Beginning the home renovation process can be equal parts thrilling and stressful. We’re breaking down the seven steps of our home renovation checklist to make sure you’re prepared for the process and have a positive remodeling experience.
1. Determine Your Budget
The first item on our home renovation checklist is determining how much you’re able to spend. While it may not be the most fun step, it will help you manage expectations and understand how big of a transformation you’ll be able to accomplish.
At this point, it’s fine to have a range, as the nitty-gritty details of your budget will fall into place later. But having a broad view of how much you can spend will help you figure out if you can start your project immediately or if you’ll need to save further to make the changes you want.
2. Gather Inspiration
You likely already have a long list of things you’d like to change about your space. Take the time to document these daily frustrations, even if you can’t see a possible solution. Maybe you don’t like having the oven in the main throughway of your space or you need more storage in your bathroom. Writing down these issues (big or small) will help your chosen remodeler understand your frustrations and priorities.
You’ll also want to take the time to gather inspiration for your new space. Explore styles and finishes you like and consider creating a Pinterest board or even a collage to communicate the looks you like. While your remodeler will guide you through the entire selection process, having a broad idea of what you like and don’t like will help the process move along smoothly and efficiently.
3. Create a Timeline
The next step in our home renovation checklist is to create a home remodel timeline for your project. Spring and summer are typically the most popular seasons for home projects, so if you start planning your perfect home renovation in spring you may end up waiting until the fall or winter to complete the project.
We recommend starting with an ideal date for your project to be completed by. Once you have a completion date in mind, you can work backward and add in time for planning, decision-making, and construction to figure out when you should get started. That being said, it’s almost never too early to get started planning!
The Construction Phase
Once construction work begins, most bathroom renovations take between five and seven weeks, while kitchen remodels can take up to eight to ten weeks. The more intensive your remodel, the more time required, especially if materials need to be specially ordered.
The Planning Phase
Prior to construction, you’ll need to plan your renovation with the help of a remodeling contractor. This step of our home renovation checklist can vary based on the scope of your project and the contractor you select, but you should plan up to six months to agree on a final design, select fixtures and finishes, and sign off on the final scope of work.
You’ll also need to allow lead time for each of the products you choose. For example, many cabinet manufacturers have a 10-12 week lead time that will need to be accounted for. When in doubt, start planning your perfect home renovation at least a year before you’d like it to be completed.
4. Research Potential Contractors
Once you have a timeline and a potential start date, it’s time to find a remodeling contractor. They’ll be your partner throughout the whole process to make sure every detail is accounted for in your final design.
Here’s what to look for in a home remodeling company:
- Breadth and depth of experience
- Previous work samples that are similar to your vision for your space
- Positive reviews
- Accreditations and awards from trade organizations
- A good personality fit
Take your time to really understand what each remodeler can offer, as choosing the wrong contractor can totally change the tone of the project.
5. Start Planning Your Remodel
After the stress of planning a budget and timeline and selecting a home remodeling company, you’ve reached the fun part of the process! This next step of our home renovation checklist is where you’ll begin to see your vision come to life.
Every home remodeler will have a slightly different process, but this is your time to share your frustrations with your current space as well as your priorities for your new space. Be sure to involve everyone who uses the space in the conversation to ensure everyone’s ideas are considered.
The choices you make in this step of the home remodel timeline will directly affect your final space, so don’t hold back your opinions. This is your chance to bring the space you’ve been dreaming of to life! This is also the point to check back in with your original budget to make sure it will cover all of the work you’d like to have completed and adjust as necessary.
6. Prep Your Space
Preparing to have contractors in your home for several weeks can be stressful. We streamline our work schedules and do everything we can to make the situation hassle-free, but there are a few steps you’ll need to take to prepare for a home renovation.
Depending on the room, you may need to rent a storage unit or move items to a garage or attic. Be sure to move and pack any valuables carefully and store them far away from the area being renovated.
7. Plan for the Actual Renovation
The final step in our home renovation checklist is preparing your family for living in a house while renovating. Our team takes great care to put up dust barriers to keep dust and debris from entering the rest of your home. We treat your space as our own and do whatever we can to make the renovation process as comfortable as possible.
That being said, construction can still be disruptive under the best circumstances, so you may wish to keep your children and pets away from the area. Planning your renovation during the school year or while your children are away at camp is a great idea. You may also want to see if a family member or friend can watch your pets if they are bothered by the noise.
If you have more than one bathroom, you’re in luck! Your bathroom renovation likely won’t affect your daily shower or access to the toilet. If the bathroom you’re renovating is the only one in your home, you’ll have to speak with your remodeler about how long it will be out of service.
Oftentimes remodelers can adjust their schedule to only leave you without a toilet for one day. But you may need to get creative and shower at work, the gym, or a neighbor’s house for part of your renovation timeline. Or, opt to vacation during your renovation and come home to a brand new bathroom!
Living without a kitchen during a remodel can be tricky since your kitchen is likely the only space in your home for food preparation. Consider preparing microwaveable meals ahead of time to freeze or plan on eating out frequently during your renovation. Stocking up on sandwich supplies, snacks, and easy meals that don’t require cooking can be a lifesaver, and the Crockpot will become your best friend!
While having your space renovated can be stressful, it’s all about having the right mindset. Remember that it’s a short period of time that will result in years of enjoyment in your new space.
And, don’t forget to take some before photos so you can marvel at the difference once your space is completed!