How Do Home Renovations Work?

Home renovations can transform your living space and increase your property’s value. Whether you’re looking to make minor updates or embark on a major overhaul, understanding the home renovation process is essential for a successful project. In this article, we’ll discuss the steps involved in planning, executing, and completing a home renovation project.

Total Home Renovation in Only FOUR WEEKS
Home renovation projects can be exciting but overwhelming.
The first step is usually defining your goals and developing a clear plan.
A good reputation, licensing and insurance are important considerations when choosing a contractor for a home renovation project.
You may encounter unexpected issues during a renovation project. Be prepared to adjust your plans and budget as needed, consult with professionals, and try to stay flexible in the face of unexpected challenges.
Research, setting a realistic budget and sticking to it requires careful planning and organization.

Planning Your Home Renovation

Assessing Your Home’s Needs

Before you start renovating, identify the areas that need improvement. Consider factors such as the age of your home, its current condition, and any functional or aesthetic upgrades you’d like to make.

Setting a Budget

Establish a realistic budget for your renovation project, factoring in labor and material costs, as well as any permits and fees. Keep in mind that unexpected expenses can arise, so it’s wise to have a contingency fund.

Establishing a Timeline

Determine a timeline for your project, taking into account factors like the scope of work, contractor availability, and your own schedule. Keep in mind that delays can happen, so be prepared for potential setbacks.

If you’re interested in learning more about home renovations, check out our detailed guide on how home renovations work to get started. From planning to execution, we cover everything you need to know to make your renovation project a success.

Finding a Contractor or DIY

Hiring a Contractor

If you’re not comfortable taking on a renovation project yourself, consider hiring a professional contractor. Ask for recommendations, check references, and review quotes to find the best fit for your needs.

DIY Home Renovations

For those who prefer a hands-on approach, DIY renovations can save money and provide a sense of accomplishment. Be sure to carefully research your project, gather the necessary tools and materials, and have a solid plan in place before starting.

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Contractor vs DIY

Hiring a ContractorDIY
ProsExperienced professionals can get the job done quickly and efficiently. Contractors are licensed and insured, which can provide some peace of mind in case of accidents.You have full control over the project and can take your time to perfect details. You can save money by avoiding contractor fees.
ConsHiring a contractor can be expensive, taking up a large chunk of your budget. You may have less control over the project and may need to cooperate with the contractor’s ideas.DIY takes much more time and often involves greater risk when dealing with things like electrical work and plumbing. If mistakes are made during the project, you’ll have to fix them yourself.

Note: It is important to note that not all projects are suitable for DIY work. Some renovations may require the expertise of a professional contractor to ensure proper safety and code compliance.

Understanding the Renovation Process

Obtaining Necessary Permits

Depending on your location and the scope of your project, you may need to obtain permits from your local building department. This ensures that your renovation meets safety and zoning requirements.

Demolition and Cleanup

Once permits are secured, the renovation process begins with demolition and cleanup. This may include removing old fixtures, tearing down walls, and disposing of construction debris.

Structural and System Upgrades

Next, focus on structural and system upgrades, such as plumbing, electrical, or HVAC updates. These changes are crucial to your home’s functionality and safety.

Interior and Exterior Finishing

Finally, complete your renovation with interior and exterior finishing touches, including flooring, paint, cabinetry, and landscaping.

Whether you’re a homeowner or a contractor, having access to plumbing blueprints can be crucial for completing a project. Take a look at our guide on finding plumbing blueprints for some helpful suggestions on where to look, including resources like city records, building permits, and old plumbing invoices.

Popular Home Renovation Projects

Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen remodels are popular renovation projects that can boost your home’s value and improve its functionality. Updates may include new appliances, countertops, cabinetry, and flooring.

Bathroom Remodel

Bathroom renovations can enhance comfort and add value to your home. Consider updating fixtures, adding storage, and improving lighting for a fresh, modern look.

Home Additions

Expanding your living space with a home addition can significantly increase your property’s value and functionality. Popular options include adding a bedroom, bathroom, or extending your living area.

Energy Efficiency Improvements

Investing in energy-efficient upgrades, such as insulation, windows, and heating and cooling systems, can lower your utility bills and reduce your home’s environmental impact.

Plumbing problems can be frustrating and complicated, but with the right knowledge and tools, they don’t have to be. Browse our pro guide on fixing plumbing issues to learn some time-saving tips and tricks to help keep your plumbing working smoothly.

Maximizing ROI for Home Renovations

To get the most value from your renovation, prioritize projects with a high return on investment (ROI). Focus on improvements that will appeal to potential buyers, such as modern kitchens, updated bathrooms, and energy-efficient features.

Maximizing ROI for Home Renovations

ProjectExpected ROI
Kitchen remodel with energy-efficient appliances and modern finishes70-80%
Bathroom addition or remodel with updated fixtures and features60-70%
Outdoor living spaces, such as a deck, patio, or landscaping50-60%
Attic or basement conversion into livable space50-60%
Replacement of windows and doors with energy-efficient models70-80%
Roof replacement or remodel50-60%

Note: It’s important to keep in mind that ROI can vary based on market trends, regional differences, and individual factors. Before undertaking any renovation project, it’s recommended to do your research and consult with a professional to ensure the investment is worthwhile.

Preparing for Unexpected Challenges

Home renovation projects can encounter unexpected challenges, such as hidden structural issues or delays in material delivery. Be prepared to adapt your plan and budget to accommodate these surprises.

For new construction or renovations, it’s important to consider plumbing needs and plan accordingly. Our expert tips on building plumbing systems offer suggestions for choosing the right materials, ensuring proper drainage, and avoiding common mistakes during the installation process.

Tips for a Successful Home Renovation

  • Communicate openly with your contractor or any professionals involved in the project.
  • Stay organized by keeping track of receipts, contracts, and other important documents.
  • Be prepared to make decisions quickly to keep your project on schedule.
  • Maintain a clean and safe work environment to minimize disruptions to your daily life.

Home renovation projects can be exciting but overwhelming. Take a deep breath and read our guide on planning a home renovation project for some advice on starting the planning process, setting a budget, and choosing the right contractors or architects for the job.


Home renovations can be a rewarding and valuable investment when approached with a clear plan, realistic expectations, and an understanding of the process. By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be well on your way to transforming your living space into the home of your dreams.


How much should I budget for a home renovation?

  1. This depends on the scope of your project and the materials you choose. As a rule of thumb, allocate at least 10-20% of your budget for unexpected expenses.

Do I need a permit for my home renovation project?

  1. Permit requirements vary depending on your location and the type of work being done. Consult your local building department for specific information.

How long should a home renovation take?

  1. The timeline for a home renovation project will depend on the scope of work, contractor availability, and any unforeseen challenges that may arise.

How can I find a reliable contractor for my home renovation?

  1. Ask for recommendations from friends and family, check online reviews, and request multiple quotes to find a contractor that suits your needs and budget.

Can I live in my home during a renovation?

  1. This depends on the scope of your project and your comfort level with disruptions. For major renovations, it may be more convenient to temporarily relocate.

Further Reading

To learn more about the home renovation process, consider reading the following articles:

How to Renovate a House – The Spruce: This comprehensive guide provides step-by-step instructions and practical tips for tackling a home renovation project.

Home Renovation 101: Your Step-by-Step Guide – CJ Hole: This article offers a detailed overview of the renovation process, from planning and budgeting to selecting a contractor and completing the project.