A home renovation is a big project that requires a lot of planning. If you fail to take care of any part of the process, it could quickly turn into a costly mess. That’s especially true if you plan to do the work yourself. Before you get started on a DIY home renovation, work your way through this list of necessities.

A Plan for the Project

A surprising number of people do not plan out a renovation project before they start buying supplies and swinging hammers. In time, they find that making it up as you go is better for a buffet than for a construction project. Check into things like local building codes, the location of buried utilities, and where pipes and wires are located in the walls, and make sure you know the dimensions of what you are doing.

A Plan for Waste Management

If you think you’ll be able to set out the debris with your regular garbage, you’re probably wrong. Even a small renovation project generates much more waste than you expect. Assuming your weekly trash pickup will take it all is likely to be a big mistake. Instead, you need to check into skip bins to place on site so that you have plenty of space for all the junk that you’ll soon be generating.

A Plan for Tools

Most of us have the basics in our toolbox–hammers, screwdrivers, the usual power tools, maybe a level and a square. Those will suffice for many home renovation projects, but your project plan should also include a list of the tools needed in each step. Specialized items will be needed for things like finishing drywall and installing flooring, so make sure you’re prepared to buy, borrow, or rent those items.

A Plan for Extra Hands

A lot of work can be done solo, but there will always be a few heavy or bulk items that will require some help. Plan for more people to help you when you’re dealing with fragile items like mirrors and windows. They might not be too heavy to handle alone, but you want that reassurance that they won’t be dropped. Consider hiring contractors for the most specialized work, especially things like electrical and plumbing.

A Plan for Storage

So you’re putting down a new floor in the living room? Where’s the sofa going to go while you do it? What do you do with your appliances while installing new kitchen cabinets? Where’s everyone going to sleep while you redo bedrooms? All these needs must be addressed before you start messing up the operation of the house with your renovation.

Sometimes the actual construction isn’t nearly as hard as the planning. Make sure you have everything in place ahead of time so that your project goes smoothly and ends up beautiful.

By Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.

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