinely effectively, but it’s sensible to very carefully think about your ability set and the feasibility of a venture ahead of committing.

In scheduling, think about the worst-situation scenario ought to your Diy venture not conclusion in trails of glory. Is it worthy of any connected challenges?

Occasionally a venture can press you to master new expertise and enhance present ones. Initiatives that press you and stretch you are superior! But it’s unrealistic to feel you can leap from making a single set of floating wall cabinets to single-handedly renovating a toilet. Take on a tiny at a time. Learn as you go.

Before And After Wainscoting

How elaborate is this Diy venture? And how elaborate could it *grow to be*?

For guaranteed, there are some assignments you can view a single or two YouTube tutorials and you’re superior to go. You will have it performed in a day.

Other assignments, primarily household renovation ones, can be considerably, considerably much more involved than you’d feel they’d be. Generally, on the web tutorials are more than-simplified and the particular person performing them is much more expert, so it normally takes them significantly less time to total a venture than it would for you to do it.

Those people household flip shows the place a rambler goes from drab to fab in a single thirty-moment episode? Well, a great deal of the blood, sweat, and tears it normally takes to make that happen finishes up on the reducing place ground. And, usually, these Diy-ers are either expert household-flippers or they’re doing work with pros who are.

There are often levels of complexity to assignments that you really do not see on the floor in the concluded merchandise. . . . there are making codes you have to be aware of and observe, there is wiring and plumbing in the walls that you really do not know is there, and so forth.

You will come upon unpredicted challenges that may perhaps not clearly show up in that Diy tutorial you watched. For instance, you view ten films on laying tile, you obtain almost everything you feel you are going to need to have and get to work, only to discover that the subfloor is not degree so you are going to have to figure out how to resolve that ahead of you can dazzle your neighbors with your newfound tile-laying mastery.

There’s a ahead of (the scheduling) and an right after (clean up-up) to each venture . . . really do not neglect to plan for that, as well!

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


What ought to I plan for?

At a least, Diy venture scheduling ought to consist of:

  1. a budget
  2. a timeline
  3. a provide list
  4. a plan for not just the ‘what,’ but also the ‘how’

Strategy for the ahead of, the during, and the right after of the venture. 

Setting up can in some cases consider just as long, if not for a longer period than the venture itself.

Making a budget and charge-evaluating to get the greatest price for your provides will consider time and hard work.

Striving to track down that ‘perfect’ faucet you observed in an Instagram publish can be a rabbit’s hole and a time suck. You need to have to plan for the time you are going to invest scouring sites for concepts and provides.

What if I’m not capable to total this as immediately as I feel I’m likely to be capable to? What will delays effect and how? Will delays signify it in the end expenditures me much more?

There will be surprises, even with the greatest laid ideas. Build in additional time and a tiny additional funds to your plan to enable for the unpredicted.

See how I transformed my hall closet and extra storage house.

What tools will I need to have?

When calculating the charge, really do not neglect to think about the expense of shopping for, renting, or borrowing the tools you are going to need to have. And a truck could effectively be a desired tool—how are you likely to transport 4’ x 8’ pieces of plywood from the lumber retailer to your household?

You will need to have a location to use these tools and retailer these tools. Feel it by.

Annnnd . . . you are going to need to have time to figure out how to use all these tools or find anyone to teach you. Not just how to use the tools, but also how to alter blades, and so forth. and retain them thoroughly so they operate safely. It is greatest to use a new resource for the initially time on a scaled-down venture so that you really feel cozy and assured in functioning it correctly ahead of you move on to even bigger issues.

Connected Reading through: 12 Must Have Instruments for Diy Initiatives

How considerably house will I need to have?

This is a biggie. Do you have someplace to set the furnishings whilst you exchange the floors? Do you have someplace to retailer and use your tools during the venture? Do you have someplace to continue to keep the lumber you’re applying away from the factors?

What about when you get started painting all these cabinets you’re making—you’re scheduling to set up shop in your driveway, but what if it’s raining for 3 times straight? Will it work to park your car out in the road whilst your garage is transformed into a workshop? Where are you likely to set the kids’ bikes if you have to find a location for that table observed you’re borrowing from Uncle Joe?

Tips and Tricks for Planning a DIY Home Renovation Project

What protection safety measures and tools do I need to have?

Be safe! Be safe! Be safe! On the web tutorials really do not often give protection suggestions about defending on your own when you work. Basic safety is critical!

Quite often, initially-time Diy-ers are unfamiliar with even the most basic of protection principles:

  • Really do not have on unfastened garments or jewelry.
  • Tie your hair back and make guaranteed very little obstructs your eyesight.
  • Don shut-toe footwear that will shield your ft.
  • Familiarize yourselves with the protection suggestions that appear with each individual and each resource you use, and honor these suggestions religiously.
  • Particles are a significant offer. You really do not want to be breathing in sawdust or chemicals when you’re doing work. If you’re a Diy-er, you most likely really do not have a constructed-in dust collection procedure like they do in expert workshops. You will need to have to have on a mask and a superior a single! And you have to have on it not just when you’re reducing, but the whole time you’re doing work in that space—those particles are nevertheless floating in the air and you’re breathing them in if you really do not have a mask. And, continue to keep the house you’re doing work in effectively ventilated.
  • Do the job sluggish, constant, and very careful. Take a split if you’re experience drained or burned out. You make errors when you’re drained or when you’re rushed, and errors produced whilst functioning a energy observed are, effectively, pretty darn significant errors.
  • Use the right tools for the task! Normally! Striving to ‘make do’ or jerry-rig a thing just to get by or prevent the difficulties of performing it right is not worthy of it!
  • Figure out when you need to have anyone who understands a tiny much more than you do. You can nevertheless be a Diy goddess and question for support. Particularly with stuff like wiring or plumbing the place failing to do a thing correctly can be a genuinely, genuinely significant offer.
Before And After Built In Bookshelf

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

What is the Diy ripple influence of this venture?

When you consider on a venture, it’s not only a make any difference of opportunity charge (what you’re not offering your time to alternatively considering that you’re doing work on the venture), but also a make any difference of how it impacts your each day routines and these of every person all over you.

Wood generates a great deal of observed dust. Paint can be messy and make smelly fumes. Setting up flooring indicates you’re not walking on these floors and your furnishings isn’t sitting on them. Feel about how your dwelling house will be restricted and how that will effect you and these you live with.

There are all kinds of charges and delays you couldn’t possibly plan for. Perhaps your energy drill breaks mid-venture and you have to go obtain a new a single. Perhaps you appear down with the flu and just cannot work on your venture for a week or two. Perhaps a venture at your day task pops up and you’re suddenly placing in loads of additional hours at the office environment with no time for household assignments.

Take into consideration the anxiety and psychological load! It is tense to incorporate a single much more merchandise to our active life and prolonged to-do lists, primarily if you’re a father or mother with youthful kids or if you have an primarily demanding occupation. Your time and energy are in minimal provide and you must budget how you are going to use them.

If you live in an apartment or townhouse, you just cannot operate your energy drill at all hours of the day without disturbing your neighbors. Also, you may perhaps have other extra complicating aspects, these as getting to schedule the service elevator to provide your provides up from the parking garage, and so forth.

You may perhaps find on your own taking in out much more or investing much more on conveniences and expert services to free up much more of your time to commit to the Diy venture. Those people expenditures incorporate up and ought to be taken into account in the budget for your venture.

Connected Reading through: Cassity’s Tips for Surviving Life in a Rework

Setting up a Learn Closet Renovation

Here’s a modern Diy venture I undertook—a learn bedroom and learn closet renovation. Beneath, I discuss a tiny about the approach driving the venture to give you a better feeling of what is involved when deciding upon Diy.

For some concepts and info about DIYing your have closet renovation, attempt these posts:

During And After Closet Built In 2

Connected Reading through: 35 Diy Closet Hacks to Build More Area and Organize Your Closet


How Did You Strategy?

Sketch Up

In progress of beginning the venture, I laid the groundwork and prepared almost everything out.

I created a Diy venture plan that integrated one) a budget 2) a timeline 3) a provide list four) tailor made create ideas and five) a plan for not just the ‘what,’ but also the ‘how.’

I cleared all of my commitments for a sound two weeks to work on the venture whole-time. (It took for a longer period than 2 weeks, but offering myself two weeks to work whole-time received the venture far sufficient together that I could end it element-time from there).

I located all of the provides I would need to have in progress. This integrated price-evaluating and calculating shipping/delivery expenditures so that I could continue to be in budget. And it meant almost everything from nails and screws to caulk and paint to lumber and hanging rods. Of training course there were random odds-and-finishes I desired as I went together, but the bulk of my provides were ordered and on-hand when I started my venture.

I scheduled a nearby transferring company for a 2-hour block to support me move the greater furnishings merchandise that I understood I couldn’t manage on my have in clearing out the house to be renovated.

IMG 4225

I scheduled the delivery of the lumber I desired for my venture and cleared a specified place to retailer it.

I used quite a few hours looking at pictures of closets on the web to get concepts. I set up a Pinterest board the place I pinned ‘inspiration’ assignments to refer to as I intended my closet layout.

I took all the measurements, observed the place there were shops and other prospective obstructions, and came up with a layout plan for both my bedroom and my closet. I drew it all up to scale.

I applied SketchUp 3D program to design—from scratch—each and each a single of the components for the constructed-ins I was making, and then I compiled a learn list of all the ingredient pieces and their measurements.

I drew out specific lower ideas for each individual piece of plywood to lower waste.

I took an inventory of my tools and produced guaranteed I experienced what I desired for the venture and that my tools were in superior fix. I also produced guaranteed I experienced additional blades for my miter observed, additional bags for my wet/dry vac, and so forth., as effectively as protection equipment like masks and protective eye have on.

I very carefully imagined by what would be involved to make guaranteed I experienced the ability set and know-how to see the venture by.

I created a schedule for what to work on each individual day, adjusting it as I went.

I saved all of my receipts and notes and ideas and measurements together in a binder that I could easily reference anytime desired.

IMG 5532

What Did Not Go As Prepared?

I experienced originally prepared to rip up the aged carpet and install the new flooring myself, but as the week progressed, I understood that I would not be concluded on schedule if I didn’t get a tiny support.

I made a decision that remaining performed in time was significant sufficient to me to justify likely more than budget a tiny, and so I hired installers to appear in and do the ground. It took a 2-man group of expert installers a whole 50 percent-day to end, which verified to me that I’d produced the right option in selecting out, as it most definitely would have taken me, doing work on my have, at minimum 4x as long.

I underestimated the toll that the heat would consider on me. For two straight weeks, I labored 12- to eighteen-hour times. Most of that time was used in my driveway and garage making components. It is grueling and exhausting work on its have, but produced much more so by ninety+ degree temperatures and one hundred% humidity.

I understood that some of the venture would consider for a longer period than 2 weeks, but I underestimated how disruptive the ongoing renovations would be to my relatives and our routines the moment the new school yr began. When I was no for a longer period capable to set in eighteen-hour times (since, good day, true life), it took me considerably for a longer period to end the previous 50 percent of the venture than it did the initially 50 percent.

This was my largest Diy venture however, and I underestimated how long cleaning-up-as-you-go would consider. When you’re ripping dozens of boards a day, observed dust and scrap wooden builds up immediately. It took much more time than I experienced prepared on to continue to keep my work house clean up, orderly, and functional.

What Does Diy Do To You?

You know how each Diy blogger or Instagram influencer you’ve ever seen has designer yoga pants, flawlessly coiffed hair, and a whole face of make-up in each individual of their motion pictures?

Yeah, effectively, I have no concept how to do that. When I work, I sweat. I stink. I’m sporting my oldest, rattiest t-shirt. I’m protected from head to toe in sawdust and paint and wooden glue. My hair is pulled back in a frizzy pile. And I just cannot have on make-up since it drives me nuts to have on a respirator mask and protective eye equipment when I have make-up on. That, and I just sweat any make-up I have right on off! Diy is difficult work!

DIY Built-In Bookshelves

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

What Arrives After the Diy?

The clean up-up will come right after, that’s what.

It took me hours and hours to set my garage back together. I experienced to lease a truck and make two independent journeys to the dump with all of the leftover scraps and elements.

I experienced to move all of the furnishings and garments back into the learn bedroom and learn closet and restore buy to the other elements of the household that were impacted by the upheaval.

While prioritizing a venture of this sizing, other issues in my life took a back seat and so when I at last concluded the renovation, I experienced a ton of capture-up to do.

So, what are my greatest guidelines for scheduling a Diy venture?

Start out smaller, plan effectively, master as you go, and have fun!

Read through much more about expertise for Diy household renovation assignments:

Pin this to help you save it for afterwards and share with your DIYing close friends

How to Plan a DIY Home Renovation Project: Truths and Myths about DIYing

How to Plan a DIY Home Renovation Project: Truths and Myths about the Nitty Gritty Work of DIY Projects

Remodelaholic is a participant in the Amazon Products and services LLC Associates Plan, an affiliate marketing plan intended to give a indicates for websites to generate marketing service fees by marketing and linking to Be sure to see our whole disclosure listed here.

About Jenny McArthur