How to kickstart your home renovation

The secret to a successful home renovation experience and outcome is making a great plan. There will be a lot of planning. But, where do you fit into the process as a homeowner? How do make sure you end up with your dream kitchen and not someone else's?


The architecture and design process, according to the American Institute of Architects, include Schematic Design, Design Development,Contract Documents, Bidding and Contract Administration. But, as a homeowner, where do you fit into this process?


I'll let you in on a secret: your opportunity to influence the design project's success is at the very beginning. It's during schematic design, and even before you ever talk to an architect. Designs and concepts are most flexible and adaptable when they are highly conceptual and only on paper. It's the difference between moving a line and moving a wall.


Seems obvious, right? But where do you start? Here's how:

  • Do the pre-work to figure out what you want.

  • Hire professionals that specialize in what you want.

  • Document every detail in the designs.

This approach may cost you more in architectural fees. The tradeoffs are updating drawings or physically moving walls, electrical or plumbing...or living with something that should have been perfect.


For example, in my home, there is a light fixture in the guest bathroom that is obviously too high. I wasn't in the room when they placed (and replaced) the electrical box it and the drawings weren't specific enough. It seems like there should be known standards for laying out a bathroom, right? Do not assume. Make specific plans.


What pre-work should you do? I've simplified the pre-work into a 5 step process so you can kickstart your home renovation today:

  1. Dream big

  2. Find your style

  3. Build a budget

  4. Prioritize

  5. Chose your must haves

Are you ready to get started? I'll be you're guide.You're invited to a free 5 day renovation challenge as I guide you through this process. I'll give you actionable, step-by-step video tutorials to walk you through these steps. I look forward to seeing you there.

Challenge Sneak Preview


About the author: Julie Bennett is a homeowner turned renovator. She and her husband, Brett, have become serial renovators. Most recently, they rebuilt their Seattle home. Fast forward through lessons learned, rework and more than a few headaches, Julie and Brett are enjoying living in their beautiful home. Julie founded Renovator's Toolkit to make renovation easier for homeowners.

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