I'd like to talk about pacing issues. This is almost instinctual for me, because I have tons of relevant experience, but I think anyone can take the time, think it through, and make some good choices here.
First, what are your parameters?
Do you have to move a lot of furniture? Do you have somewhere to store that furniture? Cramming two rooms' worth of furniture into one room is totally doable, but not a lot of fun - you'll want to finish fast and get things back where they belong.
Where's your workspace? I have an extra bedroom to paint things out of - do you have somewhere to set up a couple sawhorses, a saw, your painting supplies, etc? Maybe you're dependent on weather.
What's your family's collective tolerance for house renovations? If you've got little kids, you'll need to be more careful with your dangerous piles of clutter. Is your SO going to trip over things and get mad and fight with you?
The answers to these questions will help you decide whether you need to go fast or whether you can take your time. Personally, I can take my time - the house is way bigger than our furniture collection, the husband isn't picky, and the cats are underfoot no matter what I'm doing.
Break down the big project into little jobs, then think about how to fit the little jobs together.
Again, I can't explain this properly without an example, so we'll keep talking about the front room and hall project.
I want to:
Replace a few pieces of laminate
- Replace trim in hall
- Repaint / replace doors in hall
- Remove trim in front room
- Replace beadboard in front room
- Replace trim in front room
- Paint front room
Ok, let's break it down further:
- To replace the laminate, I need to pull the baseboard.
- I need to bring the laminate in from the unheated barn at least 24 hours before I work with it, for temperature equalization.
- I need a rubber mallet and some threshold to finish the laminate job.
Replace trim in hall -
- I'll need to pull the old trim
- Clean up the walls and door jambs
- Paint the walls, while it's easy because there's no trim
- Nail up new door trim
- Nail up new baseboard
- Nail up new quarter round
- Fill nail holes and caulk everything
- Paint the trim twice
- Cut in the walls along the trim line
Etc. for the remaining tasks in the job. I know, this seems like a completely ridiculous level of effort, but once you have in mind exactly what you need to do, it'll be much, much easier to fit the pieces together in different orders.
I started with demolition, because that's the most fun. I pulled all the trim out of both rooms. The existing hall trim is headed for the dump, and the existing front room trim is getting prepped for painting. Tomorrow, I have a lot of options:
repair completely wreck the floor
I can finish prepping and priming the beadboard I'm saving
I can remove the beadboard I'm scrapping and apply the new piece
I can figure out which doors I'm keeping and start working on them
I can paint the hall
I can hang crown molding in the front room
Here's what I cannot do:
I can't install the door trim or baseboard in the hall (haven't fixed the floor)
I can't install the new doors (no hole saw yet)
I can't paint the walls of the front room (haven't picked the colors yet)
I can't finish the trim in the front room (don't have the chair rail, haven't applied the beadboard so I can't apply the baseboard)