Visualize your Project.  The first step in any project is to know where you are going. Start with hiring a designer, or if going it yourself, gathering inspiration. Using tools like magazine clippings, websites, Pinterest, or Mood Boards will give you a clear, organized vision of your project.

Lock Down Timing. The planning of interior and exterior painting projects is largely weather dependent. If you are planning on painting your entire house in 2019, inside and out, begin with the interior rooms. In January, the weather outdoors in NY is much too cold for exterior painting (see What are optimal winter painting temperatures?). Get the jump on projects by beginning with interior rooms and move outside after the spring thaw. Use the warm summer months to get all the outside work done. Keep mindful that rain will also delay exterior painting and home maintenance work. Complete the entirety of the exterior work and move back inside when winter comes again. Finish up with punch lists and less used rooms like guest bedrooms basements.

Prioritize. If your home is furnished and you are planning to live there as the work is being done you must plan your painting schedule very carefully. Painting rooms that will be used most often first is a smart way to work. Starting with areas like the kitchen will give your family a place to congregate while work is being done. Having access to kid’s bedrooms early on will give small children a place to stay out from underneath workmen’s feet and will keep bedtimes normalized. Painting an entire empty house is much easier (see IS IT BETTER TO PAINT BEFORE OR AFTER YOU MOVE IN?). Ask your painting contractor what their project timeline is. A good project manager will walk you through the details of the project before it begins. It may be more efficient for painters to move from room to room completing repairs and spackling first before moving on to painting areas like ceilings, walls, and woodwork.

Plan for the expected. Don’t rely just on your intuition. A well made plan with to-do’s, checklists, and actionable items will make your project much more manageable. Breaking down each task into smaller parts will keep your project on schedule and on budget. Some projects require special considerations. Plan for these well in advance. For example, if your home is in an apartment building there are special considerations that your building manager will expect you to address like certificates of insurance and signed alteration agreements (see BEFORE YOU PAINT YOUR NYC APARTMENT). These things can take time to gather and must be completed before work even begins. Towns, municipalities, and neighborhoods may have their own considerations.

Coordinate. If you are having different trades work on multiple projects on your home you must coordinate their work. Contractors, like carpenters, plumbers, painters, and flooring workers should be scheduled so their work does not interfere with each other.  You would not want to schedule a carpenter who will generate dust while fresh paint is going on walls, or a carpet installation during ceiling painting. If you are not using a contractor to coordinate your project, learning to use a a tool like a gantt chart (a visual view of tasks scheduled over time that show what work is scheduled to be done on a specific day) is a great way to keep all your trades on track.

Plan for the unexpected. Projects always have bumps and turns.  Weather considerations, missed deliveries, rescheduled appointments, and design changes always throw a wrench in the best made plans. Be sure to allocate more time then you expected, especially for large projects.

Enjoy the process. 

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