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Tips for Planning Your Home Remodeling Project, Part 1

By April 11, 2016 Uncategorized
Modern kitchen with marble island and stools

In this two part series, we’re sharing our tips on how to thoughtfully plan your upcoming renovation. Part 1 is all about planning. You don’t want to skip this crucial step.

You’ve decided to move forward with your renovation. You’ve got your “For the Home” board on Pinterest filled with amazing pins. You’ve got plenty of passion for your project, but before you take the plunge let’s nail down your vision, let’s get organized, and let’s implement a strategy. After all, the last thing we want to do is make mistakes that you’ll regret down the road.

What’s the first thing we need to do? Budget? Nope – that’s not the first priority on our list. So many people start here and it’s completely wrong. Leading with a budget, could short change the entire project. Now we know budgeting is important, and we’ll get to this very crucial step, but first we must start with formulating your plan and uncovering your vision. You can do this with pen, paper and a calculator or you can use one of the bazillion budgeting applications and online tools for budget tracking.

To make things easier to start, here are some handy applications to consider using when taking on a remodeling project:

  • Mint for overall budgeting and managing your home renovation spend within your budget.
  • ColorSnap by Sherwin Williams to gather color inspiration for your project.
  • HomeZada to save money and stay organized throughout the renovation process.
  • Snapguide for inspiration for those DIY projects you’d like to add to your home renovation.

Before you begin, ask yourself some questions to better understand why you want to do the reno. Bring clarity to the project before it starts by highlighting what the chief goals are. Perhaps you want a relaxed and luxurious sunroom and spa experience. Or maybe it’s something more practical like adding new tiles and windows to your master and guest bathrooms. Whatever it may be, know the problems you want to solve. Got it? Good – let’s dive in.


Formulate a plan. Start with your vision, then consider your ballpark budget, and decide if you’ll need to get professional help. If seeking professional help is a viable option at any point in your project, start researching contractors in your area. Include your contractors on the planning process – they’ll be able to add valuable information to this step.

Now it’s time to roll up those sleeves and do your homework. Most DIY renovations fail due to lack of planning, so mind this step carefully.

  • Want to accomplish it in 2016? Then create a deadline and realistically work backwards, benchmarking important dates. Share this timeline with everyone involved, get their feedback and make changes as needed.
  • Take inventory. Make a list of all the things that you currently have in the project space. Then make a list of items that need to change. This is a perfect opportunity to take before photos and mentally take note of what you currently like about the room as you don’t want it to get lost in the renovation.
  • Roll call. Who is this project affecting? If it’s just you, then press forward. If you’ve got children or roommates that will be impacted, be sure to “interview” them about what their current likes and dislikes are. Show them the Pinterest board, magazine photos and any other items that have inspired you. The last thing you would want is for all parties involved not to be delighted by all of the hard work you’re putting in.
  • Plan for the seasons. How will the remodeling effect you and your project timeline in warmer vs. colder months.
  • Think about the overall function of the room. Will you have diminished usability?
  • Is the room getting sufficient light? What are the current and future light source options? Be sure you discuss making use of natural daylight when speaking with your contractor.
  • How easily are you and your family able to move around with ease? Maybe consider adding a sunroom to your project or adding square footage to your most desirable areas.
  • Anticipate the future. Is your family dynamic going to change in 3-5 years? New babies? Teenagers? Empty nest? Prepare for it. Are you planning to sell the house soon? Be careful not to out-price your house for the neighborhood.
  • Determine which materials you like.  Do you tend to like wood over metals? Do you like to blend the two? Although this list could change over time, it’s inspirational to search out materials you tend to like in the beginning.  You’ll need to be flexible as your project planning progresses, but it’s important to start with what you like so that you end up with that you love – all within budget.

In the next post, we will share more tips on managing and planning your home renovation project.  We’ll see back here soon!

Ready to get started?