How To: Renovate A Home - The Basics

Last week, we showed you how to renovate on a budget - this week, we're going to take it a step further and share what you need to know to get started! … Well, just about everything- everything else, you can learn by attending the Envisage Academy ;-)

Bear in mind that if you are not a professional, do not try to complete these tasks on your own. We are not telling you to complete a 'DIY' home renovation. This is a high level "How To," for our creative and interested readers!

Step 1: Design & Planning


Start brainstorming how you'd like for your project to go. Pull out your favorite pen, grab a piece of paper, and get with the old school way of jotting everything down; or, if you are a pro, a full blown architectural design would be great. Writing everything out now, is a good method to try to catch mistakes before they happen - it's also less expensive. Make sure that you have the funding to complete your project, create a "to do" list of tasks for each person that is involved, and look for a team of professional contractors to bring in for the projects that you cannot, or simply do not, want to complete yourself. Begin to research, and apply for permits.

Step 2: Structural Damage & Repair


Large projects must be completed first, because the smaller projects are impacted by them. For instance, you can't complete a renovation if the house collapses on you! Roof repair/ replacement, foundation repair, water infiltration, and siding are all important components of the beginning of a renovation.

Secure the foundation, roof, windows, and siding - make any repairs that are required. Ensure that no water can leak in; that there are no weakened walls, floors, or beams.

Step 3: Demolition


Carefully demolish that parts of the home that will be revamped. Rent a large container for waste inside of the home, and be extremely cautious with older homes, and homes that contain lead-based paint.

Step 4: Structural Carpentry


This includes the work of moving walls, installing new walls, adding in windows, punching in new doors, etc. Don't forget that at any point of this process, please hire the experts in each field. Making preventable mistakes will cost you more in the long room.

Step 5: HVAC, Electric & Plumbing


Before adding drywall, your must first install HVAC for central heat and air conditioning. Have your electrical and plumbing inspectors come during this time as well to check that your newly installed electric and plumbing are in good working condition.

Step 6: Insulation Installation


Because this is one of the quickest steps; be sure to have your drywall prepared to go up at the completion of this step!

  • Install fiberglass insulation into the walls, and attic.

Step 7: Drywall Installation


Here is where you close up the walls with drywall. This can be done only after electrical inspection (be sure to check with your county's/ state's regulations for specific inspection rules). After hanging sheets of drywall, apply drywall compound and wait for it to dry. After it dries, sand it smooth for a seamless surface.

Step 8: Window Installation


It is now time to install your windows. Be sure to hire the right team for this process as windows play a key role in home remodeling.

*** Steps 9 & 10 are interchangeable based on your preference :-)

Step 9: Painting & Other Surface Finishes


Bring on the interior fun! Painting the walls, hanging wallpaper … and don't forget the molding and trim!

Step 10: Flooring Installation


Are you laying carpet, hardwood, laminate, tile, etc? … The possibilities are many, and the choice is yours! Now is the time to get it done!

Step 11: Exterior Fixes


Clean the gutters, fix the siding. Try to do this step as late as possible as you do not want them to get messed up during the demolishing/ reinstallation of the windows and doors.

Step 12: Detachments


This is the final step! Don't forget about the garages, sunrooms, and other add-ons like swimming pools, etc. Tie everything in for the remodel of your dreams!


** please note, we do not own these images. They were used for informative purposes only.

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