Home Improvement Project Preparedness Checklist

When it comes to home improvement projects, homeowners have two choices. They can outsource the job to a contractor or do it themselves. The DIY approach is becoming an increasingly popular option. With that said, home improvement ideas and projects range in scope and complexity. In order for homeowners to successfully complete a home improvement project on their own, they need to come fully prepared.

Whether you’re renovating the kitchen, building a deck, or remodeling the basement, DIY home improvement calls for several key pieces of equipment. But that’s only the beginning. The following are six key components of successfully completing a do-it-yourself home improvement project:

Power Tools

While standard claw hammers, screwdrivers, and other tools have their place in every home, most home improvement projects call for something better. Power tools are essential. The list of must-have power tools for home improvement includes: a cordless drill, chop saw, circular saw, table saw, angle grinder, impact driver, orbital sander, and nail gun with an air compressor. Yes, investing in these power tools isn’t cheap. With this in mind, consider whether or not the upfront cost is worth it compared to hiring a contractor. The good news is these tools can be used for future projects, so long as they’re properly maintained and looked after.


You might be thinking it’s okay to rely on wall outlets to power your tools. While that assessment isn’t wrong, it fails to factor in the realities of most home improvement projects. You might be outside or forced to shut off power for safety purposes. There’s also the nuisance of stringing extension cords through windows, doors, and driveways. Given the practical challenges of relying on your home for power, consider buying a construction generator as a backup option. A generator running on gasoline or propane will enable you to perform home improvement tasks in situations that would otherwise be difficult and dangerous to do. 


It might sound obvious, but supplies are the lifeblood of any home improvement project. From lumber and nails to bolts and bricks with mortar, having your supplies ready on site is essential. The last thing you want is to reach for an item only to discover you need to run to the hardware store. To do this, take the time to carefully estimate the number of supplies you’ll need for your project. Buy them upfront and keep them safely stored until installation. At the same time, you want to avoid over-purchasing supplies like lumber and fasteners. While your guess won’t be perfect – and you might end up with extra – getting as close to the accurate figure as possible will help save money and limit hassle.

Protective Gear

Construction sites are dangerous. Many homeowners underestimate the dangers of most home improvement projects. With this in mind, it’s essential to stock up on plenty of protective gear. Steel-toed boots, hard hats, goggles, and gloves serve as the basis of construction PPE. Knee pads, N95 masks, and hearing protection may also be needed, depending on the type of work being done.


Nobody wants to be dealt a huge fine for failing to secure the necessary construction permits. Worse yet, you might be forced to undo all the work you’ve done. With this in mind, it’s important to check with your local government to get all the necessary paperwork finished prior to starting your home improvement project. You may also want to let your neighbors know beforehand as a way to prepare them for various disruptions.


Last but not least, homeowners interested in doing home improvement on their own need the know-how to make it happen. While you don’t need to be Bob Vila, you need a basic understanding of the fundamentals. Watching YouTube videos on the subject wouldn’t hurt, and there are handy guides available for purchase on Amazon. Finally, feel free to ask around at your preferred hardware store. The folks working there, as well as customers, might be able to provide valuable tips and advice.

As a homeowner with a home improvement project on the horizon, you have the choice of hiring a contractor or doing it yourself. While the DIY is admirable, you better come prepared. Otherwise, your home improvement project could quickly turn into a disaster.

Michael Driver is a freelance writer from Texas. When not writing about home improvement, he enjoys covering topics related to history, movies, and sports. Michael can be reached at ReddishRaddish87@Gmail.com