DIY Renovation Planning

Something big is happening in my world.  Our house is about to go on an adventure.  One that it will surely not come out on the other side of in the same state.  One that will change it's entire being.  One that will.....

Ok, perhaps I'm being a little dramatic (maybe too much sun today??).  However, something big IS happening in my world!  We are embarking on our very own home renovation!  And one that would have most homeowners running for the hills screaming with their kids, pets and belongings in tow.  Pick a surface, choose a room, select a corner - it's getting revamped.  Both floors.  Our home has been a project in the wings waiting for it's time to shine and finally, after much patience and occasional frustration, our home is now out of the wings and front and centre - HOORAY!!!

So you, oh lucky you, will (hopefully) benefit from our (mis)adventures as my partner and I work our way through this endeavor together.  Hand in hand, hammer and, well, skill saw, we are steadily replacing every window, most pieces of drywall, an entire kitchen, two bathrooms, two levels of flooring, most light fixtures, paint, finishing touches and every piece in between.

So naturally our first order of business: hide in the basement and watch movies.  Ahhhh.......

Second order of business, remind ourselves we are adults and that it's best to face this kind of project head on, guns blazing and ready to rock and roll!!  Lucky for my partner, he has an interior designer as HIS partner!  Isn't he a lucky guy?  And know what designers like best??


Or, more specifically, a detailed timeline of the projects ahead so we can ensure we select and order materials on time, we know what to prep for next AND, especially for those of us who work from home, what poor area of our home is about to be torn to shreds.  For the record, I am least excited about my office.  I just love it so much!

So how do you start?

That's a great question!  Well, first you should sit down with your better half and write down a detailed list of all the projects that need to be accomplished.  See below:

Renovation Timeline

Your next step is going to require a calendar, a large piece of paper (maybe two or three depending on the scale of your project), some tape and a large section of floor or wall.  What you are doing is taking the projects you have listed and putting them in order of relevancy/requiredness (I just decided that's a word) and listing each step required to complete each project, with a rough completion date attached.

The point of this is not to cause an argument between you and your better half, or to slowly torture you both into submission, but rather to ensure you have a good, solid idea of what to expect, when, and what you need to have prepared for when.  Best and easiest way to detail this out is in a timeline.  And it doesn't have to be fancy.  Here's the first 4-5 months of ours:

If you are computer savvy, and love having things perfect and 'just so', you can always transpose this afterward to a program.  I like writing things down and seeing them in pen.

Start with the most important or most needed projects first, unless there are a series of projects that need to be accomplished in order to tackle the most important projects.  For example, we have some major finishing work to do on our bay window, but before that happens, we need to finish a few other outdoor projects while the weather is in our favour.  So those get scheduled first.

If you are planning outdoor AND indoor projects, remember that most outdoor projects are weather dependent.  A good idea is to schedule a few small, 1 or 2 day interior projects in the same time frame that can be done if it is suddenly pouring outside for a day or two or it is so hot that working outside is just not possible.

Lastly, know when to hire a professional.  I'm all for DIY projects and taking charge of your reno, but know when to draw the line.  Here is an excellent post by Adena Leigh on HGTV about 6 times you should NOT DIY and you should hire a pro.