DIY

Five Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a DIY Renovation

Whether you’ve spontaneously decided to take on a renovation project yourself or have meticulously planned every step of the way, these are the five questions you should ask yourself before making the final commitment.

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So you’ve just watched plenty of YouTube videos, scoured the depths of Pinterest for DIY inspiration, and are feeling pretty confident about tackling that next renovation project. Whether it was something you’ve been wanting to do or became a spontaneous decision to freshen up your home, there are still some important steps, decisions and goals you need to create for yourself to make sure this DIY project doesn’t fall flat– and by flat we mean started and forgotten, sorry future us! These are the five questions you should ask yourself before even thinking about tackling a new project.

What’s Your Budget?

The next important step after deciding what to focus on is the budget. Your budget may leave you with some restrictions on your dream renovation, but if you’ve put more thought, and subsequently money, into what exactly you want to update, then you’ll have more flexibility. Whatever the case may be, you need to get a cost estimate of what your supplies will run you. Not only that, but you must also factor in the labor of the job. Will your project be DIY completely? Or will you be possibly hiring a contractor, electrician or plumber for more involved processes? According to the National Association for Realtors, projects that added more personality to the home were most likely to be DIY-d, whereas 41% of consumers preferred to hire a professional on a project that added better functionality. Use your judgment to choose the decision that best suits your goals.

Photo of cheerful loving young couple using laptop and analyzing their finances with documents. Look at papers.

Will You Be Moving in the Foreseeable Future?

So far you’ve set your renovation goal and your budget for all labor and supplies, so now, have a little fun and pick out your pieces. But, keep in mind what’s currently trending and what’s been in style for decades. If you’re currently planning on staying in your home for the next four or more years, then your renovation can be something more trendy and personal to you, your wants, and your style. If you think there might be a chance you’ll be moving before that, especially if you’re doing a major renovation, then keep in mind potential buyers. Will they see benefit in your renovation or could it possibly hinder a sale?Is it something only you’d like to have in a home or is it a general renovation that brings a might return on investment?

What’s Your End Goal?

So you’re thinking about taking on a home renovation project, we’re assuming you’ve probably already picked your brain for ideas on that one place in your home you just can’t stand. You’ll need to hone in on the specific goals you want to accomplish, this will include separating wants and needs to get the job done. Consider how you ultimately want the space to look and feel post-renovation. If your renovation is a major project ask yourself ‘Can it easily be fixed?’ and if the answer is no, really take into consideration your level of experience, your confidence, and you budget in case of any hiccups.

bedroom with painting

How Can You Make Your DIY Go More Efficiently?

Preparation is key here. More likely than not, if your renovation process will long term interrupt some of your daily activities and you’ll need to avoid the area under construction. Clear out the space and store all of the items you’ll need access to in a different, but accessible, location. Make sure you have everything you need before anything is started, this step will be essential in keeping everything organized throughout the process.

Can You Be Flexible?

As you start your renovation project, you might be the subject to certain hiccups along the way. Whether it’s financial, running out of supplies, or simply not having the time, it’s important that you stay flexible. The easiest way to maintain your flexibility is to not set expectations too high when setting a completion date. Give yourself some wiggle room in case of an emergencies and this will help cushion you if any bumps in the road pop up.

These questions should help you start your DIY home renovation project on the right foot. You’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish with a straight forward plan and your end goal in sight! For more information on how to buy, sell, or rent a home, check out Homes.com How-To section where we provide step-by-step guides on how to reach your goals. 

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Kay Duncan is a senior at Old Dominion University studying Communications. When not at school or work, she enjoys practicing Bikram hot yoga in her free time to maintain her focus. In her role as a marketing intern at Homes.com, Kay writes about new real estate trends and pop culture updates.

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