Be an Informed Renovator

We love giving homeowners the insider information needed to master the art of a renovation! We created the Renovation Roadmap as an online tool that helps you navigate the remodeling process when working with a general contractor. Our guest blogger, Darlene Mase, a freelance writer for, provides us with a handy 8 point checklist of things to consider when you embark on a renovation.

Note: The Renovation Roadmap received no compensation for the publishing of this article and we do not endorse any products or services provided in this blog. Our main goal is to share insights from industry experts and guest bloggers to help you become a more informed homeowner.

Ready, get set…wait!

A home renovation is a big undertaking. Sure, we might have tons of inspiration from HGTV and Pinterest boards, but most of also have budget and time constraints to consider. Before you start Demolition Day: Chip Gaines style, check out this renovation checklist first to ensure that all of your ducks are in a row.

1. Know Your Budget

Everything costs money and knowing your budget is one of the most — if not the most — important steps in the home renovation process. Being aware of your financial standing will help you prioritize what’s truly relevant for your home renovation. Yes, you may want a hot tub grotto, but is that more important than new marble countertops, a fresh set of cabinets, and hardwood floors? Also, keep in mind that surprises do happen, and you will more than likely end up spending more than you anticipated, so make allotments for that from the onset.

2. Focus on small sections of the house at a time

Unless you are planning on moving out during the house remodeling process, it is easier (and more economical) to focus on updating certain sections of your house a little at a time. If the bedroom, kitchen, and dining room are in shambles, your mental state is bound to be a wreck, too. If, though, you work on and complete certain smaller portions at a time, you’ll be able to have some reprieve from the renovation chaos.

3. Gather inspiration

A well put together renovation checklist will include tons of remodeling ideas. Whether you create boards on Pinterest, take screenshots of Google pictures, or put together a vision board using magazine clippings, it’s important to know what you want before you go out looking for and interviewing contractors. That’s where the Renovation Roadmap comes in. Not only will your inspiration and planning help out the contractors — some might not be comfortable doing the type of work you’re seeking — but you will be able to keep a consistent visual flow going throughout your house.

4. Determine if you’ll need a permit

Why you need permission from the city to work on your. own. home. will forever be beyond me, but that’s life, and many types of remodeling or renovations require permits from the city. You will most often need a permit if you are demolishing any load-bearing walls, installing fences over a certain height, or altering the layout of your home in any way. Visit your city’s website, and search for “building permits.” There, you should be able to find whether or not your home improvement ideas require permits.

5. Pick the Right Contractor!

Your home is one of your biggest investments, and you don’t want some junkie with a jackhammer — and no idea what he’s doing — going to town on your home’s foundation. Referrals from friends and family are a good way to  ensure that your home renovation will run smoothly. As they say, “the proof is in the pudding,” and you’ll be able to see examples of your potential contractor’s handiwork. However, more important is knowing what you need and figuring out who your perfect renovating partner is.

However, if referrals are not an option, there are many websites dedicated to providing honest reviews on home maintenance experts. After you’ve narrowed it down to a few good builders, have them come by the house for an estimate so you can ensure that you’re getting the best price.

6. Shop Around For Materials

You’d be surprised how much the cost of materials varies from one shop to another. Do your homework by either visiting a few retailers or checking out their website. A home renovation is an expensive undertaking, and you want to make sure that you save as much cash as you can. Your tradespeople might also be able to help you snag some discounts, so be sure to ask. This is one of the most budget busters for remodels, so you want to ensure you set yourself realistic expectations about how much materials will cost.

7. Alert the Neighbors

Depending on the extent of your home renovation, your neighbors could be in for increased traffic on the street as well as loud, imposing noises throughout the day. Be courteous, and alert the neighbors of your proposed renovations as well as an estimated timeline. You’ll have to live next to them once the renovations are done, so it’s best that you maintain an amicable relationship.

8. Try to Relax 🙂

Granted, it’s overwhelming to live in the midst of a construction project, but having a home and the resources to renovate it is actually a blessing that many don’t get to experience, so try to relax and enjoy the process. Hopefully, this renovation checklist can help you do just that.

If you’d like to learn more about what the Renovation Roadmap can do to help you in your remodel, we’re always happy to help!


About The Author

Darlene Mase lives in Newnan, Georgia with her husband and daughter. She is a stay-at-home mom and works as a freelance writer for and other popular sites. During her free time, Darlene enjoys traveling, hiking, camping, cycling, gardening, caving, kayaking, or anything else outdoors.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply