DIY

Ok, so it’s time for a DIY project in your home. Regardless of your level of experience, it’s important to plan the project well and make sure you’ve done all your homework. Below you will find guidance from theHomeMD on some vital things to consider.

 

Pre-Project Planning

  • Two things you must decide on first before you do anything else are your budget and your timeline. You’ve probably heard that home improvement projects always cost more and take longer than planned. While this is often true, you can keep the cost and time overages to a minimum if you detail both before taking any other steps. Try to be overly realistic on what each item will cost and how long it will take. Itemize each task and assign it a time and cost. Decide on both a target budget and timeline and a maximum for each. It’s much better to over-budget both your time and cost than shortchange both and be frustrated with extra time and money spent.
  • Develop a step plan for the job. Write down a day-by-day plan for what will be done first and then each next task until completion. Also include how many hours/days each will take. If anyone else is helping you, assign tasks to everyone, including yourself.
  • Plan for the impact on your home. If you’re renovating a kitchen or bathroom, this means you’ll need to account for alternate arrangements for cooking, showering, etc. while the area is under renovation. Be sure to include your family in this discussion, as it will likely affect everyone in your home. Also make sure everyone realizes that the project will create some mess and clutter around the house. No matter how clean you work, some mess in unavoidable. It’s a sacrifice to give up that space and deal with a mess for a bit, but it’s a short-term one from which everyone in your home will benefit for many years.
  • Coordinate all of the materials you’ll need, especially anything that needs to be ordered. Special order items can often take several weeks or more to arrive, so make sure you account for this when planning your start date and timeline.
  • Line up any helpers you may need. Whether having family and friends help with demo for a day in return for Pizza and cold one, or paying folks to help do the work, make sure you’ve checked with them regarding their availability.
  • Plan for material removal. This is especially important if you’re doing significant demolition. Will you use a dumpster? Haul things away yourself? Pay someone to come haul it away? Even if you’re not doing much demo, there will be scrap material from the job, so decide how you will handle that as well.
  • Use all your resources and do your research. This is especially true for any jobs with which you’re not very familiar. Talk to folks you know who may be in the trades and can offer guidance. Check out how-to articles and videos for ideas. Don’t just ask one person or watch one video. Use several sources of information on each task you’ll need to complete.

It’s GO Time!

  • Planning is all complete, materials have arrived, and now it’s time to get to work. Be sure to start from the first step as planned ahead of time. If all goes smoothly, then just continue to each next step according to your schedule.
  • Of course, the “if all goes smoothly” part is a BIG “if.” Even professionals encounter unexpected things, especially when opening up walls or floors. You never know what’s in there until you get started. Be prepared to come across at least a couple unexpected things during your project and be ready to adjust on the fly when you do.
  • Know your limitations. If you uncover things for which you didn’t plan, stop and assess the situation and come up with a solution. If it’s something you’re rather unsure how to handle, you may want to call in a professional for some help. If you can tackle it on your own confidently, then be sure to review your timeline and budget and make written adjustments as needed.
  • Know your limitations (2). Most DIYers are working on the project on weekends and in the evenings. Understand that if you push yourself too hard too fast, you will wear out physically and mentally and add stress to the job. It’s better to add a couple days to the whole project than to burn out, struggle to complete the job, and need a vacation when it’s over. Some folks may take some time off from work to do the renovation, but there are limits on that too.
  • As you progress through each step, keep track of your ongoing budget and timeline. Continue through the steps, be flexible and patient, and you will cross the finish line!

Wrapping it all Up

  • Once you’ve finished all the hard work, make sure you review the project. Check what you actually spent and how much time it really took. Then compare that with your original plan and make notes. This will let you know how well you did and give you good intel for any future projects.
  • Reach out to anyone who helped you, whether it was guidance or blood, sweat and tears. They were likely an important part of the job and will be valuable again in the future. If they feel appreciated, they’ll help again.
  • Stand back, take a look at your good work and enjoy your updated home!

Tackling a project around your own home can be a daunting task, but it is also very rewarding. You’ll have a great upgrade to enjoy in your home for years to come and when you do it yourself, you can take extra pride in the work every time you look at it. With help from folks like theHomeMD, you can accomplish any task you desire in your home!