Do It Yourself

HOW TO CREATE A DIY PLAN.

No matter how much you want to dive right into your DIY project, buy materials, and break down walls, creating a plan first will save you much more than just time. Planning gets you better results, saves you money, and minimizes frustrations along the way.

START WITH AN OBJECTIVE

The very first step in creating a DIY plan is to ask yourself, why you’re doing this. For more space? To modernize? To improve function? To improve looks? To improve safety? Your main reason will:

  • Shape your whole plan
  • Keep you on budget and focused

KNOW YOUR SCOPE

Whether you’re doing a partial renovation or a full gut, you will need to know your scope. It helps to consider your entire project (from start to finish). Then create a complete, itemized list of everything you’ll be taking out and everything that you'll be putting in.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

  • Time it will take
  • Money it will cost
  • Inconvenience to you and your family
  • Work you can do yourself
  • How you will handle the waste

CREATE A BUDGET

Coming up with specific financial limits for your project is the best way to avoid going overboard and having costs spiral out of control.

  • Price everything on your itemized list (new items as well as tool rentals). Using the Internet and visiting local home improvement stores will make the job easier.
  • To cushion for unexpected expenses, add a contingency of 10%, because overruns are part of every job.
  • Consider how much money you’ll need.
  • Consider how much money you have.
  • Consider how much money you’ll have to borrow.

STRETCHING THAT BUDGET

Since you’re doing as much as you can yourself, you’re saving a bundle on labor. But there are other good ways to save money.

  • Refurbish rather than replace. For example, consider painting old cabinets, refinishing hardwood floors, or adding new hardware to older doors, cabinets, or windows.
  • Find salvage materials on Internet sites and in local ads.
  • Check the classifieds for discounts on used or surplus building materials.
  • Take advantage of discounts and sales at warehouses, home improvement stores, and big box stores.

DO YOUR RESEARCH

Create an idea book for your project. It will help establish your vision and will be invaluable when you seek out assistance from professionals.

  • Search the Internet and print out photos of projects that you admire.
  • Look through home design magazines and tear out photos you like.
  • Slip your photos into a three-ring binder to keep ideas organized.
  • Take your idea book with you when you visit home improvement stores.

FIND OUT WHAT TOOLS YOU’LL NEED

The right tools will make a big difference in getting your job done easily and safely. But what tools do you need? Unless you’re a professional, you probably don’t know all your options.

  • Go online and find similar projects that list the tools used.
  • Visit a local home improvement store and find a knowledgeable salesperson. They’re generally more than happy to help.
  • Talk to DIYers who have done similar jobs.

KEEP IN MIND: Renting tools costs less than buying, and rental stores can be good sources of information.

CLEANING UP

The Bagster® bag is a great cleanup solution for almost any remodeling project. It's considerably larger than a regular contractor bag, but more convenient than a dumpster. With its highly durable woven bag, the Bagster bag is simple to set up and strong enough to hold up to 3 cubic yards or up to 3,300 lb of debris. Then schedule a collection and it’s gone. For more information on what the Bagster bag can hold, click here, and how to use it click here.

Tips and instructions are neither exclusive nor intended to be legal or other expert advice, and should not be used or relied on in place of consultation with appropriate professionals or warnings.