How to Effectively Complete These 3 Aspects of Your Home Improvement Project

The project took two and half years!

Here’s the deal…

In 2010, I took on the onerous task of designing and remodeling an unfinished basement. While it eventually got finished and looked great, it wasn’t completely renovated until the Fall of 2012!

The project took two and half years!

Let’s just say I learned a lot throughout this journey. The knowledge I learned from trades people and other professionals would have surely allowed me to complete this remodel quicker if I had known what I know now (say that three times fast).

Now, I want to impart this wisdom onto you so your home improvement projects get completed in a reasonable amount of time and look great; avoiding a DIY disaster!

Here’s how to effectively and efficiently complete these 3 aspects of your home improvement project.

Those 3 project events include:

  1. Planning the project
  2. Delegating or outsourcing some of the jobs
  3. Waste disposal

Planning Your Home Improvement Project


The planning aspect of the home remodeling project is often done in haste; this is due to eagerness to get the project off the ground and start swinging hammers.

But your project can go awry if not properly planned.

Your Budget can inflate if not determined from the onset. You may take forever to complete the project, like me, if you don’t set a target date to complete it.

If not properly planned, you may not acquire the accents, furniture and materials that would best complement your renovated space if you don’t do research at the beginning.

Here’s a few resources to help with the planning of your home improvement project

  • Good Ol’ Fashion Calendar – Yep, it seems simplistic but whether it’s a digital calendar on your phone or that print calendar you got from your kids at Christmas, circle important dates and milestones of the project; like the anticipated completion date of your project
  • Pinterest/Houzz –Start pinning to your ideabook! Pinterest and Houzz can be exceptional resources to stash all accessories you’ve found that will complete your renovated project. In Pinterest, create a new ‘board’ dedicated to your project. On Houzz, create an ideabook to track professionals and trades people you may need for certain tasks of the project, as well as items you want to furnish and accent your finished space.
  • Home Reno Budget Calculator – There are websites with interactive calculators you can utilize to keep track of your budget, assuring it doesn’t inflate throughout the project; I like Smart Reno’s ‘Cost Estimator’.

You Don’t Have To Do Everything Yourself

Is it still considered a DIY project if you enlist the helped of trained professionals to complete nuanced trades? You bet!

You’re best to set the machismo aside and understand not every task during this project is under your control. During my basement renovation, I attempted the mudding and taping of the drywall. After several frustrating hours, my feeble attempt came to an abrupt halt.

Some tasks are simply best left to the professionals. Determine what those tasks are and then be diligent about completing the ones you can competently finish.

It doesn’t have to be just hired help either; leverage your network for an additional pair of hands. The first task of my basement project was installing the subfloor. This was an easy enough job for one but I quickly learned, when I asked a friend to help, it could be done a LOT quicker! After that, I had my ol’ man come over to assist in framing the walls and hanging the drywall;the project started to advance to new tasks much quicker after that.

What About Waste Disposal?

My final lesson was a doozy. To my surprise, all the construction debris that I carried and collected in my garage wouldn’t magically disappear. One way or another, I had to find a solution for it. What were my solutions? I essentially had 3 options, as you would too.

  1. Load as much as I could in the back of my Dodge Caliber and haul it to the landfill a half dozen times
  2. Hire a junk removal service to rummage through my garage and basement to carry the debris away from my house
  3. Rent a dumpster in which I’d load myself and have the dumpster company carry it away to the landfill; saving me the multiple trips

The first wise decision I made was to centralize all the debris in one spot, which happened to be the garage. I then opted for renting a dumpster because I was fit enough that I didn’t need laborers with the junk removal service to load the container and I value my time more than to make multiple trips to the landfill over a couple weekends.

By centralizing my debris, it made loading the dumpster a breeze and estimating the needed size easier.

Complete Your Projects Much Quicker Than Me

I admit it, two and a half years is far too long for a basement renovation project. That said, I acquired knowledge that will prepare me to tackle and complete home improvement projects much more efficiently in the future.

Going forward, I’ll effectively plan the project, complete the installations and handle the waste disposal.

So… What about you? Do you have a similar home improvement project that went on for too long because you didn’t effectively manage the three aforementioned aspects of the project? Let me know.