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How to Plan a Home Refresh or Remodel

Sometimes, getting started can be the hardest part of a project. Follow our guide to plan your steps for a stress-free home refresh or remodel.

couple in kitchen with Lowe's planning professional


Step 1

Gather ideas and inspiration.  Cut pictures from magazines, browse home improvement projects online and consult with designers or friends with vision.

Step 2

Measure your space and sketch a floorplan, then double-check your measurements.

Step 3

Set a realistic budget. Find pricing information from local stores or request and collect quotes from contractors. Add or subtract items and projects on your wish list accordingly.

Step 4

When setting your timeline, consider the desired completion date. Work backwards from that date, considering shipping times on special order items and inspections, to know how much time should be devoted to each piece of our refresh or remodel. You may also want to build additional time in each step for unplanned or unexpected delays.

Step 5

Visit your local building office information on building codes. Apply for your building permit if the project requires one. And find out if you will need your work inspected by a professional. It's a good idea to get the names and numbers of inspectors in your area now and make your appointment early.

Step 6

Should your project require digging, before beginning any excavation, check for underground utilities. Call the North America One Call Referral Service at 1-888-258-0808 (or just dial 811) for a national directory of utility companies.

Step 7

Look through your list of projects and decide which pieces you'll hire others to complete and which you'll tackle yourself with help. Reach out to anyone you're asking for help to put work dates on their calendar.

Step 8

Make sure that you have the tools and materials you need to complete the job.  Double-check the tools are operational and buy anything that's missing or broken. This includes scheduling any rentals necessary, including trash receptacles.


Your particular project will determine the steps and tasks you will complete. Obviously a room refresh doesn't require electrical work, so skip the steps not in your project. Our step-by-step guide offers a framework for easier project completion.

Step 1

electrician working between wall studs

You've taken your room down to the studs. The first step in reconstruction is managing what's behind the walls.

Rough plumbing, wiring and HVAC happen before insulation. If your work must be inspected, hold off on installing insulation before you continue to make the work easier for your inspector.

Step 2

hands on raw subfloor

Install or prep the subfloor. For more detailed information, watch Prepping a Plywood Subfloor.

Step 3

repairing drywall with spackle

Install or repair the drywall.  Patch or tape any holes or seams and sand the drywall compound to a smooth, paintable finish.

Step 4

Step 5

man rollng green paint onto a white wall

Paint the walls.  Be sure to save a little paint for touch-ups at the end of your project.

Step 6

man installing tile floor

Install new flooring.

Step 7

nail gun attaching crown moulding

Install Decorative Moulding or trim pieces, taking care to stain natural wood prior to installation.

Step 8

man installing kitchen cabinetry

Install kitchen cabinetry or built-ins. For more information on kitchen cabinetry, reference Measure and Prep for Cabinets, Install Upper Cabinets, Install Base Cabinets and Install Laminate Countertops.

Step 9

man installing cooktop

Install and connect appliances.

Step 10

small roller correcting a paint mistake on the wall

Complete any final paint touch-ups.

Step 11

man installing modern light fixture

Install your decorative touches: The backsplash, light fixtures, hardware and window treatments fall into this category.