Ultimately, you want to begin with the space that means the most to you.

By Lauren Wellbank
June 25, 2020
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If you're planning a major home makeover that involves multiple rooms and projects, you may be confused about where to start. Should you begin in common areas, like the kitchen or living room, to get them out of the way, or is it better to focus on out-of-sight places, so that those communal spaces remain useable for longer? To determine the best approach, we spoke with Oren Farkash, the CEO and owner of South Land Remodeling, to find the best path forward for your next home renovation.

If you're handling the renovation yourself...

If your remodeling plans are on the mild side—or if they are mostly cosmetic (think painting, tiling, or flooring)—you might attempt to tackle them yourself. If so, Farkash says that you should choose your plan of attack based on how comfortable you feel about living alongside an ongoing remodel. He suggests dividing the project into sections, choosing a place to start that works for you, and then working your way through adjacent or adjoined spaces—all the while avoiding the temptation to jump around to different areas, which can prolong your renovation project. "Also, it's a good idea to start with your highest priority," he says, which is usually the kitchen for most homeowners. "This way, if you run out of money or energy, at least you got the most important area done." This makes choosing your starting point intensely personal—but ultimately, this method will make you happiest.

Still unsure? Farkash says to begin with the repairs in your first-priority room, and then move onto the cosmetic changes after they are completed. Alternatively, think of it this way: Get the more intense projects out of the way first. "Start with messy stuff first because it will create an obvious improvement, which feels like rewarding achievement," he says, which will ultimately push you to keep going.

If you're hiring a professional...

If the remodel is more extensive and requires a professional's help, your order will typically be dictated by specialists who have to come in and handle them. For example, in most cases, plumbing and electrical work will have to be done at the same time. If your crew asks you for your preference, Farkash says that you cannot go wrong with an inside-out approach. "Work your way from the inside (like mechanical features in the walls and floors) to the outside (think cosmetic finishes)," he says. Of course, one of the benefits of hiring a professional team for larger, multi-trade projects are that they will know where to start—and where to go from there. "In the long run, these pros can get these projects done faster, so you don't have to live in a renovation workspace longer than you need to," Farkash says.

Whatever you do, don't choose wrong.

Working in the incorrect order can have disastrous results (which is another reason why hiring a professional team is so critical). Farkash notes that you may run the risk or wasting time and money by having to make repairs (especially if your mistakes involve paint or flooring stain). Additionally, bigger mishaps may require a visit from an expert, anyway. "Working in a methodical way will save you time and money, and you will finish the project faster with cleaner, better results," he adds.

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