Do You Renovate Upstairs Or Downstairs First?

When undertaking a home renovation project, one crucial decision often arises: should you renovate the upstairs or downstairs first? This question is a common dilemma faced by homeowners looking to revitalize their living spaces. By selecting the correct order of renovation, you can ensure a smooth and efficient process that maximizes results. In this article, we will explore the factors to consider when deciding whether to tackle the upstairs or downstairs area of your house first, providing valuable insights to guide your decision-making process.

Factors to Consider

When planning a home renovation, there are several factors to consider before deciding whether to start with the upstairs or downstairs. Each factor plays a significant role in the overall success of the renovation project. Let’s take a closer look at the key factors that should guide your decision-making process.

Do You Renovate Upstairs Or Downstairs First?


Your budget is perhaps the most crucial factor when it comes to deciding where to begin your home renovation. Understanding how much you are willing and able to invest in your remodeling project will greatly influence whether you choose to start with the upstairs or downstairs. Evaluate your financial resources and determine which area of your home will provide the most value for your money.

Extent of Renovation

Consider the extent of the renovations you plan to undertake in both the upstairs and downstairs areas of your home. If the renovations you have in mind for the upstairs are more extensive and require significant structural changes, it may be more practical to tackle those first. On the other hand, if the downstairs area requires more attention and transformation, it might be wise to focus on that area first.


Examine how you currently use the upstairs and downstairs parts of your house. If the upstairs is primarily used for bedrooms and private spaces, renovating it first might provide you with a more comfortable and peaceful living environment during the construction phase. Alternatively, if the downstairs area is the central hub of your daily activities, updating it first may be more convenient for your daily routine.


Consider the timing of your renovation project. Are there any upcoming events or important deadlines that would be disrupted if you started with one area over the other? Take into account any seasonal factors, such as weather conditions or family vacations, that may impact your renovations. Assessing the timing of your project will help you determine which area to begin renovating first.

Structural Considerations

Evaluate the structural considerations of your home. Are there any urgent repairs or improvements needed in either the upstairs or downstairs area? Address any structural issues first to ensure the safety and stability of your home. Prioritizing structural renovations can prevent further damage and provide a solid foundation for the rest of your remodeling project.

Renovating Upstairs First


There are several advantages to starting the renovation process with the upstairs area of your home. Firstly, by renovating the upstairs first, you can create a peaceful and comfortable living space while the downstairs undergoes renovations. This is especially important if you have bedrooms or private areas upstairs that require minimal noise and disruption.

Secondly, renovating the upstairs first allows you to tackle any structural changes or repairs that may be necessary. By addressing these issues early on, you can ensure a solid foundation for the rest of your renovation project, providing peace of mind and avoiding unexpected complications down the line.

Lastly, starting with the upstairs can be a strategic choice if you are planning to use the downstairs area for construction-related activities. It allows you to keep most of your belongings downstairs, reducing the need for moving items repeatedly during the renovation process.

Do You Renovate Upstairs Or Downstairs First?


While renovating upstairs first has its advantages, it is essential to consider the potential disadvantages as well. One major disadvantage is the inconvenience of living in a construction zone during the downstairs renovation phase. The noise, dust, and disruption can be significant and may negatively impact your daily routine.

Additionally, if there are any structural changes planned for the downstairs area that require access through the upstairs, completing those renovations first may impede the progress of the downstairs renovation. This can create logistical challenges and potentially prolong the project timeline.

Renovating Downstairs First


Opting to renovate the downstairs area first also comes with its own set of advantages. One major advantage is that you can maintain some sense of normalcy by keeping the upstairs area functional and undisturbed during the renovation process. This is particularly beneficial if you have a family or multiple occupants who require a comfortable living space.

Renovating downstairs first also allows you to address any functional or layout issues that may hinder your daily activities. By focusing on the central hub of your home, you can improve the flow and functionality of your living space, making it more convenient and enjoyable for everyone.

Furthermore, starting with the downstairs area can potentially lead to cost savings. Often, the downstairs area requires more complex renovations, such as kitchen or bathroom remodels, which may involve plumbing or electrical changes. By tackling these significant renovations first, you can avoid potential rework or additional costs when it comes to the upstairs area.


While renovating downstairs first has its advantages, there are a few potential disadvantages to consider. By renovating the downstairs area initially, you may find yourself without a functional living area if delays or unexpected issues arise during the renovation process. This can disrupt your daily routine and potentially require making alternative living arrangements.

Another disadvantage is the potential disruption to the upstairs area during the downstairs renovation phase. If there are any structural changes or repairs that require access through the upstairs, it may cause inconveniences and potential delays to the overall project timeline.

Simultaneous Renovation

For some homeowners, the most practical approach may be to renovate both the upstairs and downstairs areas simultaneously. This option allows for an efficient use of resources, as contractors can work on different areas of the house simultaneously, potentially reducing the overall project timeline.

Simultaneous renovation also avoids the inconvenience of living in a construction zone for an extended period, as all areas of the house are being renovated concurrently. However, it is crucial to ensure effective communication and coordination among contractors and various trades to minimize conflicts and ensure a smooth renovation process.

That being said, simultaneous renovation requires careful planning and coordination to ensure a successful outcome. Considerations such as budget, timeline, and the availability of temporary living arrangements must be carefully evaluated before opting for this approach.

Tips for a Smooth Renovation Process

Renovations can be complex and stressful. However, with careful planning and effective communication, you can help ensure a smooth renovation process. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

Plan Ahead

Before starting the renovation, create a detailed plan outlining your goals, budget, and desired timeline. Consider any permits or approvals required and factor those into your planning process. Identifying potential challenges and having a clear roadmap will help minimize unexpected costs and delays.

Communicate with Contractors

Open and regular communication with your contractors is crucial throughout the renovation process. Clearly communicate your expectations, and discuss any specific requirements or concerns you may have. Regularly check in with your contractors to ensure you are on the same page and address any issues promptly.

Consider Temporary Living Arrangements

Depending on the extent of your renovations, it may be prudent to consider temporary living arrangements. This can help minimize disruptions to your daily routine and provide a safe and comfortable environment away from the construction zone. Evaluate your options and plan accordingly.

Start with Essential Systems

When renovating, start with the essential systems of your home, such as plumbing, electrical, and HVAC. Ensuring these systems are in proper working order is essential for your comfort and safety. Addressing these critical components first will also prevent potential damage or complications during the rest of the renovation process.

Create a Detailed Timeline

Develop a detailed timeline that outlines each phase of the renovation project. Be realistic in your expectations and allow for potential delays or unforeseen challenges. A well-planned timeline will help you stay organized and maintain a clear overview of the project’s progress.

Handle Delays Gracefully

Despite careful planning, delays can sometimes occur during the renovation process. It is essential to handle these setbacks gracefully, maintain open communication with your contractors, and be flexible when necessary. Remember that unexpected obstacles are not uncommon in renovation projects, and a positive attitude will help navigate any challenges that arise.

Prioritize Safety

During the renovation process, prioritize safety for yourself, your family, and any contractors working on your project. Ensure that construction sites are properly secured, and hazardous materials are handled appropriately. Adhere to all safety regulations and guidelines to minimize potential risks.

By following these tips, you can improve the success of your renovation project and create the home of your dreams. Remember to consider all the factors involved, weigh the advantages and disadvantages, and make a decision that aligns with your budget, timeline, and overall vision for your home. Happy renovating!