20 Tips for Planning a Successful House Remodel (2024)

    Home Topics Remodeling

    20 Tips for Planning a Successful House Remodel (1)Melina GilliesUpdated: Jun. 09, 2023

      When planning a house remodel, it can be tempting to skip to the exciting stage of choosing new paint colors, fixtures and fittings, but in order for any renovation to go smoothly, there are several things to think about before you even begin.


      20 Tips for Planning a Successful House Remodel (2)Andy Dean Photography/Shutterstock

      Know Your End Goal

      Before you decide how extensively to renovate, you need to know what your end goal is for your home. Are you renovating to raise the resale value of your home, or will you be staying put for years to come? Consider the condition of your neighborhood before you begin, and know which renovations are a good return on investment, and which will be considered overdoing it for the area. Having a specific plan in place for your future will help you decide how deep to go with your project.


      20 Tips for Planning a Successful House Remodel (3)Jorjee/Shutterstock

      Have a Budget

      Knowing your budget—and sticking to it—is one of the most important parts of renovation planning. Remember to add in a contingency fund for any unexpected costs—and expect to use it—as well as incidental costs like the cost of eating out for a kitchen reno, or even taking a hotel for a night or two.It can be easy to want a top-of-the-line renovation, but perhaps all you need are some cheap upgrades which will make your house look more expensive. Do your research and plan your budget before ever lifting a hammer.


      20 Tips for Planning a Successful House Remodel (4)chainarong06/Shutterstock

      Consult the Calendar

      If you're hoping for a brand new home for a particular event or holiday, make sure you look at your end date and work your way backward. Be sure to pencil in a few weeks to a month at the end for wiggle-room in case there are delays on the way to avoid disappointment.Plus: How to Complete a Renovation Without Getting a Divorce


      20 Tips for Planning a Successful House Remodel (5)Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

      Do Your Research

      Take the time to chat with friends, family, and neighbors about the renovation work they have done, and the challenges they have faced during the process. Having a wealth of information from homeowners who have been in your shoes can be invaluable in the planning process, and this information may alter your end plan. Check out our 17 Smarter Renovation and Home Improvement Tips to get started.


      20 Tips for Planning a Successful House Remodel (6)Andy Dean Photography/Shutterstock

      Know Your Limits

      DIY renos are a great way to save money, have a sense of accomplishment, and involve the entire family, but they can turn disastrous if you don't know what you're doing. Know which tasks you can safely tackle, and which should be handled like the pros, like a potentially load-bearing wall, asbestos or lead paint.If you're feeling unsure, here's how to find a good contractor to help.


      20 Tips for Planning a Successful House Remodel (7) Ivelin Radkov/Shutterstock

      Ask for References

      Any good contractor will have no problem providing references, and copies of liability insurance before a job begins. Don't rely solely on client testimonials, search out actual customers that can give you a firsthand account and answer any questions you may have. For any project, ask to see before and after images of a contractor's prior work, and most importantly—trust your gut and know which questions to ask.


      20 Tips for Planning a Successful House Remodel (8)Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

      Pack Up

      To make any house remodel as simple as possible, declutter, pack up or move any items in the renovation zone. For a whole-home remodel, consider renting an offsite locker or onsite storage pod to keep all your belongings secure and clean during the process.Plus: Tips for Moving Furniture


      20 Tips for Planning a Successful House Remodel (9)Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

      Consider Your Routine

      If you're an experienced DIYer, you are likely good at working around the disruptions of a house remodel. However, if you've hired a contractor for any part of the job, be sure to be clear about your daily routine, and work with the contractor to come up with start and end times that cause the least disruption in your family's day. After all, no one wants to encounter tradespeople while you're still in your bathrobe.


      20 Tips for Planning a Successful House Remodel (10)donatas1205/Shutterstock

      Establish Mission Control

      There's nothing more frustrating than being in the middle of a job when you can't find the tool you need. Before you begin your remodel, reserve an area of your home to act as mission control to keep all your tools, materials, manuals and checklists in one place.Plus: Tips for Getting Your Garage Clean and Organized


      20 Tips for Planning a Successful House Remodel (11)Evgeniia Trushkova/Shutterstock

      Protect the Kids

      A house remodel is a perfect way to get the kids involved in DIY, but for very little ones it can be dangerous too. Be sure to install child safety gates, electrical safety covers and store sharp tools well out of the way of curious tots, especially on off-hours where there may not be adequate supervision in the remodel zone.


      20 Tips for Planning a Successful House Remodel (12)alexei_tm/Shutterstock

      Don't Forget the Pets

      The temporary chaos of a home under renovation can be stressful at the best of times for the human occupants of the house, let alone the four-legged family members. When doing a house remodel, consider the safety and care of your pets, which could mean having a family member or friend pet-sit while the bulk of the work is getting done. This is especially true when the doors will often be open to bring tools and materials in and out.


      20 Tips for Planning a Successful House Remodel (13)Stanislaw Mikulski/Shutterstock

      Plan For Outages

      If your home is lacking plumbing shut-off valves in the area you are working on, you may have to shut the water off at the main valve, leaving your home without access to running water. Plan ahead and place containers of water in the fridge for drinking, on the counter for cooking and have buckets of water available to flush the toilet. An easy way to do this is to fill the bathtub with water and place a bucket nearby to pour into the toilet bowl.Plus: 10 Tips to Survive a Blackout


      20 Tips for Planning a Successful House Remodel (14)Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

      Make a Master List

      To have the best chance of success, and to help in the budgeting process, make a master checklist of items you need, from administrative tasks like permits, right down to rollers for the paint. It's helpful to separate the list by items you have, and items you need to purchase. In the case of tools, making a list can help you decide which tools you can rent to save on costs versus purchasing new.Plus: 10 Vital Home Maintenance Tasks You'll Regret if You Forget


      20 Tips for Planning a Successful House Remodel (15)Syda Productions/Shutterstock

      Create Drawings

      You don't have to be an engineer to create job drawings, and chances are you'll require some form of drawing to obtain a permit for your house remodel. Be sure to note square footage, heights and widths of doors and windows, and current locations for any services like electrical, gas or water.Plus: Add an Electrical Outlet


      20 Tips for Planning a Successful House Remodel (16)Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

      Obtain Permits

      Many homeowners consider obtaining a building permit as an unnecessary headache which can slow down the renovation process, but permits are a necessary part of the process in most cases, which can come back to haunt you if not obtained in the first place. Building permits are necessary to ensure your house remodel meets structural and fire safety requirements and code inspectors in most jurisdictions can make you rip out non-conforming work if not up to snuff. This can create a very expensive headache when looking to sell your home down the road. It's always advisable to think ahead and ensure the permit process is followed.Plus: The 8 Most Common Electrical Code Violations Most DIYers Make


      20 Tips for Planning a Successful House Remodel (17)DGLimages/Shutterstock

      Plan a Reno-Free Zone

      Before starting all the mess of a remodel, it's a good plan to designate a renovation-free zone for your family to gather in semi-relaxation. Make sure you have everything you need in one place, such as a kettle or microwave, so you have one functional space to gather, eat or just unwind at the end of the day. For more relaxation ideas, check out our 8 Projects for Backyard Fun.


      20 Tips for Planning a Successful House Remodel (18)Levent Konuk/Shutterstock

      Schedule Cleanup

      After a long day of renovating, it can be tempting to just turn the light off and leave the mess for tomorrow. Unfortunately, this can cause delays, lost tools and lost sanity along the way. Be sure to write in an ample amount of time in your renovation plan to tidy up at the end of the day. Your future self will thank you!Plus: Protect Your Home During Remodeling


      20 Tips for Planning a Successful House Remodel (19)Family Handyman

      Plan Ahead

      Even in a cosmetic remodel, there can be an opportunity to enhance the function or money-saving capability of your home. When ripping out an entire room, for instance, this may be the perfect time to add insulation to the walls, upgrade your electrical panel or add additional light or electrical fixtures. The key is to think ahead to how you will use the room, and take advantage of cosmetic updates to enhance the structure of your home.


      20 Tips for Planning a Successful House Remodel (20) kurhan/Shutterstock

      Book the Help

      If you know a renovation is on the horizon, it's time to call in favors from those handy family and friends. Give them ample time to arrange their schedule to help and provide plenty of reminders as the project approaches. (An offer of free food also helps!) If hiring a contractor, make sure you allow enough lead time to snag your desired timeline, otherwise you could be stuck waiting on them. Consider a message center to keep everyone informed as they come and go to make life easier on everyone.


      20 Tips for Planning a Successful House Remodel (21)Siarhei Tolak/Shutterstock

      Check the Weather

      Even if you're planning a spring or summer remodel, don't bank on having gorgeous weather to do it. Be sure to check the long and short-term forecasts before beginning a job, and schedule jobs that require outside access, like spray painting or wood cutting on days that have the best outlook. Consider heat and cold on days you may have to cut power to your furnace or air conditioner for comfortable working conditions and be sure to stay alert to unexpected changes in the weather.With these and other affordable home improvement tips, you'll be on your way to a successful house remodel in no time!

      Originally Published: November 29, 2019

      20 Tips for Planning a Successful House Remodel (2024)


      20 Tips for Planning a Successful House Remodel? ›

      1) Renovating a house checklist: Begin with the fundamentals

      This includes checking the foundation, electrical systems, plumbing, flooring, and roofing. Older houses are more likely to develop these problems, but it's important to check all your bases no matter how old your house is.

      What is the first thing you should do when remodeling a house? ›

      1) Renovating a house checklist: Begin with the fundamentals

      This includes checking the foundation, electrical systems, plumbing, flooring, and roofing. Older houses are more likely to develop these problems, but it's important to check all your bases no matter how old your house is.

      What adds the most value in a renovation? ›

      Best home improvement projects for return on investment
      • Converting a basem*nt to a living area: 86%
      • Closet renovation: 83%
      • Converting an attic to living area: 75%
      • Complete kitchen renovation: 75%
      • Bathroom renovation: 71%
      • Kitchen upgrade: 67%
      • New bathroom addition: 63%
      • New primary bedroom addition: 56%
      Apr 7, 2022

      What is the best room to renovate first? ›

      It's best to start with the kitchen because these remodels add significant value to your home. According to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry's 2022 remodeling impact report, Realtors estimate that homeowners can recover 75% of the cost of a complete kitchen renovation if they sell their home.

      When not to renovate a house? ›

      If the building is listed or you have to jump through major legal loopholes when it comes to completing the renovation, it is also most likely not a good option for such a project.

      What comes first in remodeling? ›

      The first step in any home remodel timeline is planning. You need to have a clear vision of your home's appearance when the project is complete. This means sitting down and really thinking about what changes you want to make and your project budget.

      Should you renovate inside or outside first? ›

      Sarah Susanka and the Springfield News-Leader share unexpected remodeling tips and tricks. The kitchen and bathroom are at the top of most home remodeling project lists. But homeowners intent on remodeling should also consider investing in the exterior of their homes—maybe even start there.

      What is the difference between renovation and remodel? ›

      Definitions. Technically, a renovation and remodel are defined differently. While a remodel changes the form of something (like adding a new shower to an existing bathroom), a renovation focuses more on restoring something old into good repair (fixing up a creaky floor, for example).

      How do I make a renovation plan? ›

      10 Tips for Planning a Major Home Renovation Project
      1. Create Your Renovation Wishlist. ...
      2. Set Your Renovation Budget. ...
      3. Do Your Research. ...
      4. Hire a Reputable Contractor. ...
      5. Understand Neighborhood Bylaws & Permitting. ...
      6. Understand Your Timeline. ...
      7. Pack Up and Declutter. ...
      8. Protect Kids and Pets.
      Oct 26, 2020

      How do you structure a renovation? ›

      Renovation planning guide: 9 steps to follow before you start
      1. Set out your renovating goals.
      2. Organise your development application.
      3. Be realistic about how much you can afford.
      4. Enlist the experts.
      5. Avoid overcapitalising on your renovation.
      6. Add value to your home with careful planning.
      7. Invest in quality key materials.

      What part of your house is the most worth remodeling? ›

      Kitchens and baths are the areas in a home "where you can tell if money has been well spent or not," says architect Steve Straughan, a partner in Los Angeles-based KAA Design Group. "They're the most expensive areas of the home in terms of construction. And they're where people spend time in their homes."

      Will renovation costs go down in 2023? ›

      Current Trends in Renovation Costs

      The report predicts that renovation spending will drop roughly 14% from 2022 to 2023. The study projected that renovation spending would exceed $450 billion during the first quarter of 2023 but cool shortly thereafter, with owner-occupied housing stock to “grow only modestly” in 2023.

      What adds most value to a property? ›

      10 quicker wins for adding value before selling
      1. Redecorate. ...
      2. Fix superficial defects. ...
      3. The front door. ...
      4. Declutter. ...
      5. Heating and lighting. ...
      6. Garden appeal. ...
      7. Create a driveway / off-road [arking. ...
      8. Look smart and be energy efficient.


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