If there is anything I wish I would have known before starting a home renovation, it is certainly these 7. Travis and I have been amidst a three-month project and there is so much that goes into it. If you follow along on @themindfulmaison, you’ve seen a few of the phases like demo, electrical, and plumbing, giving you an idea of the many pieces of the puzzle.

7 Things To Know Before Starting a Home Renovation

This is our first rodeo when it comes to renovating our own home and we’ve learned a lot thus far. I wanted to share a few of those things to help guide those who are considering any renovations this season!

7 Things To Know Before Starting a Home Renovation


1. Your timeline is important.

One of the first things Travis did when putting together the renovation scope of work was to create a timeline. It’s a timeline that outlines what gets done when (his dad is a home builder so we had some confirmation) and the order of work. For example, rewiring the electrical should happen before plaster because they need to open walls to access certain areas, and painting should be done before flooring and scheduled towards the very end. If you plan on managing the project yourself, having the ordering and timing in place before you start will make it a lot easier to have flow and a checklist that isn’t overwhelming. 

2. Whatever your budget is, double it (for the most part).

If you asked us what our budget was in April, it would have been half of what it is today. The budget isn’t always doubled, but with older homes you often find “surprises” when pulling back the layers. In our case, there have been a few necessary safety upgrades in electrical and plumbing which are the two most expensive categories in a home. As we got deeper into things, we also decided to update the bathtub, toilet, and opted for a nicer kitchen sink. Combine this with a few other factors, it’s good to always have some breathing room in the budget. 

3. Having word-of-mouth referrals is important.

One of the key parts of this renovation was asking friends and neighbors for referrals. All of our subs have come recommended from someone we know personally. If you’re thinking of updating your house, I’d start by asking around for the best electrician or plumber, as they’ll be the first people you want to schedule. 

4. You can source everything online. 

Thank the heavens for the internet. We bought our sink, our tub, the lighting, the drain, and every other piece you can imagine online. Yes, we went into a few stores to have an idea of what we wanted but let me tell you, the internet is king. Sites like Wayfair, Houzz, and Amazon have so much available online (and often at a better price!).

5. It requires a truckload of patience.

And time. Patience and time, let me repeat, patience and time. 

6. You can save a ton of money by doing what you can on your own.

Our biggest save: doing the work ourselves. Travis has spearheaded this project like none other, spending weekends learning how to remove tile and plaster walls. If you have the time, I’d recommend doing as much of the less-technical work as possible. It’s a big money saver and allows you to allocate some of those savings to hiring professionals for the highly-skilled pieces (electrical, plumbing, tile, etc).

7. Sometimes it’s messy and that’s okay. 

You know when everything is piled in dust and you can see the basement through your bathroom floors, and you wonder, will this ever get put back together? Yes, yes it will. It’s messy to tear apart and that is totally okay!


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7 Things To Know Before Starting a Home Renovation

1 Comment

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    Thank you Jessica for sharing these tips! I agree with what you’ve shared!
    My husband and I are wrapping up a full kitchen remodel in our 1960’s ranch home. It has taken just over 1 month to complete and I attribute that to your tip on having your ordering and timing in place. I managed the project myself, though we did hire a contractor. I coordinated cabinet maker, tile guy, counter top fabricators, painter and hardwood floor company. Living in noise and dust was scary at first but coming out on the other side, it is totally worth it! Best of luck to you both – I know it will be a beautiful space once complete.

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