Renovating your home can be an exciting journey that not only enhances your living space but also adds to the value of your property. Whether you’re looking to update a single room or embark on a full-scale remodel, the process involves careful planning, creativity, and a bit of patience. In Pittsburgh, known for its rich history and stunning architecture ranging from classic Victorian homes to modernist designs, renovating can also mean preserving the character of your home while incorporating modern comforts. Here are essential tips to ensure your renovation project in Pittsburgh, or anywhere else, is a success.

1. Start with a Plan

A detailed plan is your roadmap to success. Beyond outlining what you want to achieve, consider the flow between rooms and how changes might affect the structural integrity of your home. In places with distinct architectural styles, like Pittsburgh, blending modern functionalities with the home’s original character can add complexity and charm to your project. Utilize design software or consult with an architect to visualize the end result, ensuring your plan is both aesthetically pleasing and practical.

2. Design for Your Lifestyle

Your renovation should reflect not just your personal style but also how you live. For families in Pittsburgh, this might mean creating multifunctional spaces that accommodate remote work and learning or enhancing outdoor living areas to enjoy the city’s beautiful summers. Consider the longevity of your design choices, opting for timeless over trendy, to ensure your home continues to meet your needs in the years to come.

For example, when selecting cabinetry, consider the layout of your space and your storage needs. If you’re in Pittsburgh cabinets such as those provided by Legacy Remodeling can significantly enhance the look of your home. Custom or semi-custom options can maximize space, offering solutions like pull-out shelves, lazy Susans, or built-in organizers. Choose materials and finishes that complement the overall design of your home, enhancing both its beauty and resale value.

3. Budget Wisely

A well-thought-out budget encompasses more than just the upfront costs; it also accounts for the unexpected. Pittsburgh, with its historic homes, might reveal surprises once renovations begin, such as outdated wiring or plumbing that needs updating. Allocating a contingency fund of at least 20% can provide peace of mind. Additionally, research local grants or tax incentives for renovations, especially if you’re improving energy efficiency or preserving historic elements.

4. Hire the Right Team

In a city known for its blue-collar work ethic, Pittsburgh offers a wealth of skilled tradespeople and craftsmen. When assembling your team, look for professionals who share your vision and demonstrate transparency and reliability. Conduct interviews, ask for detailed quotes, and establish a clear contract outlining the scope of work, timeline, and payment schedule. Remember, communication is a two-way street; regular check-ins will keep your project on track and help build a strong working relationship with your team.

5. Go Green

Sustainability is increasingly important in home renovations. In Pittsburgh, where the seasons bring a mix of hot summers and cold winters, energy-efficient upgrades can significantly impact your comfort and utility bills. Think beyond appliances; insulation, windows, and roofing materials all play a role in your home’s energy efficiency. Exploring renewable energy options, such as solar panels, can further reduce your environmental footprint and potentially offer long-term savings.

6. Obtain Necessary Permits

Securing the necessary permits before starting your renovation is crucial, especially in a city with rich historical architecture like Pittsburgh. Permits ensure that your renovation meets local building codes and standards, safeguarding the safety and legality of your project. The process can vary depending on the scope of your work, so consult with your local building department early on. This step can prevent potential delays and additional costs, ensuring your project progresses smoothly from start to finish.

7. Focus on Lighting

Lighting plays a pivotal role in transforming the ambiance of a space. Incorporate a variety of lighting sources to cater to different needs and moods within your home. Ambient lighting provides overall illumination, task lighting focuses on specific work areas, and accent lighting highlights architectural features or artwork. In Pittsburgh, where natural light can vary significantly with the seasons, adding dimmer switches and smart lighting systems can offer flexibility, allowing you to adjust the lighting to suit any occasion or time of day.

8. Update Flooring

Flooring can dramatically change the look and feel of your home, acting as a canvas that ties all elements of a room together. When selecting new flooring, consider durability, ease of maintenance, and comfort. Hardwood floors are a timeless choice that adds warmth and elegance, while tile or stone can offer durability in high-traffic areas. In colder climates like Pittsburgh’s, adding radiant floor heating under tile flooring can provide extra warmth during the chilly months, enhancing the comfort of your home.

9. Don’t Overlook the Exterior

The exterior of your home is just as important as the interior when it comes to renovation. Updating your home’s facade with new siding, fresh paint, or architectural details can boost curb appeal and property value. In Pittsburgh, where historic preservation is valued, choose updates that complement the home’s original style while improving efficiency, such as energy-efficient windows that mimic historical designs. Landscaping improvements, like adding native plants or creating outdoor living spaces, can enhance the beauty and functionality of your outdoor areas.

10. Plan for the Future

Future-proofing your home during renovation can save you time and money in the long run. Consider flexibility in design to accommodate changing family needs or potential mobility issues as you age. Incorporating smart home technology can improve energy efficiency and convenience while choosing timeless design elements ensures your home remains stylish and functional in the years to come. In markets like Pittsburgh, where the character of a home is cherished, balancing modern updates with timeless appeal is key.

11. Enjoy the Process

Renovating your home is a significant undertaking that can be stressful but also incredibly rewarding. Keep the big picture in mind and remember the reasons behind your renovation. Celebrate milestones along the way and stay flexible as unexpected challenges may arise. By maintaining a positive outlook and working closely with your renovation team, you can navigate the ups and downs of the process and ultimately create a space that you’re proud to call home.


By following these essential tips, your home renovation can be a smooth and successful project that breathes new life into your space. Whether incorporating quality craftsmanship for kitchen fixtures or focusing on sustainable upgrades, your renovated home can become a source of comfort, pride, and joy for years to come.