5 Questions to Ask While Planning Your Next DIY Home Renovation

There are two kinds of DIY renovation projects, those that get finished and those that don’t. The ones that don’t get finished are usually a result of insufficient planning, an incomplete vision, or a budget that did not fit the dream. The best way to make sure you don’t wind up in ‘perpetual renovation’ is to build your plan from top to bottom before you get started. To help, try asking yourself these five questions to make sure you’re ready to carry this project from the first nail to the last coat of paint.

1) What is my budget in time and money?

No matter how creative you get, there primary limiting factors of any renovation are how much you can spend on it and how long you want the project to take. Use these as a framework and every choice you make from here should fit inside these two framing factors. Budget is easy to work out but timeline may be more complex. Factor in how many hours a day you have for working on the project, how long you want this section of the house to be out of commission and in disarray, and what the maximum finish date should be. Ideas that go out of budget or would over-extend the deadline can be put on the shelf for a future renovation.

2) How do I want this to look when I’m finished?

Having a clear vision of your project is very important. Otherwise, how can you buy the right finishing materials and wrap up the project unless you know how the project should look? If you know approximately what you want, but don’t have a clear vision yet, there are a few techniques you can try. Pinterest boards are surprisingly useful for looking at images of home renovations to get an idea of what you want. There is also a number of online apps that can help you visualize your project more clearly. You may try sketching it, graphing it on graph paper, a program, or even photo-editing a picture of the existing space. Your drafting material doesn’t have to look great as long as you know exactly what you plan to do.

3) Do I understand every step in between now and finishing?

Now that you know what you want, how long it can it can take, and how much it can cost, it’s time to plan step-by-step your DIY process. For most renovations, there are three approximate stages: removal of old assets, installation of new assets, and finishing so that the project is sealed, attractive, and ready for everyday use. Make sure you understand every step of the process, how it’s done, how long it will take, and how much the materials will cost. As an example, if you’re looking to replace your tub/shower with a nice walk-in shower stall, you’ll need to remove the old tub, install shower-only fixtures and a new shower bottom, and re-finish the nook so that it is completely and comfortably tiled.

4) Do I have the skills to accomplish each task?

With the abundance of YouTube how-to videos on home improvement projects and instructional online blogs, there are a lot of things a DIY enthusiast can learn to do on their own. However, renovations are a big task and you may be better off asking someone experienced to pitch in with things like advanced plumbing and electrical tasks. Figure out how many of the tasks on your renovation checklist you can comfortably handle on your own, which tasks you’d like to take this opportunity to learn about, and which ones you may want to call in backup for.

5) Who will I be working with on the project?

No DIY-er is an island and almost all renovations are more than a one-man job. In Hawaii especially, it’s very common for family and friends to help out. If there’s someone you’ll be working with regularly on the project, be sure to include them in the planning phase and prepare a list of tasks you can hand out to visiting relatives, interested children, and anyone else who might be willing to speed up your progress by temporarily lending a hand. Finally, if there are a few things that neither you nor your helpful assistants know how to do confidently, decide which services you’ll be calling in like a professional builder, plumber, or electrician.

Simply by asking yourself the right questions during the planning phase, you can make sure your next big DIY renovation not only comes in within your budget, but is delightfully completed in record time. Soon you’ll be enjoying your freshly renovated space and planning your next big project. For more tips regarding financial assistance when planning your renovation, contact us today!