What Are The Steps To Renovating A House?

What Are The Steps To Renovating A House?

More than 50% of American homes were built before 1980. So odds are your home needs a major renovation or remodel. Renovating a house can feel intimidating. But with a solid plan and the right tools and subs, you can keep your home renovation on time and budget. We’ll walk you through all the necessary home renovation steps.

What is the First Thing to Do When Renovating a House?

Before you rip up a carpet or punch a hole in a wall, you need to have a meticulous plan that defines your renovation project. You’ll be amazed by how many details and decisions you’ll need to make before you begin.

The more research and time you spend developing your house renovation plan, the fewer surprises you’ll have, and you’ll be able to stick to your budget. Planning can take the longest time, so plan to research and solidify your renovation plan for about a month.

Steps to Renovating a House

floor plans and a drill

Here is how we recommend tackling a home renovation:

Step 1: Create a House Renovation Plan

As we mentioned, planning comes first. Your house renovation plan should include:

  • Renovation budget: You’ll want to create a spreadsheet of everything you need to do and a padded ballpark of what it will cost. Get bids to determine actual costs. Add 10-20% onto your budget for incidentals.
  • Timeline: A whole house renovation can average between 3-6 months to complete.
  • Tasks You’re Going to Outsource and DIY: Decide which types of projects you’ll do yourself and which you’ll need help with, like electrical work.
  • Site Plans: You’ll likely need site plans and floor plans to determine measurements.
  • Potential Contractors and Subcontractors: Research and get bids from potential contractors and subcontractors to help with specific projects.
  • Permits: Start early on your permits. The city is often slow, so apply as soon as you have an idea of what you want to do. Make sure to get the necessary plans or contracts to help expedite the permit process.

Need help during the planning phase? Contact us for help with site plans for your new renovation project.

Related Link: I Want to Renovate My House: Where Do I Start?

Step 2: Demolish the House You are Renovating

Now for the excitingly destructive part, you get to demolish your house. You’re going to need a large roll-off dumpster to remove any debris during demolition to keep this stage of the plan moving efficiently. Be sure to follow safety guidelines and precautions if doing the demolition work yourself.

Step 3: Install Electrical, Plumbing, and HVAC

The next step to renovating your house is installing all electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems. Unless this is your business, we recommend outsourcing these systems to professionals for safety and peace of mind. You’ll need remodeling plans to show the plumber and electrician where you want access to these systems.

Once these systems are in place, you’ll need to have inspectors validate the work and approve its safety. Once approved, you’re ready for framing and drywall.

Are you thinking about renovating your home and need a site plan? Learn more about how we can help you.

Related Link: MySitePlan & Permitting: What You Need To Know

Step 4: Frame and Drywall

Framing and drywall involve designating walls and hanging sheets of drywall to create the walls of your home. During this step, you might move or construct new walls or add supporting beams, windows, or door openings. You’ll need a plan to ensure the walls are placed where you intended. Once the drywall is secure, it will need to be sanded into a seamless surface.

Some people do this step themselves, while others outsource to get the project done faster. Both options have pros and cons.

Step 5: Paint the Renovated House

When renovating, you want to paint your walls before doing your flooring. This way, if the paint splatters, nothing is ruined. And there’s something very satisfying about the smell of new paint, like a new beginning or a fresh start.

Either way, you’re ready to paint your renovated house. Many people opt to paint themselves. But if you prefer a more professional, flawless paint job, you’ll want to hire professional painters.

Step 6: Install Cabinets and Fixtures  

Once the paint is done, you’re ready for cabinets and fixtures. Oh, see, another reason to paint first. Now your cabinets and fixtures don’t risk getting splattered. During this phase of the renovation project, you need to install:

  • Cabinetry
  • Bathtubs
  • Lighting
  • Showers
  • Toilets
  • Sinks

During this phase you really get to show your personal style, so have fun and choose wisely.

Step 7: Install Windows and Doors

a man installing a window

Once your fixtures are in, you’re ready to add doors and windows. We recommend using professionals for this phase to ensure everything follows codes and standards. It’s important to install doors before your flooring to ensure the doors can open freely.

Step 8: Clean the Renovated House and Air Vents

You’re almost there. Next, you’ll need your dumpster again to clear out and clean any remaining debris. Renovation can spread dust everywhere, so clean your air vents, ducts, furnace, and floor. You can do this yourself, and renting a shop vac will be a lifesaver.

Step 9: Install Flooring

Finally, it’s time to install the flooring. You should save flooring until the end to ensure it doesn’t get scraped, stained, nicked, or damaged before you have a chance to live on it. This is another renovation phase where you showcase your personality, tastes, and practicality.

Step 10: Complete the Trim and Finish Work

The final step of renovating a house is the trim and finishes. These final details help give depth and richness to your home. You can do these yourself or outsource to professionals. You’ll need to install:

  • Baseboards
  • Doorframes
  • Molding
  • Rails
  • Base trim

Renovating a House Can Be Rewarding

It will take careful planning, but you can renovate your house within a couple of months from start to finish. To keep costs low, we recommend doing some projects yourself and leveraging professionals for tougher projects like electrical or plumbing. Remember to apply for permits and get a site plan to help facilitate your renovation.

My Site Plan utilizes experienced CAD designers to create non-certified site plans. Once we have all the required specifications, we can deliver a site plan within 24 hours for many home renovation projects to help you secure permits and accurate contractor bids.

Related Link: How to Use a Floor Plan in 2D to Convert a Garage into a Master Bedroom



FAQs Answers
What is the importance of site plans in home renovations? Site plans are crucial for home renovations as they provide precise measurements and spatial relationships among different elements, essential for obtaining permits and ensuring contractors understand the project scope.
How can I ensure my home renovation stays on budget? To ensure your renovation stays on budget, start with detailed planning and budgeting, include a contingency of 10-20% for unexpected expenses, and regularly review expenses against the budget during the project.
What should I consider when hiring contractors for my renovation? When hiring contractors, consider their credentials, experience, and past client reviews. Obtain multiple bids to compare prices and services, and ensure they are licensed and insured to handle the specific tasks required.
How do I choose the right tasks to DIY vs. outsource? Decide on DIY vs. outsourcing based on your skills, the complexity of the task, safety concerns, and the potential cost savings. Tasks like electrical work and plumbing usually require professional skills and certifications.
What are common challenges during the demolition phase of a renovation? Common challenges include managing debris removal efficiently, ensuring safety standards are met, and preventing structural damage to parts of the home that are not being renovated.
How do I handle permit applications for a home renovation? Start the permit application process early, as it can be time-consuming. Ensure you have detailed renovation plans and contracts for quicker approvals, and check with local building authorities for specific requirements.
What are the benefits of professional painting during a renovation? Professional painting can provide a more flawless finish, efficient completion, and handling of large or complex spaces. Professionals also manage cleanup and prep work, which can be labor-intensive.

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  • Ryan Crownholm