Completely remodeling home and not sure where to start
We just bought our first home and we have a lot of improvement ideas, but we're not sure where to go from. We're going to tackle one thing at a time and we're on a budget.
So far, here's the order of how we're planning to tackle the project: Remove all trim, paint the ceilings, paint the walls, install new tile, install new trim...
We would also like to install french doors where we now have a sliding glass door and plantation shutters on all windows... This is where our problem comes in. Should this be done prior to painting? Or should this be left for last? Please give us your opinion and reasoning why. Any tips will be greatly appreciated as we are new at this. Thanks!
I like to go room by room so that I get the feeling of accomplishment when one room is completed. Also, the whole house doesn't look torn apart.
Also, if you dive into the whole house, as a newbie, you might get overwhelmed really quick. Remember, demolition is easy. It's the putting back together that causes headaches.
Take one room at a time. That's my recommendation. I refuse to start any other project now until my kitchen is completed.
Thanks for the advice! I should of specified a little more... Our floor plan is very open so we'd like to focus on renovating what guests see when they first come in: the living room, dining room and kitchen. We want to focus mainly on paint, windows and flooring... No granite countertops or new shelving just yet. That'll be another giant project all on its own. Next would be rooms (one at a time) and lastly, bathrooms. We're just a bit confused on what order to install windows and doors.
Shade is right on, but let me mention a very common problum new and first time home owner face.
I see all the time where they get so wrapped up working on the inside that nothing that really matters more gets down or the moneys ran out before it gets addressed.
I always suggest starting on the outside and making 100% sure everything is in good shape from the top of the roof to the ground.
All that new paint will mean nothing if the roofs leaking or the siding is in a bad state of repair and will end up costing far more if not fixed.
Next is insulation and air sealing. Every dime you spend will be paid back in HVAC savings over time and the home will be cooler or warmer.
Old HVAC system or really old water heater need to be addressed before they fail.
Old wiring that needs to be up graded, old steel plumbing that will leak at some point and plugged up from the inside out.
Then start working on the inside.
You mentioned windows, are they old wooden windows in there now that you plan on installing replacement windows?
If so then do that before any painting, for two reasons, one it will start saving you money on HVAC the min. there installed. and there's going to be some touch up painting when replacing them.
Always start at the top and work your way down when working on any room.
The new floors always are done last.
Paint the ceiling, the trim, then the walls in that order.
PS the primer in one is a scam. Only use quality paints from a real paint store.
DO not use cheap roller covers or brushes. Learn how to use a 2-1/2" sash brush not tape all over the walls. Tape tends to just pill off the paint when removed causing more work.
Some random advice from an amateur who is 75% through a similar project on a foreclosure.
We bought Behr Premium Plus for the upstairs. It was fine.
I read a lot about competing opinions so we got Benjamin Moore Ben (the base line) for the downstairs and it went on much better and looks better. Maybe it's all technique. And who knows how they will wear? But upstairs I am finding spots where the Behr looks like it went on very spotty, while when we painted we did two coats (over a coat of primer) and we were careful, so I am not feeling great about that. The Ben went on (two coats) with 100% coverage.
I actually had some luck with painter's tape, but you have to pull it off before the paint dries to avoid ripping paint off. But really, a steady freehand, a good brush, and some patience can really work wonders. Don't even try to use tape for the top of the walls where it meets the ceiling. Freehand that. Caulk is your best friend.
Generally when I approach a project it starts with a comprehensive plan, a visit to the building department to check on permits (especially if in a municipality I have not worked before). I usually worked on antique homes so it was imperative to look into any historical landmarks and ordinances applicable to the property.
I think you will find taking a weekend to do a scale drawing of your home will come in so handy (or see if one already exists). I use Sweet Home 3D for floorplans but not for working drawings. It is free open source software and with a fairly low learning curve. Having things to scale makes it so much easier to determine material needs and moving furniture and cabinets around with a mouse click sure beats physically moving them. Floorplans provide a good way to keep contractors and others doing work for you on the same page as well.
Next was to consider structure and infrastructure that needed repair, changing, enhancement and so forth. This follows on Joe's suggestion not to blow all your money on cosmetics up front. Things like roof repairs, tuckpointing and all that are not especially glamorous but necessary.
As for going room by room I agree that especially for a diy project this has its advantages. However, when you are talking about installing new windows and having shutters made for them, you will probably want to at least purchase them all at once. You will probably want to install most of them at the same time?
The good news about things like paint is that it is relatively cheap so if you spruce things up a bit knowing you will have to redo them when you get to actual renovations, and budget accordingly, you will do alright. Flooring is another matter. If you can avoid it, you do not want to be dragging construction materials across the top of a new tile or hardwoood or bamboo floor.
Shade and Joe gave you some outstanding advice......
We were in your same shoes 12 years ago....and the projects are still going on.....
One piece of advice....don't be in a hurry to start......live in it for awhile...because what you want to do now is going to change 6 months from now.
You don't have your location in your profile....but winter is coming up and now is the time to start doing yard projects.....with the colder weather, things stop growing...ground is wet....it makes it easier to 'modify' the yard. When it's too wet outside to work....you work inside....
Additionally, you will make your neighbors happy if they see you cleaning up the outside....it also tends to 'encourage' others to do the same.....
Yep...one room at a time....one thing you will find out fast....home improvement jobs involve a lot of dirt and dust.....
If you don't have one....good time to invest in a good shop vac....you want the 2 1/2 hose.....trust me on that one....
It is not a bad idea to stock up on furnace filters too as you will want to switch them out, even if you turn the HVAC off when sanding, when done with a lot of sanding.
Might as well start making a list of tools you will need that you do not have. Then when you have spare time watch Craig's List or garage sales. Sadly, this economy has forced some nice tools into pawn shops as well.
Here's why I'd do it in that order: Doors first, rough carpentry involved. Trim next - all of it except shoe, so you're setting up for trim one time instead of breaking out compressors, nailers, miter saws, etc multiple times. Then tile - it can be a bit messy, and why paint if you're going to be scrubbing thinset and junk off it, only to have to repaint it because - now the shoe gets nailed to the base ...
Mostly I'd do it in that order because you aren't going back and forth between jobs. Do it once and be done with it. Also I paint trim before walls because it's way faster, and you get a better result in the end. I'm assuming latex trim paint here.
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