Renovation Rundown: What Are the Steps in a Home Renovation?
While not every home renovation works in the exact same order, you may want to follow a certain course to help avoid unnecessary work. For example, you don’t want to close walls and paint, only to realize you need to add a new plumbing stack that requires going behind the wall again.
Many renovation projects involve multiple steps. Here are 10 common steps to consider.
1. Make a Plan
Assess what you’d like to renovate and set priorities, says Houzz. That includes deciding where to start, and making sure you have the time and budget needed to get the work done.
2. Set a Budget
Come up with a final number on how much you want to comfortably spend on the renovation, says Better Homes and Gardens. It may be a good idea to check out Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report to see how much average projects cost. Consider budgeting an extra 10 to 20 percent for unexpected costs that may arise, says Zillow.
3. Talk to Your Insurance Agent
It may be a good idea to contact your insurance agent to help make sure you’re comfortable with the amount of coverage you have in place for your renovation project. Once the upgrade is complete, you may also want to consider evaluating your coverage again so you can make sure it fits your needs.
4. Hire a Contractor
Research and select a contractor with whom you feel comfortable, says Zillow. Be sure to sign contracts that help define the scope of work and the process to potentially avoid or resolve any problems, adds Zillow.
5. Secure Permits and Order Materials
Typically required in many municipalities, permits can also be critical to helping avoid having to redo work. Make sure your contractor checks your municipality’s latest regulations, since inspection rules change and vary in different locations, says Houzz.
Once you have the permits sorted out, you may also want to start ordering the necessary materials like lumber, drywall, new windows and doors, etc.
6. Start Demolition
Once all your materials arrive at the job site and have been inspected, it’s demolition time. If space is being added, then framing generally takes place, says Better Homes and Gardens. If walls within are being moved, it may be a good time to potentially install any new windows and doors.
7. Work Behind the Walls
Generally, this is the time for critical work behind walls, below floors, and above ceilings — plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning rough-ins, subfloors, and insulation, says Better Homes and Gardens. Next, patch, hang drywall, tape and sand for smooth exterior surfaces.
8. Paint and Install Flooring
Some contractors may want to finish flooring first, while others prefer to prime and paint before working on the floor (to help prevent spills from getting on new flooring), says This Old House. The order may also depend upon your contractors’ schedules.
9. Install Cabinetry
Now that walls and floors are in, the room begins to resemble its finished state. Cabinets are typically installed next, with upper cabinets going in before lower ones, says The Family Handyman.
10. Add Finishing Touches
It’s time to add those last details and decorations — final painting, backsplashes, floor sealing, light fixtures, hardware and any other touch-ups.
Once a renovation is complete, be sure to take a moment to enjoy your new surroundings, and maybe even start dreaming of your next project.
Originally published on December 18, 2013; updated on December 1, 2016.