Four Questions to Ask Before You Start a DIY Home Renovation

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After having enjoyed your house for a few years, maybe you’ve decided to try your hand at DIY home renovation. Where do you start this project? How can you be sure you will do it right? Here are a few suggestions to make your home DIY renovation a resounding success:

Be Clear About Your DIY Home Design

Like any project, it needs to start with a clear purpose and design. What is the goal of your home renovation? Do you want to add extra space to the home or are you focused on having a new look and feel in the interiors? It is also good to have clarity about the scope of the project. Some want a total makeover that would require work on every room of the house while others simply want a specific area to be re-done.

For example, do you want an ultra-modern look in your stairs that features engineered wood and tempered glass? Or are you fantasizing about having the same grand staircase where Rhett Butler carried Scarlett O’ Hara in the classic film, Gone with the Wind? Whether your idea is leaning towards a 21st century home or a more classic Victorian feel, it will always be a wise idea to check out professional designs for stairwells by well-known industry leaders such as Ackworth House.

Having a theme or general idea on what you want your house to look like after the renovation is key. Of course, you can choose to have a different theme for each separate area. For example, a summer pastel look for your patio and a brown and black color palette for your den. The important detail is in making sure that these contrasting themes blend well or are separated far enough to avoid aesthetic clashes or a visual disconnect.

What is Your Renovation Budget?

After having a clear vision of the renovation outcome you want, the next best thing to check is the budget. Review your finances including the allotted amount for the project, savings, cash flow, any near-term expenses that need to be settled, other loans that need to be paid, and other information related to your money. It is normal to get excited about a renovation, and who wouldn’t be?

Still, it is important to have a very definite budget in mind down to the last cent. The cost of your DIY renovation depends on the scope of the project, the kind of materials you will use, any fees for permits that may be required the government or your home association, plus a buffer fee to account for price adjustments due to inflation. It will also be good to compare the projected cost for building something with your hands and the price of a ready-made item, for instance, a wooden door or a framed window. While there might be more personal satisfaction in building something from scratch, that might take more time, money, and effort when compared to buying prefabricated materials.

A good way to prepare for a detailed budget is to search online for home construction supplies. That way, you will get an idea on how much each item or material will cost these days. If you have time, it is better to visit the local hardware or home and furniture supply store so that you can really visually check the materials and have the opportunity to ask the store assistants for other information.

What’s the Project Timeline?

Now that you have the project design and budget, make sure to consider your timeline for the project. Look at your work and personal schedule to check for any dates that need to be blocked off. Weather and season is also a key factor in a home renovation project since these factors affect how you work on the project. For example, doing a DIY renovation on your roof will be very difficult during the rainy season or during winter. Working during summers is also not exactly ideal, depending on your geographical location.

It will also be a good idea to check with local suppliers regarding the availability of certain construction materials based on the timely date of purchase you have written in the project timeline. If you will need an extra hand or two, you might also need to check the schedules of construction helpers you want to hire. Time is a non-renewable resource so it is really paramount to have a good timetable with allowances for some delays from the targeted start and end of your DIY project.

Your Skill Set?

man preparing for a DIY renovation

This one takes real honesty because it could spell the success or failure of the project. What is your skill set for undertaking a DIY home renovation. The skill set needed is different for each type of renovation. Is it just a living room design makeover or a roof replacement? Will you be just doing wall repainting or will you have to do some woodwork and carving?

Knowing your skill sets will allow you to go back to step one: the DIY home renovation design. By assessing the vision you have for your home together with other vital elements such as the budget, timeline, and your skills sets—you would have an overview of how this project will be implemented day by day until its completion. Lastly, make sure to enjoy the journey because it is the experience of working on your own dream home renovation that makes all the effort truly worth it.


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