When you buy a fixer-upper, it is imperative that you prioritize and plan your home renovation projects! Renovating a home can be overwhelming and I have learned quite a bit living through renovations these last 10 years. Today I am sharing my tips for how Chris and I plan our home renovation projects and prioritize each one.
Tips to Prioritize Your Next Home Projects
1 | Identify the Biggest Issue
When you buy a home with a laundry list of projects, the first step is identifying your biggest issues. In our new home, the biggest issue was the floor and luckily we had budgeted to fix them. The entire house had wall-to-wall baby blue and dark red carpeting and we wanted to install hardwood floors. If we could update the floors before moving in, we could eliminate moving out again when the new floors were installed! Here are the living room floors before installing wood floors.
We planned to install white oak wood floors in the main living spaces and new carpeting in the bedrooms. This became our first project because it created a blank slate for the other updates in each room. We also wanted to update our kitchen sooner than later and the flooring would need to be installed under the cabinets.
2 | Anticipate Upcoming Renovation Projects
If you are planning multiple renovation projects in your home, make sure you anticipate your projects in the near future. For example, our first project was updating the floors, but we had to factor in our next project. We planned on renovating our kitchen and removing the wall to the family room to create an open-concept space.
Originally, I wanted to finish the kitchen at a later date, but we had to do it all at once if the floors were to be installed properly. While I did not want to take on two expensive projects at once, it made sense in the long run. Plus we got our two biggest projects out of the way! Phew!
3 | Create A Renovation-Free Zone
It was important to create a renovation-free zone in your home before you start major projects. Before we moved into our current home, we made sure our kitchen and family room were done. This allowed us a comfortable space for our family as we worked through our remaining list of home renovation projects. Trust me, you will want a clean, quiet area to get away and relax.
In our third home, our first home project was the basement guest suite. Once we finished the basement bathroom and bedroom, we tackled our master bath and guest bath upstairs. This gave us a place to shower and a clean bed to climb into every night.
I made sure our master bedroom and bathroom were finished before I gave birth to our second child! This was my reteat from the remaining home projects on the main floor!
4 | Focus on One Room Project at a Time
Focusing on one room at a time will give you the feeling of making progress. This can be hard to see sometimes when you have a list of projects in each room. In our new home, Chris and I decided that our primary focus would be updating the first floor. We love to entertain and the sooner we could put update those rooms the better.
While our first floor is really looking great, our bedrooms have been neglected! Start with whatever room will make you the happiest and complete every project in that space.
The One Room Challenge last fall was a great example of focusing on one room project at a time. I finished my dining room renovation in 6 weeks and I am so happy that every detail is complete! It feels really good to be able to check that entire space off my list and enjoy the beautiful room.
5 | Complete Bite-Sized Projects
Now that you have a good idea of which renovation projects will happen first, we will break it down even further. The next step is to turn your large-scale project into bite-sized, manageable projects. Make a list of every task you need to complete and check them off one by one. As you finish more tasks on your list you will see your space transform! This is such a great feeling and always motivates me to keep going.
We are currently working our way through our living room and with each update, the room gets better and better! Since this picture was taken, we have a rug, new chairs and the table was painted black.
6 | Be Patient & Enjoy the In-Between
Remember that everything takes time and to enjoy your home the renovation process. It can be hard to share your home with friends and family when it doesn’t look “perfect”. Renovating your home can take years so remember to enjoy it at every stage!
We celebrated our daughter’s birthday at our new home and the inside was completely gutted! The garage fridge was stocked, the bathroom had toilet paper and that was enough for our party! We created wonderful memories in our new home, even if we could only access a small part of it.