We've always followed the top down rule. Start with the ceiling, then walls, then floors- then whatever goes on top of floors.

That said we've not done a full gut job on a bathroom yet so that has only been for bedrooms/living rooms.

  • Electrical and plumbing.
  • Drywall Ceiling.
  • Drywall Top half of wall. If doing tile for tub/shower, use cement-board.
  • Tub/Shower pan install.
  • Drywall remainder (or cement board as noted above), tape and mud. Texture if applicable.
  • If doing tile for surround, redguard(or similar) for waterproofing.
  • Prime and Paint.
  • Shower/tub surround & Flooring.
  • Entry door (if applicable).
  • Vanity, Baseboard & Trim.
  • Toilet.
  • Misc. (towel racks, TP holder, etc.)

Do baseboard before your vanity is "furniture" style (has legs, and doesn't go flush to wall) rather than "cabinet" style (Flush to wall, looks like a built in similar to kitchen cabinets).


One place that particularly needs drainage is near the front of my house, in a planting bed. My driveway prevents me from digging it 10 feet away from the front of the house. There are actually moisture issues on the inside of the crawlspace, which is why I wanted better drainage nearby.

As long as you're not turning the ground into swiss cheese you can drill as close to the foundation as you want. Once you backfill the hole with sand, it's not going to "cave in" and take your house with it.

To avoid sinkhole formation we're going to back fill the holes with sand.

Sand is a better option than gravel because there isn't a large void space to fill causing voids elsewhere. Secondly, unless you have shallow limestone, you're not going to get a true "sinkhole".

Lastly, and the biggest point: installing drains through the clay will cause the clay, especially near the house, to consolidate if the clay is normally consolidated. Now that you have more drainage for water trapped in the clay, the weight of the house will squeeze the water out of the clay voids and cause vertical displacement (Settlement).

As long as you have a consistent spacing of your drains (say every 5 feet) around the perimeter, and you do all of them at one time (don't start half in the summer and wait a year to do the other half next summer), if your house settles, it will be more uniform and will likely not cause problems.


Those stores don't "do" kitchen remodeling. They just send it out to local contractors to come in and give you a quote.

They're typically on the high end of pricing for what they do.

The biggest problem I have with them though tends to be the constant fight between who's responsible for what - contractors vs store.

I'm not saying don't use them, just be aware of what it is - it's not HD/Lowes doing the remodel.

IKEA cabinets are: ordinary MDF cabinets, as are most sold everywhere else. IKEA is high-density 3/4" particleboard with melamine covering 4-6 sides. The usual cheap cabinets are low-density 1/2" particleboard with a plasticky cover on one side.

IKEA's sizes are limited which can make some kitchens harder to lay out. If they offered 9", more 21" doors, 27" and 33" cabinets they would kill the cabinet market.

The doors/fronts/gables are sturdy enough and come in a wide range of finishes /woods/colours and quality ranging from cheap to very good, and their hardware/hinges are excellent. The variety of boxes and accessories at IKEA is huge, and in an entirely different league than HD/Lowes.

Their prices are unbeatable in my experience.

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For the most part our new home will have some form of hardwood flooring, that hardwood is very up in the air. It could also mean pergo etc..

One thing for us to consider is our dogs. We think slipping is mainly what we have to worry about. Especially when they get excited and try to take off somewhere.

Dogs "launch" with their back legs and if those slip out from under them, they can easily pull a muscle or something. The old saying "the bigger they are, the harder they fall" definitely applies in this case. If it really concerns you, put down some area rugs to minimize the danger.

I haven't used bamboo myself, but have heard good things. As a nice engineered hardwood. These come in different thicknesses, so typically thicker=more durable and you can pick based on budget.

Hardwood is the best, most durable, but is generally much more labor intensive to put down. If you are looking for a weekend project, we have had people point us towards the engineered flooring because I find that the product is easier to use. We want a floor that will take a beating, and also be able to sand it down over and over for refinishing, bite the bullet and get hardwood.

Pergo is not an engineered wood. It's laminate (pressed fiber with a layer of wood looking stuff on the top. Engineered wood is more like plywood. It's basically wood throughout, but only the top layer of wood is of any quality.

We installed wood-looking vinyl in the past. It held up well to all of our animals. A friend did the same and he had a golden retriever and was happy with the results. People think it's wood until they step try tapping on it.


This smell is a strong chemical odor that fills the room and gets stronger with time if not actively ventilating. Any indutrial-strength adhesive I've ever encountered off gasses like crazy.

Many of them even contain formaldehyde.

I'm trying to figure out why carpet needed adhesive, all the wall-to-wall I've ever seen is attached just with tack strips along the edges.

Could these crew that installed have used adhesive for hard flooring under the pad? Maybe there is a reaction going on between the pad and adhesive that's creating a gas that's not too good for you.

There should be no reason for new carpet or pad to "gas you out of your house" unless you are possibly allergic to the pad glue that was used.


Finding a contractor can be a hard road sometimes. I have had great luck with the local homeshows though.

Contractors of all types attend with a lot of their portfolio in tow. You get to vet multiple contractors at once.

You can also check with the local Construction Contractors Board when you've identified candidates. This will allow you to see how many complaints, etc have been lodged against them. In Oregon you can even check the status of their license and Insurance.

This is how I found my roofer as well as the company that did my gigantic driveway and retaining wall. Companies I might have never found otherwise.

I would personally skip Home Depot or Lowes for a project like this. They just sub-contract to local people anyway and I would rather work with them myself. The issue with the sub-contract is that you have no control over who actually comes to do the work.

There is certainly something to be said for having a large company to back the work, but from my perspective, I find that in general, the bottom of the barrel tend to work for my local Big Box stores.

Find someone who has had similar work done and get a recommendation from them.