Building & Renovating

5 Smart Renovation Strategies

Manage your project with these must-dos

Photography: Paolo Feliciano

Renovating your home can be easy and manageable if you are armed with the right game plan. Now that you're familiar with the basics of renovation, it's time to take things a notch higher with a couple of handy hints. We asked seasoned renovator Diane Cuna, for some of the smart strategies that she has learned over the years and after renovating her own home.

Read the original article  in the December 2004 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details.

Learn from experience

“You gain confidence in renovation through experience,” Diane says. If it’s your first time to work on  full-blown home project, always ask for advice from professionals. Seek expert tips from your contractor or architect as they know will work best for your space.

Do it by room

Instead of working on several areas at the same time, renovate one room first before proceeding to other areas. This gives you free spaces where you can stay while the other room is being renovated. Prioritize areas with heavy traffic such as the bathroom and kitchen. You may replace the tiles in the bathroom first before working on a new material for your kitchen countertop.

Find good craftsmen

Referrals are still the best way to find good workers. You can also train them to become more efficient. Other carpenters are not trained with the whole process that’s why you have to explain to them the details that you want to achieve. Knowledge of common terms will surely come in handy.

Buy materials in advance

Say you can allot only 20% of your monthly income for home improvement. Instead of buying materials in one go, you may consider purchasing them little by little so that you won’t feel overwhelmed.

RL Tip: Store your materials in cool and dry places. Place them in boxes and containers properly as there may come in a time when you will need to use them again.


You need not buy brand new materials for your project. Consider reusing pieces such as doors and windows. Practice recyling! Just make sure that they are carefully handled during construction.

Photo by Dakila Angeles.

More on

Renovation 101: Budget Allocation

3 Lessons I Learned from Renovating My Condo Home

Renovation 101: Helpful Reminders and Tips


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