OC Home Remodeling Checklist for Planning Your Project

Whether you’ve just purchased a fixer-upper or are finally beginning the home renovation you’ve been planning for years, a complete home renovation is both an exhilarating and complex undertaking. Planning is an absolute necessity for executing the renovation of your desires on a budget you can afford. To help you stay on track and ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible, we have compiled a free home remodeling checklist for your use, as well as planning and organization tips.

grey tones kitchen modern orange county condo contractor remodel

Here at GreatBuildz, we speak with clients every day who are planning a remodel in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura & San Diego Counties, and use our remodeling checklist. GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners with reliable, pre-screened remodel contractors, then provides ongoing project support to ensure a stress-free experience.

How should I begin planning a home renovation?

Before beginning a home renovation, there are several measures you must take to ensure adequate preparation. 


The first stage is one of the most enjoyable: determining the goals of the renovation. Here is where you can be creative, visualizing and imagining the ideal outcome. Explore remodels online and offline sources of inspiration to focus on your style, identifying themes and elements that appeal to you.

Don’t neglect to consider why you’re remodeling. Is it a matter of required maintenance? Are you updating for the purposes of safety and functionality? Or elegance and utility? You must also contemplate the scope. Are you constructing a new home from scratch? Or only renovating one or two rooms?

Create a preliminary checklist of all the changes you wish to implement, ideally in order of highest to lowest priority, as part of this step. 

include remodel checklist


Next, you must establish a renovation budget. It is essential to know how much you are willing and able to spend. Don’t neglect to add an extra 10 to 25 percent for unforeseen expenses or alterations in plans. 

Specifying a deadline

Now you must establish a deadline for your renovation. This is essential when meeting with contractors, as you want to find someone who can accommodate your schedule. Even if you are not in a hurry, setting a deadline will help you establish a decent work pace and ensure that everything runs smoothly. If there are numerous moving parts to your renovation, as is often the case, it is likely that you will have different constraints for different duties. 

Identifying contractors

Now that you have your budget and deadline in hand, it is time to discover the contractors who will assist you in executing your vision. It is preferable to meet with multiple contractors to obtain multiple bids for your work. This will enable you to select the home improvement contractor who can meet your needs the best. 

When meeting with contractors, anticipate that they will ask numerous questions and take photographs. The more details you provide, the more precise their estimate will be. To ensure that each proposal is based on the same information, we recommend providing each contractor with a copy of our Home Remodeling Checklist

Once you’ve received all of the bids, it’s simply a matter of hiring the OC home remodeling contractor of your choosing and proceeding through each section of the home remodeling checklist in order. 

Detailing the home improvement remodeling checklist

OC Home Remodeling Checklist for Planning Your Project 1

To help you remain organized and expedite the home renovation process, we’ve compiled this comprehensive home remodeling checklist. It includes all of the necessary steps for a complete renovation. Note that not all of these sections and stages will apply to everyone, so feel free to modify the home renovation checklist template as needed. 

Download Our Home Remodeling Checklist Template

The home remodeling checklist is broken down into the following sections.


Dismantling and removing any unwanted structures is the first step of any significant renovation. If you need to make any modifications to your utility lines, you should do so at this stage as well.

Rebuilding the structure of your new home, including the foundation, frame, and walls, is the next step.


Now comes the installation of the main sewage, electrical, and HVAC systems, such as the water heater, electrical circuits, lights, and air conditioning unit.


renovating a home exterior

Once all the fundamental structures and systems are in place, you can replace or repair your roof, paint the exterior of your home, windows, and install exterior trim or siding. 


Now you can begin interior work by installing insulation, drywall, molding, and flooring. This step also includes interior painting and the installation of any built-in structures such as cabinets, fireplaces, and stair banisters. 


kitchen newly renovated

To the kitchen, we go. This phase requires the installation of fixtures, appliances, lighting, countertops, and cabinets, among other things.

Related: 10-Step Kitchen Remodeling Process


bathroom remodel

Bathroom renovations will necessitate the installation of tile, toilet, basin, shower, and vanity.

Related: Bathroom Remodeling Prices and Advice

Interior doors

This crucial phase entails the installation of all exterior and interior doors, as well as other fixtures such as skylights.


After completing any necessary garage repairs, you will need to install the doors and flooring and paint the walls.

Site and miscellaneous

Depending on your property and remodeling objectives, you may need to modify landscaping, fencing, and other exterior elements. In this phase, you will also install your mailbox and home numbers.

Installations and finishing

It is time to add the finishing details, including smoke detectors, doorknobs, and more. Note that this phase is frequently omitted from contractor proposals.

Home renovation costs and schedule

calendar booking

The exact cost and duration of a home renovation will differ significantly based on the modifications you make, the size of your home, the number of rooms, your location, your budget, and other factors. Because of this, it is essential to consider the following estimates with a grain of salt and rely on contractor proposals for more accurate information pertinent to your specific needs.

In the Orange County area, a complete home renovation will cost between $100 and $300 per square foot. This ranges between $250,000 and $750,000 for a 2,500-square-foot home. If you only intend to remodel your kitchen, you can anticipate spending between $40,000 and $75,000, and between $25,000 and $45,000 for your bathroom. Check out our bathroom remodeling cost calculator for a more accurate estimate.

In terms of duration, a complete home renovation will likely take between six months and one year. This roughly divides down as follows:

  • 1 to 3 months for building design
  • 2 – 3 weeks for bidding
  • 1-2 months for permits and clearances
  • 3 to 9 months for building

A typical bathroom remodel will take two to three weeks, while a kitchen remodel will take eight to twelve weeks. 

Finding an affordable and trustworthy OC home improvement contractor

Choosing the appropriate contractor is one of the most crucial stages in the home remodeling process. After all, you’re entrusting this person with something priceless: your residence. How then can you discover a trustworthy home contractor at a reasonable cost? Talk to GreatBuildz.

At GreatBuildz, it’s our mission to connect homeowners like you with vetted contractors in the Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura, and San Diego areas. We know it can be hard to know where to start and who to trust, which is why we’re dedicated to helping you find the best dependable, pre-screened contractors. 


Call now (818.960.7911) to chat with a real person about your next renovation project or visit our website for more information.

Hi, we're Paul and Jon - Co-Founders of GreatBuildz. We believe everyone deserves to find a great contractor, have a stress-free renovation, and enjoy their beautiful new space. There are so many contractors out there and it's often hard to tell the good from the bad... until it's too late. We started our company to help simplify your contractor search and help you have a stress-free renovation experience. We're always available to help, no matter where you are in the process. Click here to learn more about our story.

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