How to Prioritize Your Home Renovation Projects

January 21, 2020

When you buy a fixer-upper, it is imperative that you prioritize 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 prioritize our home renovation projects in our home.

How to prioritize your home renovation projects

6 Tips When Renovating Your Home

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. Our plan was to install white oak wood floors in the main living spaces and new carpeting in the bedrooms. We chose this as our first project because it would create a blank slate for the other updates in each room. We could completely transform our living room, but if the 70’s blue carpeting was still on the floor, we would never be able to achieve the look we were going for!

How to Prioritize Your Home Renovation Projects

Anticipate Upcoming Projects

If you are planning multiple 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 later and install tile in the space. Once we started going through the plans, we realized it would look best to carry the wood all the way into the kitchen. 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!

Before we opened up the wall from the kitchen into the family room
Kitchen renovation
The large kitchen once we opened the wall

Create A Renovation-Free Zone

It was important to create a renovation-free zone in your home first before you start major projects. Before we moved in, we made sure our kitchen and family room would be done. This allowed us a comfortable space for our family as we worked through updates in the rest of the house. You can choose this “safe space” but you will want a place to get away and relax.

In our third home, our first be project was the basement guest suite. Once we had a new bathroom and bedroom, we moved on to our master bath and guest bath renovations 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 getaway from the remaining projects on the main floor!

Create a renovation-free zone in your home to relax

Focus on One Room 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.

How to prioritize your home renovations

Complete Bite-Sized Projects

Now that you have prioritized which rooms renovate 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 project you want to complete and take it one at a time. As you begin to check more projects off your list you will see your space transform! This is such a great feeling and will motivate you 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.

How to prioritize your home renovation projects

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.

Don't wait! Enjoy your home at every stage of the renovation

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