visualizing your remodel as a part of the planning process

Planning a Remodel: 8 Steps to a Perfect Home Renovation

Embarking on a full home or basement remodel can be an exciting, yet daunting endeavor. The opportunity to transform your living space into your dream home is thrilling, but the process requires careful planning, budgeting, and decision-making. Are you ready to dive into the world of home renovations and create a space that is uniquely yours? This comprehensive guide will walk you through the essential steps to planning a remodel, ensuring a smooth and rewarding experience.

From setting clear renovation goals to managing the project timeline, this blog post offers expert advice and valuable insights to help you navigate the complexities of the home renovation process. So, let’s begin the journey towards your dream home, one step at a time!

Key Takeaways

  • Set clear renovation goals and develop a plan to manage the budget.

  • Choose a reputable contractor, create an accurate budget that accounts for unexpected costs, and finalize the contract before beginning your remodel.

  • Prepare in advance, manage timelines effectively, prioritize cost efficient investments with long term benefits.

Setting Clear Renovation Goals

Kickstart your renovation process by pinpointing the purpose of your home makeover. Is it aesthetics, functionality, or a boost in property value that you’re after? Adequate planning and a thorough evaluation of the proposed changes are advisable to ensure they’re a worthwhile investment. Consider which projects you’d like professionals to undertake compared to those you think you can manage and confirm that plumbing, HVAC, and electrical lines are all present.

When establishing clear renovation objectives, prioritize the whole house renovation project from the very beginning, starting with the space that is most frequently utilized and investing in the underlying structure and framework of the landscape initially. To prepare for future smart-home systems, invest in conduit to house Internet, cable, and power lines while walls are open, as well as adding a 200-amp service to the electrical panel.

Also, check if a building permit is required for your renovation. With well-defined renovation goals set right from the start, managing your budget becomes more effortless, paving the way for the dream home you’ve always imagined.

Research and Develop a Remodeling Plan

do your research for planning a remodel

Creating an all-encompassing remodeling plan forms a pivotal part of the home renovation process. Proper planning can help save money in the long run by gathering information on costs, timelines, and potential obstacles. Consult with contractors, salespeople, and online resources to create a detailed plan for your renovation. Furthermore, you must account for the material costs, a substantial expense tied to any remodeling endeavor.

Understanding your renovation plans is fundamental to feeling assured about your design choices, like windows, fixtures, and tiles, and being ready to kick off the project right from the start. To optimize your investment, consider improvements in frequently used spaces like the family room, or even using PEX tubing outdoors to thaw snow on a walkway or patio. It’s recommended to start selecting materials for your remodel, including the dining room, 6 to 12 months prior to the start date.

When planning a renovation, consult with professionals such as electricians, plumbers, structural carpenters, foundation companies, and a reliable remodeling contractor. Employing an architect or designer can provide detailed drawings and spec lists, a greater understanding of what is feasible, and identify which decisions must be made first in order for others to be implemented before the project begins. Remember to implement smart-home systems during your renovation. This includes installing conduit, which can house Internet, cable, and power lines while walls are already open.

Budgeting and Accounting for Unexpected Costs

Formulating a realistic budget helps dodge unexpected costs and averts inaccurate assumptions. It’s important to consider your budget carefully. Make sure it includes:

  • permits

  • building materials

  • labor

  • any cosmetic touches you may want

Unforeseen costs can compel you to take shortcuts or make hasty decisions, so it’s imperative to include them in the budget before the project begins.

To prepare for any unexpected issues that may arise during your home renovation, consider the following steps:

  1. Set aside a portion of the budget as a contingency fund.

  2. Include a few extra days in the timeline to account for any delays or complications.

  3. Have a reserve fund available to cover any unforeseen matters that may arise once the remodel project commences.

  4. If cost estimates exceed the budget, consider eliminating elements of the job that are lower priority.

  5. Request estimates from multiple remodeling contractors to identify the most suitable option.

By following these steps and taking the time to plan ahead, you can better prepare for any unexpected issues and ensure a smoother home renovation process.

Crafting an exhaustive budget that caters to unforeseen expenses enables you to handle the financial aspects of your home renovation more efficiently, assuring a more seamless and enjoyable journey.

Choosing the Right Contractor for Your Remodel

hiring a good contractor for your remodel

Choosing the right contractor is pivotal to the success of your house renovation. It’s crucial to choose a remodeling contractor based on more than just cost estimates. Factors such as reputation and communication abilities should also be taken into consideration. Claire Zinnecker recommends interviewing at least three remodeling contractors and inquiring with prior clients regarding their experience.

Be wary of bids that are too low for a remodel project, as they may result in the use of substandard materials or inadequate workmanship. To locate a reputable contractor, you can:

  1. Obtain a minimum of three estimates for the project.

  2. Seek advice from acquaintances and relatives.

  3. Request referrals from businesses that professional remodeling contractors frequent.

When planning a house remodel, examine quotes for items such as flooring and other materials that are easily priced per foot.


While low estimates may seem appealing, be cautious, as they may lead to inferior materials and poor workmanship. Cutting corners and opting for lower-quality materials can negatively impact the final result of your renovation, leaving you dissatisfied and potentially facing additional costs in the long run.

Ensure that you prioritize quality over the lowest bid to achieve the best result for your remodel project.

Finalizing the Contract

Before you commence your home renovation, firmly settling the contract with your selected remodeling contractor is of utmost importance. The contract should include:

  • The names and addresses of the involved parties

  • An estimation of the start date

  • A warranty

  • A comprehensive description of the scope of work

  • The payment terms

Ensuring that all necessary details are included in the contract will provide you with peace of mind and a clear understanding of the project expectations.

Be cautious when it comes to a contract that outlines a general scope of work for a remodel project. Don’t sign it if the contractor asks you to do so before making any revisions. Take the time to review the contract thoroughly and ask questions to ensure you fully understand the terms and conditions before signing on the dotted line.

Sealing a well-drafted contract not only safeguards your best interests, but also lays the groundwork for a fruitful home renovation journey.

Preparing for the Remodel to Begin

With the day of your home renovation nearing, it’s crucial to gear up mentally and emotionally for the remodel journey. This includes being ready for potential modifications, unknowns, and financial investments that may arise during the project. It’s recommended to plan 2 to 3 months prior to the commencement date of your house remodel to ensure you’re adequately prepared.

Adjustments may need to be made to live comfortably until your home renovation is completed. Consider the following steps to streamline the process and minimize disruptions:

  1. Pack up 1 to 2 weeks prior to your house renovation start date.

  2. Properly prepare for the renovation to maintain a sense of calm.

  3. Ensure a smoother process from start to finish.


Deciding whether to live in the house during construction can be a significant factor in your renovation experience. If you choose to stay in the house, make necessary adjustments for a comfortable living space until completion.

This may include setting up a temporary kitchen or designating specific areas of the house as a renovation free zone to minimize disruptions to your daily life.

Managing the Remodel Timeline

Establishing a timeline for your home renovation project is key to maintaining organization and keeping on track. Establish start and completion dates, as well as the order of steps, to ensure a smooth renovation process. It’s important to be prepared to adjust the timeline as needed to accommodate unexpected issues or delays.

A substantial renovation can span from a period of six months to a couple of years, so it’s essential to be patient and flexible during the process. By staying on top of the project timeline and making adjustments as necessary, you’ll be better equipped to manage your renovation and ensure a successful outcome.

Remember, proper communication with your remodeling contractor and renovation team throughout the project is key to addressing any challenges and staying on schedule.

Addressing Specific Renovation Aspects

account for the specifics when planning a remodel

As you set off on your home renovation journey, it’s vital to tackle specific facets of the process like:

  • Permits

  • Demolition

  • Structural carpentry

  • HVAC

  • Electrical work

  • Plumbing

  • Window installation

  • Insulation

  • Drywall

  • Fine carpentry

  • Paint

  • Flooring

  • Exterior work

At the outset of planning your home renovation, research local zoning regulations and permits to ensure your proposed remodel is allowed.

When allocating funds for your renovation, prioritize aspects that will be more expensive to fix later, such as shower valves and flooring. Opting for brand-name plumbing parts and high-grade flooring like hardwood can reduce the chances of failure and make repairs easier if necessary. Additionally, investing in energy-efficient materials is an excellent way to realize cost savings in the long term.

Tackling each specific aspect of your home renovation empowers many homeowners to devise a holistic plan and carry out their project with conviction.


When allocating funds for your renovation, prioritize spending on aspects that will be more expensive to fix later, such as shower valves and flooring. Invest in energy-efficient materials to save on long-term costs, and avoid trendy upgrades that may become unused after the initial excitement.

By focusing on these priorities, you’ll be making smart investments in your home renovation that will pay off in the long run.


In conclusion, planning and executing a successful home renovation requires careful consideration of various factors, such as setting clear goals, researching and developing a remodeling plan, budgeting for unexpected costs, choosing the right contractor, and managing the project timeline. By following the expert advice and insights provided in this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate the complexities of the home renovation process and create the dream living space you’ve always envisioned.

As you embark on this exciting journey, remember that patience, flexibility, and open communication with your remodeling contractor and renovation team are key to a successful and rewarding home renovation experience. Now it’s time to turn your dream home into a reality – happy renovating!

Frequently Asked Questions

In what order should I remodel my house?

Begin your home remodel by planning and designing, then move on to demolition, rebuilding, mechanicals, walls, flooring, cabinets, and finally appliances.

What are the 5 stages of home renovation?

The 5 stages of a home renovation project are planning, budgeting, demolition, construction, and cleanup.

It is important to stay organized and get multiple estimates from contractors, architects, and designers before starting.

What should I remodel first?

Remodeling the kitchen should be your first priority as it sets the tone for the rest of the house and makes a good first impression on guests.

This includes updating the cabinets, flooring, appliances, countertops, and layout to open up more space.

How do you design a house remodel?

To design a house remodel, start by taking all the measurements of the project area and using friendly software to lay out a floor plan.

Then, add interior furnishings and map out the remodel areas, choosing a style and design that reflects your vision and budget.

Finally, consider the utilities needed for the remodel.

How can I create a realistic budget for my home renovation?

Create a budget that takes into account permits, building materials, labor, and cosmetic touches.

Set aside extra funds and time for any potential unexpected issues. This will help ensure a realistic budget for your home renovation.