couple looking over renovation checklist

Renovation Checklist for a Seamless Home Remodel

Whether organization comes naturally, or your thoughts seem to fly in all directions, everyone benefits from a renovation checklist. A home remodel has a lot of pieces to coordinate. Breaking the tasks into a checklist helps keep you focused, on task, calm, and patient. 

Let’s face it – we all have many things to do throughout each day. A renovation checklist helps organize your thoughts as you move through the remodeling process. There are four distinct tasks to consider as you get started: pre-planning, architectural design, preparing your family, and choosing a contractor. It takes a team, including you, to pull off a successful home remodel. 


While it may be tempting to let your imagination run wild during this phase, it is best to focus your thoughts and energy into what you want for your end result. Think about your goals for the space. Ask some important questions:

  • What currently works in the space?
  • What does not work for your family?
  • What type of lifestyle needs do you have?
  • What would you like to see in the home?

Make a list of priorities. It will be easier to determine what to include, and how to budget if you divide items into high-priority, medium-priority, or low-priority lists. 

Determine your budget. Check into financing options, if needed. Always make sure to leave a buffer for unplanned expenses or delays.

architect drawing renovation checklist item

Architectural Design

Now that you have your ideas in place, it’s time to put them on paper.

Find an Architect

An architect is an important part of your home renovation team. The architect creates a custom plan and design for your remodel. Architecture is a highly specialized field. These professionals often have Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Architecture, plus internships and on-the-job training experience.

Licensed architects are regulated by the National Council of Architectural Regulation Boards (NCARB). The list of the best architect in the Bay Area can be found here.

As-Built Drawings

Your architect and designer will review the current plans and measurements in your home. They will create as-built drawings to pinpoint all the changes as they are made. 

Working with Designers

Your designer is your guide to making your space beautiful and functional. They have knowledge of current trends and products. Make sure they know your priorities, lifestyle, and needs as you work together.

Getting Permits

The permit process often seems daunting. A well-organized remodel often includes a project manager to help navigate the permit process. A guide to the Contra Costa Residential Permit Process can be found here. For information on the Alameda County Residential Permit Process, look here.

Home renovation with fireplace

Preparing your Family

Consider whether it is better for your family to live in the home during the remodeling process, or if you should move out during construction. There are several important factors to consider. 

First, look at the extent of the job. If many of your living spaces will be inaccessible, it may be best to find alternate housing. This is especially true if you have children, or any family members with mobility issues. 

Second, look at the timeline of the project. Temporary housing during a long term project will be an added expense. 

Finally, think about housing options. If there is not a viable housing option for you and your family, you may need to rethink your remodeling options. It may be better to do the project in small pieces, so your family can stay in the home while you remodel. 

Finding a Contractor

Your contractor is in charge of the construction phase of the remodel. Find a reputable contractor who works well with your architect and designer.

Communication is vital during the construction phase of a renovation. Consider hiring a project manager, otherwise known as a Construction Administrator, to help with those lines of communication between the job site, you, and the architect.  They provide an important link between everyone involved in the renovation.

Move Back In and Enjoy!

Now is the time to enjoy your new space! Hopefully, you love all your carefully planned changes to your home. 

You may notice the adjacent rooms in your home look drab in comparison to the newly remodeled area. There’s your next remodel!

Utilize Drafting Cafe Architects for all your home renovation needs! Our architects, designers, and project managers work together to make sure your remodel runs smoothly, and turns out beautifully. Contact us today to get started!


Get in touch with us. We would love to help you get your project off the ground