Home Renovation 101: A Beginner's Guide

Doing home renovations for the first time can be daunting, to say the least. They have the potential to transform your living space into something truly exceptional—if you do it properly, that is. Sometimes all you need is the right partner to help you do so, and Shepherd’s Hardware is here to help.

In this beginner's guide to home renovations, we'll explore essential tips, tools, and local insights tailored to help you kickstart your next project.

Understanding the Basics of Home Renovation

Before diving headfirst into your home renovation project, it's important that you have a grasp of the fundamentals… 

What You Need to Know Before Starting

A planning stage sets the foundation for a successful renovation. This is where you’ll figure out your budget, timeline expectations, and whether or not your project adheres to the local regulations and permits laid out by the city of Armstrong. Shepherd's Hardware has the expertise to help you navigate these initial stages, and get you started on the right path.

Choosing Your Projects Wisely

For beginners, starting with smaller projects is generally recommended. Smaller projects not only allow you to gain experience, but also offer a sense of accomplishment with each one that you finish. Examples of beginner-friendly renovation projects include:

  • Painting a room
  • Upgrading fixtures
  • Minor landscaping
  • Refinishing furniture
  • Staining a deck

At Shepherd’s Hardware, our experienced team has the knowledge and resources to assist you in completing projects that match both your skill level and budget.

Essential Tools and Materials for Your First Project

Equipping yourself with the right tools is an important part of any home renovation. Shepherd's Hardware offers a wide selection of tools—here are some of the essentials we recommend for every homeowner:

  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver set
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Tape measure
  • Utility knife
  • Pliers
  • Level
  • Cordless drill
  • Safety gear

Selecting the Right Materials

When it comes to home renovation projects, you need to select the right materials for both quality and budget-friendliness. Shepherd's Hardware carries an array of quality material options, and everything you need to bring your vision to life. 

Step-by-Step Guide to Your First Renovation Project

Detailed planning and precise execution are critical to the success of any home renovation project. 

Planning and Design

Thoughtful planning and design choice should always be your first step. Here’s an easy way to approach any project:

1. Needs: Identify which areas of your space require renovation.

2. Budget: Determine how much you're willing to spend on the project.

3. Inspiration: Explore design ideas and gather inspiration from social media and/or magazines.

4. Plan: Develop a detailed plan that outlines the scope of the project.

5. Consult: Come on into the store to see if your plan is feasible and makes sense to the experts.

Taking the time to plan can help streamline the execution process and mitigate road blocks along the way.


With a good plan in place, it’s time to execute. This stage involves implementing the steps outlined in your plan. These might include:

1. Demolition/removal: Removing old fixtures and structures.

2. Prepping the workspace: Preparing the renovation area for work.

3. Construction/installation: Building and installing new components.

4. Finishing: Adding final touches and details.

5. Clean up: Cleaning and organizing the renovated space.

And last but not least…celebrating! Adding a personalized touch to your home makes it feel all the more yours, and serves as a reminder of the effort you put into it with every passing glance.

Troubleshooting Common Renovation Challenges

As a beginner, you’re bound to make mistakes along the way. Hiccups are costly and time consuming, so it’s good to be aware of what can happen from the get-go. 

Anticipating and Solving Problems

Seeking advice from the professionals at Shepherd's Hardware can help you to avoid these common beginner mistakes:

  • Underestimating costs
  • Lack of proper planning
  • Ignoring safety precautions
  • Poor quality material choices
  • Inaccurate measurements

Feel like you’re past the point of no return? Don’t be scared. There’s always a solution. Come on in to see how we can help. 

Beyond the Basics - Taking Your Renovation Skills to the Next Level

If you’re starting to feel like a pro in home renovations, perhaps it’s time to take on something more challenging!

Learning Advanced Techniques

Explore resources like workshops and online tutorials to elevate your renovation proficiency. YouTube is your friend, no matter what level of ability you’re currently at!

When to Call in the Professionals

If something feels a little outside your scope and/or could have a heavy cost if done improperly, it might be wise to consult a local professional. We have a list of trusted contractors in-store that we can recommend to make sure the job gets done right.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this beginner’s guide to home renovations. Come on in to Shepherd’s Hardware and tell us all about what you have planned—we can’t wait to help you!

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