Ultimate Home Renovation Checklist: 10 Things To Do Before Renovations

by John Griffith

Home renovation is no joke. It’s pricey, time-consuming, stressful, and unsettling to see your house being torn apart. But it is also very exciting, as you will open up a world of possibilities for your space. You will finally be able to create everything you’ve always dreamed about. However, before you start knocking down walls and buying paint, there are a few things you need to consider doing. There is so much to remember and organize around a renovation, that it’s easy for important things to slip your mind. But don’t worry, we are here to help. Before embarking on your renovation journey, there are some things you need to cross off your to-do list. By completing our simple checklist you will make the unpredictable process, much more manageable, enjoyable, and increase your chances for better results.

You will finally be able to create everything you’ve always dreamed about

man and woman renovating their home

Home Renovation Checklist

Home renovation projects are always disruptive to daily life. It is completely normal. After all you have workers constantly going around and about, dirt and dust everywhere, unusable rooms, and so on. While this is something you can’t control, you can help it run smoother, so it can be over sooner. Today, we will share with you our list of top ten tasks you need to complete before renovations start.

Home remodeling projects are always disruptive to daily life

man tearing apart floor boards


Renovations are costly, that’s why you must plan accordingly beforehand. Setting a budget will help you set realistic expectations and will stop you from overspending. Not only that but if you make it more detailed it will be easier to prioritize your expenses and allocate the needed funds accordingly. Keep in mind that sometimes unexpected costs may pop up during the process, so make sure to leave some wiggle room in your budget for them as well. Make sure to include every cost in your budget: permits, contractors, materials, designers, furniture, unexpected expenses, and so on. Think what money you will need from the start till the end of the process.

Setting a budget will help you set realistic expectations

person counting dollar bills

#Research permits

Before you start tearing up your home, it’s important you have research what permits you may need for the renovation. Depending on the scope of your work you may need to obtain a variety of permits from your local municipality or government. Having all your permits will help save you from fines, delays, and other legal complications. Plus, permits are there to ensure your safety and that of the surrounding community, so make sure to not skip this step. While they may take some time to obtain, they are a must.

It’s important you have research what permits you may need for the renovation.

home renovations person signing documents

#Get a key lockbox

If you are renovating your home but don’t currently live in it or you don’t want to be present for the renovations, it’s best to invest in a key lockbox. If you are doing large scale renovations, you will need a contractor, and they like to start early. So, unless you are planning on getting up really early and rushing through morning traffic to let the workers inside, it’s best to get a key lockbox. You can easily attach it to your front door. It will keep your keys safe behind a passcode that the workers can easily access.

It’s best to get a key lockbox

hand holding key with house keychain

#Set realistic timeline expectations

Having realistic timeline expectations is a must. Otherwise, you will drive yourself crazy. Plan how your renovation will generally go. For example, a month of getting permits, a month of renovating the kitchen, two weeks buying furniture, and so on. Having a timeline will help you avoid a lot of frustrations. You will be able to plan around your contractor’s availability, plan expenses accordingly, buy things on time, and more. Keep in mind that renovations often exceed the timeline, which can add additional costs.

Having realistic timeline expectations is a must

power drill and architecture plans

#Pick a contractor

Picking the right contractor for you is one of the most important things you should do before starting your renovation. Research, ask your friends or family for recommendations, ask for opinions, and look for reviews before making your final decision. You need a company that has experience and expertise in the job. Otherwise, you will need to renovate twice. So, take your time and don’t rush into a decision. Consider the costs, share your budget and talk through everything with your potential contactors.

Picking the right contractor for you is super important

man working and hammering

#Start with the kitchen

Many people wonder in what order they should start renovating. While there is not an exact right answer, experts from Better Homes and Gardens recommend you start with the kitchen. This space tends to have some of the messier renovations (as well as the bathroom) and may accumulate a lot of dirt and debris which you don’t want getting on your new paint or finish jobs. You will also be moving in a lot of bulky pieces for the kitchen that can cause damage to walls and floors unintentionally while being moved in. So, start with the kitchen.

Better Homes and Gardens recommend you start with the kitchen

renovated kitchen still packed


Renovating is an activity that involves a lot of different trades. This means that there will be a lot to schedule. Don’t let this overwhelm you. A contactor can help you schedule the professionals you need, but if you are doing most things you need make sure to schedule appointments beforehand. For example, if you are planing on sanding floors, make sure to rent the machines in advance, don’t wait to the last minute. Talk with plumbers, for example, and schedule them for the week you will need them. Don’t wait to the last minute, as you may have to delay renovation because of professionals or machines being unavailable. You need to schedule when you will move out, move in, and so on.

Renovating is an activity that involves a lot of different trades

home renovation planner for scheduling

#Clear end picture

It is crucial you have a clear end goal in mind before you start renovating. Otherwise, it is certain to become one big mess. You will go over budget if you don’t know what you want as you will constantly be changing things and you will also go over your timeline because of said changes. Sit down and think long and hard what you want to achieve with the renovation. How do you want everything to look? What floor plan do you want? Are you sure you want to tear this wall down? And so on. Do not start if you don’t have a clear picture of the end goal.

It is crucial you have a clear end goal in mind before you start renovating

home renovations renovated kitchen

#Pack essentials

Renovations are very disruptive, so try to make it as easy for yourself as possible. Go through every room you will be renovating and pack your essentials. For example, pack some mugs, plates, and utensils from the kitchen. All things you will be using on the daily, that you don’t want to be digging out of boxes every meal time. Pack such things together and put them in an accessible location.

Go through every room you will be renovating and pack your essentials

boxes for moving in living room


If you have little kids or pets in your home they can get frightened by the work going on. There will be a lot of loud noises, heavy machinery, sharp tools and so on. Construction sites are quite dangerous, so if you have curious or skittish kids and pets, you may want to consider having them stay with a relative until the renovation is over.

Construction sites are quite dangerous for kids and pets

kid dressed in safety worker clothes

These were some things you need to check off before starting your home renovation. We hope you found this article useful. Now you won’t forget to do any of this important points.

This was our ultimate home renovation checklist

hammer power drill and paint buvket

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John Griffith

John Griffith is a young, passionate journalist. Writing has been John’s hobby ever since he was a boy. He has worked in some of the UK’s most successful news portals over the course of his professional career but found his forever home at Archzine.