Chris and I have been knee deep in renovations on our first house for about 1 1/2 years now and during this time we've realized that we always do 3 specific things before entering into a new project. There have been a few times that these things have saved our butts from headaches down the road so I wanted to share the 3 things we do before any renovation!

Do these 3 (three) things before any renovation


When we first bought our house, we didn't have a ton of money (actually like no money) to do all the renovations we wanted to do right away so we were forced wait on the remodel and live in the house as is for about 4 months. At first we viewed that as a downfall but now I'm so thankful we did!

When you use the space the way it currently is you allow yourself to discover the pain points of that room. For example, after living in our home for almost two years, we realized how little storage space we have and how important that is to us.  We have 1 itty bitty closet in our house which serves as our bedroom closet so when we come in from the blistering cold outside, where do we put our coats? The towels and bed linens need a space preferably not just in a laundry basket that never leaves the corner of our bedroom. Because we used the house as is, we discovered our needs and can now make adjustments to our renovation plans.


Do these 3 (three) things before any renovation - figure out the flow


Whether you're remodeling your entire house at once, or tackling one room at a time, always remember that your design choices should flow effortlessly from one room to the next. This doesn't mean you have to do the same color scheme in every room or that you can't get a little creative in one space; but each space should have some sort of common theme. 

Here's how I do it - In order to achieve an effortless flow throughout our home, we've decided to use the same paint color on every wall in our house. (We chose white in case you were wondering) I also try to make sure each element is incorporated more than once in opposing rooms. So let me explain...I have a wood wall as a backdrop behind my white fireplace in the living room. In the kitchen (which is connected to the living space) I have a wood counter top over the island to tie the wood element from the living room to the kitchen. We chose black cabinets in our kitchen so I'm using black accents in the living room. We're not going overboard by getting too matchy-matchy but in order to blend the two rooms together, I'm incorporating similar elements in adjoining rooms. 

Basically, just don't design your living room to have a country vibe, your kitchen to be modern, and make your bedrooms a beachy paradise. :)


Do these 3 (three) things before any renovation - add up renovation costs


This is by far the most important thing we do before any renovation. Before we settle on a design or start tearing down walls, we tally up the total estimated cost. I know this seems boring but it's absolutely necessary to make sure you can afford the project to begin with! When totaling up the cost, be as specific as you can! Think through every step of the process and make a list of all the supplies you'll need.

Here's how we make our list

  1. Permits - Depending on your project and the requirements in your state, you may need to pull some permits. Include that cost.

  2. Demo costs - Include roll-off dumpster, dump fees, and any tools needed to tear this place down!

  3. Construction costs - Include lumber, screws, blades for your saws, drywall, drywall supplies, etc.

  4. Electrical/Plumbing - Include wires, tools, outlets, pipes, lighting, etc

  5. Design elements - Include cabinetry, doors, millwork, flooring, paint, and anything that will be fixed/permanent to the space. (i.e. kitchen cabinets or a closet installation.) If you're doing any sort of accent wall such as shiplap, include that here.

  6. Decoration - Include couch, chairs, wall art, rugs, pillows, and all things decor.

  7. Miscellaneous - there will be plenty of things you forget to include on your list. This is typically the list that we always go way over than expected so be generous on this one.

  8. Round up - Give yourself some breathing room because there will be unexpected surprises and prices that suddenly go up. We usually add 10-15% to our budget.

TIP: Don't forget to include tax! If you're purchasing supplies from a local store, you'll most likely have to pay tax and that adds up quickly. Include tax in all areas that apply.


Once we add everything up, we sometimes realize we may need to adjust our design slightly due to expenses. If something is jacking up your price, consider an alternative or start saving!


That's all for me folks.

Until next time,