Home Renovation Tips

Do-it-yourself home renovations can take on lives of their own. There are so many books, videos, stores, services, even non-credit college classes available, you may feel like a dog chasing his own tail – where do you start? The best thing to do, for any large project, is to break it down into smaller pieces, tackling one chunk of work at a time.

First, get yourself a composition or spiral notebook from a dollar store. Write down the big idea of what you want to get done, example, “Front Porch.” Next, go to your porch and look around for what needs to be renovated; write: problem: peeling paint.” On the next line, write “solution: paint with a bright shade of green.”

Go to the next porch problem, example: “wooden bench is too dangerous to sit on.” Follow the same course of action, and on the next line, write, “solution: replace with new rocking chairs.”

This may seem like over-simplifying the work, but when you have any renovation project, it is easy to become overwhelmed, which can lead to procrastination. If you break down the task into smaller steps, you’ll have a crutch to help you get started. If you are like most people who complete housework / home repairs on the weekends, you’ll know exactly which renovation project is scheduled for the next few weekends – this helps many people to not only get started on a project, but to complete it.

Second, go through your notebook, and next to the “solutions” section, write out the item and cost. For example, next to “peeling paint,” write down: “2 gallons from Walmart, $10.” When you do this for each item, you won’t become lost in the possibilities, and you can budget for your supplies.

Third, get a calendar and designate the dates that you are planning to complete the renovation. If you are recruiting help, this lets everyone know when to be available for you.

If you follow this method for organizing the renovations, you’ll know exactly what needs to be done, how much it will cost, as well as the timeline. Many of the big box stores who offer free lectures about do-it-yourself renovations, also provide free work journals (similar to a spiral notebook from a dollar store), encouraging the work process.

No matter the size or age of your home, most likely you’ll want your family to be safe and comfortable. By applying simple renovation techniques, and staying dedicated to your work schedule, you can easily improve your home.

Your notebook may look like this:

Project: Porch

1-problem: peeling paint

solution: paint with a bright shade of green

Wal-mart: 2 gallons of green paint, $10

To Do: Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2

2-problem: wooden bench is too dangerous to sit on

solution: Replace with new rocking chairs

Target: 2 new wooden rocking chairs, $200

To Do: Sunday, June 2