Putting together a dependable home renovation checklist is essential to ensuring your renovation — no matter the size — goes as smoothly as possible. Renovating your home can be a grueling process complicated by numerous unanticipated issues.
Sadly, even this ultimate home renovation checklist won’t save you from all those unexpected complications. However, it can certainly help you mitigate many of them ahead of time and put you in the right place to quickly and cost-effectively manage them if and when they do arise.
Let’s get planning!
Put Together a Project Plan
Even before you decide if you want to reap the troubles and rewards of doing a home remodel yourself, it’s best to plan out the scope of the renovations before getting started.
At this point, you need to determine the scope of your remodel project, as it will impact what specific items need to be added to your home renovation checklist.
So, what projects do you want to take on for the remodeling? Are you just going to focus on redoing the master bedroom’s bathroom, are you adding an addition to the house, or are you doing a complete remodeling of the whole house?
Once you’ve established the general scope of your project, put together a list of all impacted rooms and areas.
With this list in hand, do a walkthrough of the areas, taking notes on what needs to be done in each room. This can include everything from updating electrical wiring and fixtures to replacing drywall or the floors. As you go through this process, give yourself plenty of room on the list to go back in and add all the steps that will be required for each specific room/project.
The list you’re looking at now should be your dream list. It should consist of everything you’d like to be changed if time and money weren’t limiting factors. However, unless you’re unimaginable wealthy or on some reality TV show, there will be at least some limiting factors.
And, that’s okay. Just go through the list and start downsizing the scope of the remodeling process until you have something that you think your budget can handle.
Planning a Timeline
Once you’ve clearly established what projects you’re going to tackle, you will want to come up with a rough timeline for each project.
The best timelines have lots of buffer built in. You don't want to attempt to squeeze too much into a small window of time — inevitably things will come up, and they will slow you or a contractor down.
The best reason to put together a timeline now, however, is because it will allow you to start establishing your order of operations. For example, if you’re doing a complete remodeling of your home, you’ll need to do the A/C and heating ducts first, then plumbing, electric, and, finally, the rest of it!
DIY or Hiring a Contractor?
There are clear benefits to making your home renovations a DIY project vs hiring a contractor. There are also drawbacks to both options.
Smaller projects lend themselves to DIY because they are more manageable and provide a softer learning curve if you’re new to home remodeling. Conversely, larger projects, which can demand the full-time effort of a construction team for months, are best tackled by a contractor.
Most people choose to do a DIY home remodel either to save money or because they want the satisfaction of having done the work themselves. If that’s the direction you want to go, more power to you. Just remember the old adage: measure twice, cut once.
There is also some middle ground. You can certainly take the list of projects you’ve drawn up and start marking which ones you want to do yourself and which ones you want to hire a professional to deal with.
Picking up Permissions and Permits
The permits and permissions you’ll need for your remodeling project will depend on two factors: where your home is located and what you’re doing to remodel it.
In most cases, if your remodeling is focused on a small, interior project that isn’t going to change part of the structure of your house, you won’t need any permits.
It’s a very different story with exterior projects.
The best place to start when planning an exterior project — or any more substantial undertaking — is to get in touch with the city building inspector. They will be able to explain the zoning regulations in your neighborhood and what restrictions might apply.
In addition to local government regulations for your remodeling, you will want to make sure that your plans fall in line with the rules established by any homeowner's association in your neck of the woods, when applicable. It is not unusual for an HOA to have established exterior design requirements for houses in order for the neighborhood to preserve a particular look or feel.
Your Short-Term Storage Needs
One of the often-overlooked aspects of remodeling a home is where all your stuff goes when a room is being worked on. For smaller projects, furniture can often be shuffled into another room, creating a certain amount of bearable clutter. However, for larger projects, you’ll probably want to rent an off-site storage unit.
Depending on the size, a storage unit could fit everything from just what’s in your living room to everything in a four-bedroom house. The key is to find a facility that has state-of-the-art security and climate control to make sure that all your stuff comes back in one piece.
Final Thoughts: The Ultimate Home Renovation Checklist
Once you’ve taken care of the basics, your home renovation checklist is going to depend on the specific projects you plan on tackling. Of course, with the right preliminary work and planning, you’ll be able to put yourself in a situation to quickly and efficiently handle any unexpected issues when they arise — and they will arise.
The final step to any project is doing a last walkthrough of the remodeling. This is especially true if you’ve hired a contractor because you don’t want them packing up their tools and team until you’ve signed off on the work.
Though it might have been a long, arduous process to get to this final step, don’t rush it. Take your time looking at all the details to make sure the projects were completed precisely in terms of how you dreamed they’d turn out. Remember, it’s easier to shore up any mistakes now then after you’ve moved all your furniture back from your storage unit and finished decorating.
Need advice on the best way to store your household goods during a home renovation? Reach out to the experts at Bargain Storage.