We all have areas in our homes that we spend a majority of our home-life in. These are the areas that homeowners choose to renovate first when the time comes. First General Services wants to help you transform your house’s living areas into beautiful, updated spaces. If you are about to start on a home renovation project, there are a lot of things you should start to consider.

The list of do’s and don’ts can go on, and on, and on.  This information from Martha Stewart helps homeowners prepare – and reminds them to stay focused on what is important, and what isn’t.

The Do’s:

  • “Create a Decorating File”
    • By creating a file of different decorating and renovation ideas, you are narrowing down the things you really want done and the things you don’t. This can also help you budget for the cost of the renovation because you will know exactly what you are looking for rather than adding a million different things. Plus, it will keep you organized throughout the entire process.
  • “Measure Everything”
    • Measuring everything and double checking it will help to ensure you are getting the right sizes of materials, appliances, doors, furniture, etc. It can become extremely costly to have to get carpet or some other type of flooring twice. It might be a good idea to have a family member or friend measure with you to compare them and make sure everything is accurate.
  • “Interview Your Contractor”
    • Martha Stewart says to, “Interview your contractor or decorator as if you were interviewing a potential spouse. Essentially, that is what they will become during a renovation process.”. In our last blog, “Questions to Ask Your Contractor”, we highlighted the importance of asking the right questions to your contractor. Be sure to interview the contractor before you begin.
  • “Be Realistic About Renovation Costs”
    • This seems like common sense, but it is easy to get carried away with all of the cool and fun things you can do for a home renovation. There is no need to take a second mortgage out on a house for some renovations or remodels. “Know this: Everything will cost 30 percent more and take 25 percent longer than you expected.”
  • “Be Nice”
    • Sometimes it is hard to be nice when you are getting frustrated with the “25 percent longer and 30 percent more expensive”, but you have to keep a good attitude. Keep in mind that the contractors will be there every day and you don’t want to have negative feelings toward them the entire time.
  • “Be Organized”
    • The first “do” highlights this. Being organized will help you keep track of the entire process. You don’t want to lose any piece of information about the renovation. Losing information and paper work can create problems for you. You don’t want that headache.
  • “Clean Your Walls”
    • This one seems a little odd, but, cleaning your walls before the renovation begins will help you identify any damage done along the way. When the inevitable wall scratches and nicks happen, be sure to have extra paint and wall cleaners to take care of them.
  • “Map it Out”
    • Martha Stewart gives us this great idea that we should map out the areas on the floor with some painter’s tape to designate where that piece of furniture or appliance will go. She says, “This will give you a real idea of how much room it takes up and how it fits in the space.” If you do that, you will know if it fits and if you like the layout of the room.
  • “Invest in EZ Glides”
    • This will be a life saver for you. One, it helps prevent any scratches on the brand-new floor you just put in and two, it will make the larger items much easier to move with out you having to pick them up and carry them. No one wants an achy back!
  • “Start Snapping”
    • Here we are referring to taking pictures, not snapping on people because of stress. Take as many pictures throughout the processes as you can. It will help you “remember the whole process, both the good times and the bad.”
  • “Learn the Lingo”
    • Knowing what the contractors and other people working in your home are talking about will help you save time and money. If you are unsure about something, don’t be afraid to ask. At the very least, look it up and find out.

Now that you have the “Do’s” down, let’s move on to the “Don’ts”.

The Do Not’s: 

  • “Hate Dust”
    • Dust is inevitable. The will be dust going everywhere the entire time you are doing the remodel or renovation. If you don’t have a good vacuum, it would be wise to invest in one.
  • “Forget to Clean”
    • Having a mess in your house the whole time the renovations are taking place can make you feel stressed or “helpless”. Martha says it best, “You do have to live with dust, but your space doesn’t have to look like a war zone.”
  • “Leave Floors Exposed”
    • Leaving your floors exposed to all of the people and items coming and going in and out of your house can cause some serious damage in the long run. It is best to lay some protective blankets down to lessen the impact on your floors.
  • “Forget Rolling Racks”
    • Rolling racks will be extremely helpful in the event you are doing a closet renovation. But they will also be helpful for storing other things such as bedspreads and blankets when you are renovating a bedroom or other living areas.
  • “Forget Shades”
    • If you have a nice big window with an open view, you still want to have shades for it. Having shades, for obvious reasons, will help with privacy. They will also prevent any damage to your floors and furniture from sunlight and help keep down the electric bill when the sun is blaring in.
  • “Forget to Breathe”
    • Just like life, things go wrong and change during a renovation. When the stresses are high, and you are feeling overwhelmed or defeated with everything taking place during the renovation process, take a deep breath. “You have to calm down and realize the things that aren’t perfect in the end are what give your space character.”
  • “Throw Away Receipts”
    • This goes along with staying organized. Do Not Throw Away you receipts. You will always regret that. For one, they help you with staying on track with your budget. They are also proof that you made a purchase. In the event that something doesn’t show up or it does and it’s the wrong item, you can prove that you purchased that specific item. You do not want to learn this lesson the hard way.

Following these Do’s and Don’ts can really save you a lot of time and effort in the long run. If you are considering a home or office renovation, be sure to read through these carefully. You should also read our other blogs called; “Maximizing a Minimized Space: Valuable Renovation Ideas for Smaller Homes” and “Questions to Ask Your Contractor” for more information and ideas on how to go about getting through the renovation and remodeling process. And keep checking back for more blogs on renovation.



First General Services Emergency Response Teams are available 24/7 to help you through the entire repair and restoration process.


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Stewart, M. (2018, August). Home Renovation Do’s and Don’ts. Retrieved from Martha Stewart: https://www.marthastewart.com/275585/home-renovation-dos-and-donts