The Ultimate Home Renovation Checklist
[Free Download]

Embarking on a home renovation project can be both exhilarating and daunting. Whether you’re planning a minor refresh or seeking custom home design services, a comprehensive home renovation checklist is crucial to ensure the process runs smoothly. In this blog (complete with a downloadable PDF checklist) we will walk you through the key phases of a renovation plan, from how to start a home renovation to how to keep your project on track, ensuring you’re well-prepared for the journey ahead.

The Ultimate Home Renovation Checklist

To download your Renovation Checklist, please enter your email.

Understanding the Renovation Order of Operations

Renovations are complex projects that require meticulous planning and execution. As you will see in our guide, renovations should follow a specific order of operations to ensure efficiency, prevent damage, and save time and money. Hiring a home remodeling planner can easily pay for itself when it comes to helping you avoid costly mistakes.

In what order should a house be renovated?

When remodeling a house what comes first? Whether you renovate a room or your entire home, it’s generally recommended to follow this order:

  1. Planning & Design
  2. Site Preparation
  3. Structural & Major Work
    1. Demolition
    2. Structural repair, changes, and framing
    3. Electrical, plumbing, and HVAC updates
    4. Insulation and drywall installation
  4. Interior Finishing
    1. Painting and flooring
    2. Cabinet and fixture installation
  5. Final Touches & Clean-up
    1. Appliance Installation
    2. Deep clean
    3. Final contractor walkthrough
  6. Decoration & Reveal
    1. Interior decorating
    2. Insurance policy update

Below, we’ll break down some of the most important steps of the renovation process.

How to Prioritize Home Projects

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you build your renovation plan:

Budgeting with a Buffer 

One of the first steps in any home remodel checklist is establishing a budget. This can be done through research and requesting proposals from vendors, but keep in mind that the first quote is just a starting point. More often than not, surprises pop up, making it smart to pad your budget by 20%. This safety net keeps unexpected costs from throwing you for a loop as the project progresses.

Setting a Realistic Timeline

Cottage living room with stone chimney fireplace and white and blue furniture.

When it comes to renovation, time is as crucial as money. A common pitfall in a renovation plan is underestimating the duration of projects. Whether it’s a kitchen overhaul, renovating a room, or a full-house remodel, each project is subject to delays due to: 

  • Unforeseen lead times and backorders
  • Weather
  • Permit delays
  • Contractor availability
  • Hidden issues such as mold, rot, asbestos, or termite damage

To mitigate these risks, it’s advisable to plan thoroughly, make decisions early, and work with experienced professionals who can navigate the challenges of renovation projects efficiently. Setting realistic timelines, accounting for potential delays, and maintaining open communication with your renovation team can also help keep your project on track.

If you’re looking for a rough estimate of each phase, here’s what you can typically expect:

Planning: Up to two months for conceptual design, pricing, and permit research

Design Development: One to two months focusing on finalizing the design and material selection.

Permitting: About a month, but can vary based on local regulations and any additional reviews required.

Construction: Varies widely; a major kitchen remodel takes at least 8 weeks, a bathroom 6-8 weeks, a two-story addition 3-4 months, whole-house renovations 4-6 months, and exterior projects 2-4 months.

Finalizing & Ordering

Blueprints for a house with samples of tile, fabric, and flooring laid across.

A golden rule for any remodel checklist is to have your designs finalized and materials on-site before demolition begins. This proactive approach prevents delays in waiting for materials and ensures the project progresses smoothly.

By enlisting the help of a designer, you’ll gain access to custom furniture, trade discounts, and an experienced team member who can foresee potential design pitfalls.

Trust Your Renovation Plan

Remember, you made a comprehensive renovation plan for a reason. Here are a few tips to help you see it through, based on what we have seen.

Contractor Confidence

A vital element of any home renovation checklist is selecting the right team. Trusting your contractors is crucial; these professionals bring a wealth of experience and can often provide valuable insights and solutions you might not have considered. Establish clear communication from the start and let their expertise guide you.

Staying True to Your Vision

Renovations are personal. While it’s beneficial to seek advice, the final decisions should reflect your tastes and needs. Friends and family will have opinions, but adhering to your design convictions will ensure your renovated space feels like home.

Avoiding Analysis Paralysis

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the small details of a renovation and want to modify your design or material selections once, or several times. Our Atlanta interior designers remind clients not to overanalyze and that not every element can be the star of the show. Striving for a cohesive design is more impactful than fixating on every detail. This mindset not only streamlines decision-making but also helps maintain focus on the overall vision.

Renovation FAQs

White kitchen with gold hardware and wood accents.

Should I hire professionals for my renovation?

Considering that 91% of renovators in 2022 enlisted professional help, seeking expert advice for your project is a wise move. Whether it’s structural changes or aesthetic upgrades, the right home remodeling planner can make a significant difference.

An experienced home renovation designer can be a very beneficial hire — they not only bring design expertise but also assist with ordering materials and managing the project, ensuring contractors stay on schedule and within budget. Their knowledge and resources can streamline the process, prevent costly mistakes, and help homeowners achieve a polished result.

What part of your house is most worth remodeling?

We suggest prioritizing the most-used rooms like kitchens and bathrooms. These areas will likely make the most difference to your quality of life and are pivotal to a home’s functionality and aesthetic appeal if you choose to sell. 

What renovations add the most value to a home?

Adding living space, such as through an attic bedroom conversion, can significantly increase a home’s value. Other high-value additions include deck, patio, or porch additions, replacing windows, and installing or refinishing hardwood floors. These improvements enhance the livability and curb appeal of a home.

Ready for Your Next Renovation Project?

Renovations are complex, but with the right approach, they can also be incredibly rewarding. Our comprehensive step-by-step home renovation checklist is designed to keep your project on track. From budgeting and prep to structural and aesthetic work, we hope this guide is your companion through the transformative journey of renovation.

Embarking on your renovation journey and need expert guidance? Contact Z & Co. Design Group, a premier Atlanta design group, renowned for transforming spaces with creativity and precision. Our team of local interior designers has relationships with the best contractors in the business and is ready to provide you with a seamless, stress-free, and downright enjoyable design process. 

The Ultimate Home Renovation Checklist

To download your Renovation Checklist, please enter your email.