If you’ve done renovations in your home, you know that they’re no small feat to pull off. And if you haven’t, we’re here to tell you: They’re no small feat to pull off! While there are lots of smaller things you can do to refresh your home (ahem, rolling out a new, beautiful rug!), sometimes you have to turn to the big guns to create your ideal space. So, we touched base with some of our favorite renovation and DIY pros on Instagram and asked them to share top renovation tips they’ve learned while working on their homes.
Jenny Hofstater of @making_highview_home‘s Top Renovation Tips
“Taking on a home renovation can be extremely overwhelming. We have renovated just about our entire home and it is stressful, hard, and sometimes full of disappointment. But I am here to tell you it’s all worth it in the end! We have learned a lot along the way, and in every renovation we do to this day we learn something new.
Know When to Hire a Pro
Sometimes we can’t do it all ourselves, unless you are Angela Rose from @angelarosehome. Assess when it might be a good idea to call in the pros. We redid our fireplace surround and went in circles about how we would DIY it. But in the end decided to hire a custom woodworker to ensure our vision was flawlessly executed.
Have an Open Mind
You are going to hit roadblocks along the way and they will throw your plan for a loop, sometimes even upside down. Be open to changing your plans. I like to think of it as a sign that the original plan may not have been meant to be. When we are forced to be creative and think outside of our comfort zone, we are capable of coming up with some of the best ideas!
Know it ALWAYS Takes Longer than Planned
If you are like me, you are a planner. When we take on home projects, I always have a plan and I always get frustrated when the plan takes a turn. After renovating our entire home I should expect this, but for whatever reason I always have high hopes. If you are ripping walls open, or moving plumbing or electrical, you are bound to run into an unexpected snag that will throw off your timeline. My best advice is to do what you need to do in order to keep moving forward. Once you do, you will have peace of mind that you are back on track.”
Pam Goulden of @mypracticehome‘s Top Renovation Tips
Do Your Research
“I have always been one to do my research before getting into a big project. When I get an idea in my head for a project I would like to try, I always begin by googling and searching Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration and methods that may have already been tested! Almost always, you can find something similar, and it is super beneficial to see the mistakes of others before you make your own!
Pick the Right Tools
Using the right tools will make life so much easier. This is where research comes in as well, or you can use your home store associates to help guide you to the right tool for the job. I started asking for tools for my birthday and Christmas! This has been a game changer for my DIYs and has opened so many doors for the projects I can do on my own!
Think it Through Before Starting
Think through the steps of your entire project before you begin. Sometimes you have to almost work backwards to make things come together more easily. For instance, when I did my fireplace makeover, I didn’t actually attach the fireplace to the wall until all of my built ins and shelves were up. Even though it was the first thing completed, it was way easier to be able to move the fireplace out of the way to work on the built ins, have access to them from the side, and in the end, make sure the fireplace was centered between them.
Roll with the Punches
With all this being said, the greatest lesson I have learned is that things usually don’t work out as planned. Almost every big project leads you to a place where you think, “What did I get myself into?!” You have to problem solve your way through or do things over a different way. I have found that if you expect this to happen from the get go, it is way less frustrating when it happens! However, when everything is complete, there is nothing more satisfying than knowing you created and completed it by yourself!”
Jess Hartman of @hartman_haus‘s Top Renovation Tips
Start with a Mood Board
“Before you even jump into a renovation, ask yourself: What’s your vision? Get a mood board together of what you want the space to feel like. Pinterest is honestly a great tool for this! Once you’ve pinned a good amount of inspiration, look for the recurring theme in your photos. For instance, if seven out of the ten photos I saved had white upholstered chairs, that would tell me I probably really like the look of white upholstered chairs! Once you’ve done this, choose your color palette. I’m a sucker for neutrals—they’re beautiful, bright, organic, and timeless.
Spend Some Time on YouTube
We’ve done a whole lot of renovations for not only ourselves but also for our clients, and I’d say 80% of the time we look up a YouTube tutorial—not because we don’t know how to do something, but sometimes we find a better, faster, or more efficient way to do it. Don’t underestimate a tutorial, you can honestly do anything yourself with the right visual instructions.
Finally, be kind to yourself. Renovations are messy, frustrating, take loads of time, and don’t always go as planned. Give yourself grace and please know that we’ve all been there (sweating on the floor, asking ourselves why on earth we ever started this project at all). But you can do it! And if all else fails, hire a professional. Honestly, don’t be afraid to hand it over to a pro—there are definitely some things we’d prefer to pay someone to do, like flooring, electrical, paint, and plumbing, to name a few.