Where do you start when EVERYTHING needs to be done?

I am starting a project on a home that hasn’t been re-done in 40 years (literally).

The main reason why they are doing it now, is because of a huge water leak that wrecked the kitchen and both bathrooms on the second floor.

I hate water damage….

But in this case, I think it was a blessing in disguise because now they can create a home that they have always wanted (instead of just saying they will do it one day- that’s what I do too!)

I’m going to give you a little tour before I talk about the biggest question you ask when you look at a home like this: Where do you start when EVERYTHING (literally) needs to be done?

Living Room

Living Room

Family Room

Family Room

Kitchen (the leak really ruined it)

Kitchen (the leak really ruined it)

Bathroom #1 

Bathroom #1 

Bathroom #1- Before
Bathroom #2

Bathroom #2

Bathroom #2- Before

So back to the big question: where do you start? (seriously, it’s a biggie!)

All projects are different, but with this one it was obvious after I walked around with the contractor. The first thing we needed to start on were the bathrooms. Why?

Even though the kitchen and the bathroom were in really bad shape (and technically both functional), the clients are elderly and there are TACKS in the wood subfloor of the bathrooms!!

So they have to put towels over them to use the bathroom- total safety hazard!

Safety is the #1 reason you have to do something first.

I also discourage to do your bathroom and kitchen at the same time...because it will drive you crazy.

The two places that reallllly need to function can’t both be in chaos (unless you aren’t living there, then go right ahead!) since you need them to live in a home (if you have done it this way- you are super human).

Second thing you do, needs to be the "next" in the line of worst shape. It is the room that also needs to function a lot and the faster it is updated, the better. 

The kitchen will be the next thing we tackle.

And since we will be taking out walls on the main floor for the kitchen, the floors will be completed alongside the kitchen remodel.

The next step will be either be something that is effected by the first two (so it has to be done) or it may be the closest in proximity to the updates and it just makes sense to focus on it next. 

Then we can design the family room/living room (they will flow into each other instead of being separated).

The rest of your renovation is like a domino effect- once you finish one space, you just move right into the next one. Momentum is powerful when you have a lot to do.  

We will be taking a break at some point over the next few months for personal trips, surgeries and things that we call "life". But that's okay! Taking those breaks is helpful because they can re-charge you to keep moving forward. 

Everyone goes in phases. You just have to decide what room to do first based on safety and functionality, then everything else will move from there. 

And if you are lucky enough to have everything be safe and functional but you still want it all replaced....then just pick your least favorite room and run with it (and consider yourself lucky!)

What would you renovate first if you had to do EVERYTHING?