The Best Ways to Organize the Renovation Process

It's important to understand what you're getting into when you choose a whole home renovation. A look at the elements of a major home renovation will give you a sense of what's involved and help you effectively plan your projects.

Think In Detail

A sketch on a cocktail napkin, full-blown architectural plans, or just a firm set of thoughts about how the remodel should progress is a good place to start. It is cheaper and less frustrating to correct mistakes before the remodel takes physical form. One of the first considerations is to be sure that you have funding for your renovation. Draw up a simple "yes/no" list of do-it-yourself projects and projects you want professionals to do. Look for contractors and subcontractors for those jobs you do not want to do yourself.

Apply for permits for the jobs you want to do on your own (if necessary). If you're hiring a contractor, they will likely handle the permits for you.

The Bigger, The More Important

The biggest projects you might take on include roof replacement or repair, fixing the foundation, dealing with water infiltration, and installing or repairing windows and siding. Large projects must be done first because subsequent projects are impacted by them.

Protect your future renovation work by making certain the house won't collapse on you. That means addressing the foundation and any structural problems. Secure the foundation and make major foundation repairs to areas such as weakened walls, joists, and carrying beams.

How Will You Do the Demolition?

You will demolish and dispose of sections of the house that will be replaced by later projects. This is a huge undertaking that many homeowners overlook until the project begins, then they begin scrambling to make up for lost time.

You'll need to rent a large container for waste. Carefully demolish all or some of the areas of the house that will be renovated. Demolish as much as possible if you will not be living in the house.

Carpentry is Important

Carpentry that is in support of other work is known as structural carpentry. This can include moving walls, constructing new walls, adding beams to support a greater weight upstairs, punching in new doors (or removing existing doors), adding framing for new construction windows, or significantly enlarging the window openings.

Many of these projects can be undertaken by an enterprising DIYer, but some projects, such as enlarging window openings, might call for a contractor's expertise.

And Windows

Window installation, whether whole-house or partial, almost always plays into a home remodel project. Installing new-construction or replacement windows is a project many homeowners can try, but keep in mind doing it on your own might invalidate the manufacturer's warranty. Check into the requirements and hire a professional if necessary, as that warranty could save you many headaches down the road.

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