Table of Contents

If you are scheduling a key Do-it-yourself project in your residence, read these ideas for how to plan a Do-it-yourself residence renovation project, including concerns you should request on your own right before you begin remodeling. 

As a self-taught DIYer, I’ve prepared and executed a range of Do-it-yourself residence renovation assignments. Here on Remodelaholic, I’ve shared a number of, including my kitchen area makeover, hall closet transform, and ideas for installing trim and molding.

Today I’d like to share some thoughts on scheduling Do-it-yourself residence assignments, including concerns to request *right before* you get started and some myths about DIYing.

How to Plan a DIY Home Renovation Project


Issues to Think About Prior to You Begin a Do-it-yourself Task

So You are Wondering About Do-it-yourself?

I have four youngsters. When making an attempt to train them a life skill, I’ll often say, “When you are out on your personal someday, you are heading to would like you’d taken the time to find out this!” To which my teen responds, “But, Mom. There’s YouTube. If I will need to do it, I’ll watch a video clip.”

Not the response I was hoping for, but indeed! We have YouTube and a million blog content and Pinterest pins telling us we can do it ourselves and how. Only, it’s not always as easy as it would seem. 

Even with superior instruction, there’s often more to a Do-it-yourself project than we believe. Be realistic . . . not so intimidated that you by no means give it a attempt, but not so naive that you acquire on more than you can take care of.

Here are a number of factors I’d motivate individuals taking into consideration a Do-it-yourself project to believe about right before jumping in . . . some truths, some myths. 

Do-it-yourself Household Renovation Task Planning: Myths & Truths

Real truth: Do-it-yourself assignments can be enormously gratifying.

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

  • There’s a lot of self-pleasure to be had in doing a thing on your own. 
  • You can perhaps produce a thing you could not find in a store.
  • You get to convey to life the eyesight in your head, just as you want it and just as you see it. 
  • You can receive new skills that you are going to be in a position to use in plenty of distinct approaches and on future assignments.
See how I transformed my kitchen area with just a number of modest details and easy Do-it-yourself assignments.

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

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

Sometimes the toll on your time and energy, or when it’s a project that is outside of your skill established, suggests it would be much better not to do it on your own.

Specialized knowledge is sometimes necessary to do a task and do it appropriate. Some factors are much better still left to a specialist.

The outdated adage “you get what you pay out for” is accurate, but so is “you get what you can do.” Consider the good quality and feasibility of the wished-for end result when choosing irrespective of whether to go it by itself or use some help.

Especially when undertaking large-scale Do-it-yourself assignments, the impact on your residence and your sanity is not insignificant. And, when calculating value, don’t just consider time-to-execute and value-of-supplies, but also the time to put together and plan, the time to thoroughly clean-up afterwards, and all the catch-up work you are going to have to do in other places of your life when you’ve been prioritizing a Do-it-yourself project that is taken up all of your time and energy.

Before And After Built In Bookshelf

Myth: Doing a residence project myself is always less expensive and saves me money.

Real truth: Sometimes Do-it-yourself isn’t truly less expensive than purchasing it at the store or paying out somebody else to do it.

Prior to you channel your inner HGTV star, some factors to consider:

Economic climate of scale is a accurate principle. Producers have a proportionate conserving in expenditures obtained by an enhanced stage of manufacturing. In other words, it expenditures them a lot fewer to acquire the components, and their course of action is substantially speedier and more economical than yours is heading to be. Sometimes it seriously is less expensive and more practical to acquire it completely ready-produced than to make it on your own.

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

Possibility value = “the reduction of possible acquire from other options when a single option is selected.” To give your time and energy to a Do-it-yourself project suggests you are not offering your time and energy to other factors. So the value of the Do-it-yourself project is not just your time and supplies, it’s also the value of all the other factors you are not doing with that time and money.

Say you receive $20/hour at your working day task. If you make a bookcase on your own and it takes you 20 hours to do it, your labor expenditures are primarily $four hundred. And that does not acquire into account the above pointed out possibility value for other factors in your life you did not devote that time on, or the value of supplies. So, yeah, perhaps not worthy of it.

But if you are finding out a new skill established alongside the way or if it’s offering a artistic outlet for you, nicely, then, yeah, perhaps it is worthy of it.

See how I saved thousands of pounds installing my personal trim work and moldings.

Before And After Built In Laundry Hamper


Real truth: Do-it-yourself = tough work and a lot of it.

Even “easy” Do-it-yourself assignments acquire tough work and even the easiest makeovers can switch into larger assignments with unanticipated outcomes. 

It takes a toll to add a Do-it-yourself project to your to-do checklist. Every project I’ve ever taken on has had unanticipated established-backs (hello, true life) and has taken for a longer period to entire than I had prepared on.

Do-it-yourself assignments, in particular residence renovation, are bodily intensive. You’ll be sweaty and soiled and worn out and your muscles will ache from your head to your toes. You’ll have blisters and splinters and paint-splattered hair.

Depending on the project, the work can be pretty actual physical. Plenty of significant lifting, crawling into restricted spaces, climbing up and down ladders, doing work outside in the heat, etcetera. Consider your wellness and conditioning when thinking about a Do-it-yourself project.

You’ll hit a wall. (Sometimes pretty much, if that is part of the renovation plan.) Especially with massive assignments. It will be more challenging, acquire for a longer period, and be more complex than you prepared on. You’ll want to quit just to be completed with it. Immediately after all, you’ve presently obtained a working day task. A massive Do-it-yourself project can be like including 20+hours to your work week.

Sometimes it just won’t work out. You’ll have taken on more than you can take care of. Be trustworthy about when it’s time to convey in the professionals or request for help. It is alright. 

During And After Closet Built In

Questions to Request As You System a Do-it-yourself Household Renovation Task

There are a lot of factors to consider as you plan a Do-it-yourself project for your residence (outside of “What would Chip and Joanna Gaines do?”).

Is this project and skill established in your wheelhouse?

It took me a year to persuade my partner that I could do a key trim project in our residence. (See Here). Can you blame him? At the time, I had zero experience in installing trim. Our residence is our most major economic expenditure. What if I hadn’t been in a position to pull it off and we had to swallow the value, or pay out even more to convey somebody else in to deal with my issues? In our circumstance, it all turned out seriously nicely, but it’s smart to thoroughly consider your skill established and the feasibility of a project right before committing.

In scheduling, consider the worst-circumstance circumstance should your Do-it-yourself project not close in trails of glory. Is it worthy of any connected dangers?

Sometimes a project can drive you to find out new skills and make improvements to current ones. Initiatives that drive you and stretch you are superior! But it’s unrealistic to believe you can leap from setting up a single established of floating wall cabinets to solitary-handedly renovating a lavatory. Just take on a minor at a time. Master as you go.

Before And After Wainscoting

How complicated is this Do-it-yourself project? And how complicated could it *turn into*?

For certain, there are some assignments you can watch a single or two YouTube tutorials and you are superior to go. You’ll have it completed in a working day.

Other assignments, in particular residence renovation ones, can be substantially, substantially more associated than you’d believe they’d be. Typically, on the internet tutorials are more than-simplified and the person doing them is more seasoned, so it takes them fewer time to entire a project than it would for you to do it.

Those residence flip displays where a rambler goes from drab to fab in a single 30-minute episode? Effectively, a lot of the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to make that come about finishes up on the slicing space floor. And, usually, individuals Do-it-yourself-ers are possibly seasoned residence-flippers or they are doing work with gurus who are.

There are often levels of complexity to assignments that you don’t see on the area in the completed products. . . . there are setting up codes you have to be knowledgeable of and stick to, there is wiring and plumbing in the partitions that you don’t know is there, etcetera.

You’ll encounter unanticipated concerns that may not display up in that Do-it-yourself tutorial you watched. For instance, you watch 10 films on laying tile, you acquire all the things you believe you are going to will need and get to work, only to find out that the subfloor is not stage so you are going to have to figure out how to deal with that right before you can dazzle your neighbors with your newfound tile-laying mastery.

There’s a right before (the scheduling) and an soon after (thoroughly clean-up) to just about every project . . . don’t overlook to plan for that, too!

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


What should I plan for?

At a minimum amount, Do-it-yourself project scheduling should include things like:

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

System for the right before, the for the duration of, and the soon after of the project. 

Planning can sometimes acquire just as long, if not for a longer period than the project alone.

Generating a finances and value-evaluating to get the very best worth for your supplies will acquire time and hard work.

Attempting to monitor down that ‘perfect’ faucet you observed in an Instagram submit can be a rabbit’s gap and a time suck. You will need to plan for the time you are going to devote scouring sites for thoughts and supplies.

What if I’m not in a position to entire this as rapidly as I believe I’m heading to be in a position to? What will delays impact and how? Will delays imply it ultimately expenditures me more?

There will be surprises, even with the very best laid strategies. Construct in more time and a minor more money to your plan to make it possible for for the unanticipated.

See how I transformed my hall closet and added storage area.

What equipment will I will need?

When calculating the value, don’t overlook to consider the expenditure of purchasing, renting, or borrowing the equipment you are going to will need. And a truck may possibly nicely be a essential tool—how are you heading to transportation 4’ x 8’ parts of plywood from the lumber store to your residence?

You’ll will need a spot to use individuals equipment and store individuals equipment. Think it by means of.

Annnnd . . . you are going to will need time to figure out how to use all individuals equipment or find somebody to train you. Not just how to use the equipment, but also how to adjust blades, etcetera. and sustain them effectively so they operate properly. It is very best to use a new instrument for the first time on a more compact project so that you truly feel comfortable and assured in running it effectively right before you move on to greater factors.

Related Reading through: 12 Ought to Have Instruments for Do-it-yourself Initiatives

How substantially area will I will need?

This is a biggie. Do you have someplace to place the home furniture when you change the floors? Do you have someplace to store and use your equipment for the duration of the project? Do you have someplace to maintain the lumber you are using absent from the components?

What about when you get started portray all individuals cabinets you are making—you’re scheduling to established up store in your driveway, but what if it’s raining for 3 times straight? Will it work to park your vehicle out in the street when your garage is transformed into a workshop? Where are you heading to place the kids’ bikes if you have to find a spot for that desk observed you are borrowing from Uncle Joe?

Tips and Tricks for Planning a DIY Home Renovation Project

What safety safety measures and gear do I will need?

Be protected! Be protected! Be protected! On line tutorials don’t always supply safety guidelines about safeguarding on your own when you work. Security is essential!

Frequently, first-time Do-it-yourself-ers are unfamiliar with even the easiest of safety procedures:

  • Really don’t put on free apparel or jewellery.
  • Tie your hair again and make certain absolutely nothing obstructs your eyesight.
  • Have on shut-toe shoes that will guard your ft.
  • Familiarize yourselves with the safety guidelines that arrive with each and just about every instrument you use, and honor individuals guidelines religiously.
  • Particles are a massive deal. You don’t want to be breathing in sawdust or chemical compounds when you are doing work. If you are a Do-it-yourself-er, you most most likely don’t have a developed-in dust selection method like they do in specialist workshops. You’ll will need to put on a mask and a superior a single! And you have to put on it not just when you are slicing, but the full time you are doing work in that space—those particles are even now floating in the air and you are breathing them in if you don’t have a mask. And, maintain the area you are doing work in nicely ventilated.
  • Get the job done sluggish, steady, and mindful. Just take a crack if you are emotion worn out or burned out. You make issues when you are worn out or when you are rushed, and issues produced when running a ability observed are, nicely, pretty darn massive issues.
  • Use the appropriate equipment for the task! Constantly! Attempting to ‘make do’ or jerry-rig a thing just to get by or keep away from the problems of doing it appropriate is not worthy of it!
  • Acknowledge when you will need somebody who is aware a minor more than you do. You can even now be a Do-it-yourself goddess and request for help. Especially with stuff like wiring or plumbing where failing to do a thing effectively can be a seriously, seriously massive deal.
Before And After Built In Bookshelf

Install your personal developed-in bookshelves with Justin and Cassity’s tutorial

What is the Do-it-yourself ripple impact of this project?

When you acquire on a project, it’s not only a subject of possibility value (what you are not offering your time to instead because you are doing work on the project), but also a subject of how it impacts your everyday routines and individuals of everybody close to you.

Wood generates a lot of observed dust. Paint can be messy and produce stinky fumes. Putting in flooring suggests you are not going for walks on individuals floors and your home furniture isn’t sitting down on them. Think about how your residing area will be limited and how that will impact you and individuals you stay with.

There are all varieties of expenditures and delays you could not potentially plan for. It’s possible your ability drill breaks mid-project and you have to go acquire a new a single. It’s possible you arrive down with the flu and just cannot work on your project for a week or two. It’s possible a project at your working day task pops up and you are instantly putting in plenty of more hours at the workplace with no time for residence assignments.

Consider the anxiety and psychological load! It is demanding to add a single more item to our occupied life and lengthy to-do lists, in particular if you are a dad or mum with younger little ones or if you have an in particular demanding profession. Your time and energy are in constrained provide and you need to finances how you are going to use them.

If you stay in an apartment or townhouse, you just cannot operate your ability drill at all hours of the working day without the need of disturbing your neighbors. Also, you may have other added complicating factors, these kinds of as acquiring to timetable the services elevator to convey your supplies up from the parking garage, etcetera.

You may find on your own consuming out more or paying more on conveniences and providers to free up more of your time to devote to the Do-it-yourself project. Those expenditures add up and should be taken into account in the finances for your project.

Related Reading through: Cassity’s Tips for Surviving Daily life in a Transform

Planning a Grasp Closet Renovation

Here’s a the latest Do-it-yourself project I undertook—a grasp bedroom and grasp closet renovation. Underneath, I discuss a minor about the course of action driving the project to give you a much better perception of what is associated when choosing Do-it-yourself.

For some thoughts and data about DIYing your personal closet renovation, attempt these posts:

During And After Closet Built In 2

Related Reading through: 35 Do-it-yourself Closet Hacks to Generate Far more Space and Manage Your Closet


How Did You System?

Sketch Up

In advance of starting the project, I laid the groundwork and prepared all the things out.

I developed a Do-it-yourself project plan that incorporated one) a finances two) a timeline 3) a provide checklist four) custom make strategies and five) a plan for not just the ‘what,’ but also the ‘how.’

I cleared all of my commitments for a strong two months to work on the project full-time. (It took for a longer period than two months, but offering myself two months to work full-time obtained the project much more than enough alongside that I could complete it part-time from there).

I found all of the supplies I would will need in advance. This incorporated price-evaluating and calculating delivery/shipping and delivery expenditures so that I could remain in finances. And it meant all the things from nails and screws to caulk and paint to lumber and hanging rods. Of course there were being random odds-and-finishes I essential as I went alongside, but the bulk of my supplies were being ordered and on-hand when I commenced my project.

I scheduled a community transferring organization for a two-hour block to help me move the larger home furniture things that I knew I could not handle on my personal in clearing out the area to be renovated.

IMG 4225

I scheduled the shipping and delivery of the lumber I essential for my project and cleared a selected region to store it.

I invested a number of hours seeking at photos of closets on the internet to get thoughts. I established up a Pinterest board where I pinned ‘inspiration’ assignments to refer to as I developed my closet layout.

I took all the measurements, mentioned where there were being shops and other possible obstructions, and came up with a style and design plan for equally my bedroom and my closet. I drew it all up to scale.

I employed SketchUp 3D software package to design—from scratch—each and just about every a single of the parts for the developed-ins I was setting up, and then I compiled a grasp checklist of all the part parts and their measurements.

I drew out in-depth cut strategies for each piece of plywood to minimize waste.

I took an stock of my equipment and produced certain I had what I essential for the project and that my equipment were being in superior repair service. I also produced certain I had more blades for my miter observed, more baggage for my moist/dry vac, etcetera., as nicely as safety equipment like masks and protecting eye put on.

I thoroughly assumed by means of what would be associated to make certain I had the skill established and know-how to see the project by means of.

I developed a timetable for what to work on each working day, changing it as I went.

I stored all of my receipts and notes and strategies and measurements jointly in a binder that I could conveniently reference anytime essential.

IMG 5532

What Did Not Go As Planned?

I had originally prepared to rip up the outdated carpet and set up the new flooring myself, but as the week progressed, I understood that I would not be completed on timetable if I did not get a minor help.

I made a decision that staying completed in time was critical more than enough to me to justify heading more than finances a minor, and so I employed installers to arrive in and do the floor. It took a two-man crew of seasoned installers a full half-working day to complete, which confirmed to me that I’d produced the appropriate preference in using the services of out, as it most undoubtedly would have taken me, doing work on my personal, at minimum 4x as long.

I underestimated the toll that the heat would acquire on me. For two straight months, I worked 12- to eighteen-hour times. Most of that time was invested in my driveway and garage setting up parts. It is grueling and exhausting work on its personal, but produced more so by ninety+ diploma temperatures and 100% humidity.

I knew that some of the project would acquire for a longer period than two months, but I underestimated how disruptive the ongoing renovations would be to my family and our routines the moment the new faculty year started. When I was no for a longer period in a position to place in eighteen-hour times (because, hello, true life), it took me substantially for a longer period to complete the very last half of the project than it did the first half.

This was my most important Do-it-yourself project nevertheless, and I underestimated how long cleansing-up-as-you-go would acquire. When you are ripping dozens of boards a working day, observed dust and scrap wooden builds up rapidly. It took more time than I had prepared on to maintain my work area thoroughly clean, orderly, and useful.

What Does Do-it-yourself Do To You?

You know how just about every Do-it-yourself blogger or Instagram influencer you’ve ever noticed has designer yoga trousers, beautifully coiffed hair, and a full confront of make-up in each of their action shots?

Yeah, nicely, I have no notion how to do that. When I work, I sweat. I stink. I’m putting on my oldest, rattiest t-shirt. I’m coated from head to toe in sawdust and paint and wooden glue. My hair is pulled again in a frizzy pile. And I just cannot put on makeup because it drives me outrageous to put on a respirator mask and protecting eye equipment when I have makeup on. That, and I just sweat any makeup I have appropriate on off! Do-it-yourself is tough work!

DIY Built-In Bookshelves

Install your personal developed-in bookshelves with Justin and Cassity’s tutorial

What Arrives Immediately after the Do-it-yourself?

The thoroughly clean-up comes soon after, that is what.

It took me hours and hours to place my garage again jointly. I had to rent a truck and make two different journeys to the dump with all of the leftover scraps and components.

I had to move all of the home furniture and apparel again into the grasp bedroom and grasp closet and restore get to the other components of the residence that were being impacted by the upheaval.

Whilst prioritizing a project of this sizing, other factors in my life took a again seat and so when I last but not least completed the renovation, I had a ton of catch-up to do.

So, what are my very best ideas for scheduling a Do-it-yourself project?

Begin modest, plan nicely, find out as you go, and have entertaining!

Go through more about skills for Do-it-yourself residence renovation assignments:

Pin this to preserve it for afterwards and share with your DIYing mates

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 Expert services LLC Associates System, an affiliate advertising method developed to supply a suggests for web-sites to receive advertising service fees by advertising and linking to Please see our full disclosure listed here.

About Jenny McArthur