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Everyone who loves DIY understands that it is the best way to do things. In a world where sustainability is crucial to our collective future, DIY provides a way to improve your home without wasting money or resources. You get to do what you need to do properly the first time, without having to compromise by getting one-size-fits-all products.

When figuring out how to start a home renovation project, one of the first steps you need to take is getting the right resources. This includes all the necessary tools, as well as the construction materials. You learn fairly quickly that this is more difficult than you expected.

The good news is that with proper planning, you can get everything you need at the right price, without wasting or harming the environment. Here are 4 steps you should take to help you make the best choices when buying DIY supplies.

1. Finish the design first

The creative phase of a home renovation project is both exciting and chaotic. You come up with one idea after another for vastly different parts of the house. You figure out a bedroom, then an aspect of the kitchen, then a bathroom. There’s no rhyme or reason to it, and that’s how it should be.

However, many people make the mistake of starting the project while still in this phase. If you’ve planned a particular room, why not get started while you figure out the rest?

Turns out there are many reasons not to. One of the main reasons is budget. You may find that you need to spend a significant proportion of your budget on something crucial. Without knowing how you’ll need to divide your budget, you can end up spending more than you can afford on something far less important.

Another reason is that design choices in one part of the house can impact your decisions in another part of the house. You should approach the project holistically, and only start spending on the supplies once you have a strong idea of what you need.

2. Buy the best tools

The instinct is to warn against buying cheap DIY tools. However, getting this right requires more than just money. Many DIY home renovation projects have been derailed due to tools that just aren’t fit for purpose, and some of these tools have been expensive.

The reality is that you need to put in the time to figure out which tools are best. This requires you to determine what tools you actually are going to need, to research the best options, and to spend what is necessary. The best tools won’t come cheap, but don’t be fooled into thinking that a tool is high quality due to a high price.

3. Research sustainable materials

Home renovation projects will always have some impact on the environment. However, the key is to have the lowest impact possible. For this, you need to find materials that are the least harmful to the environment.

But you can’t stop there. You also have to think ahead and consider how the materials will impact the environment in the long term. Some materials will continue to release harmful fumes. Even some eco-friendly materials won’t be sustainable for your project, as they will need to be replaced more often, leading to more emissions.

The key is to consider the life-cycle of your home rather than the immediate impact the materials will have on the environment.

4. Consider the home’s inhabitants

The reality is that many of the decisions you make will hinge on one particular question: do you have kids? If so, you are going to have to consider them every step of the way. Materials which might suit adults may be ruined by the rough-and-tumble of your kids’ daily living. Furthermore, there are materials which may impact your kids’ health, simply because your kids are more likely to get their hands and mouths all over everything!

Your kids will need to be at the forefront of your attention from the start. This is yet another reason not to start buying supplies until you have a proper plan in place.