Apartment renovation not with your own hands. Part 2: basic steps

Recommendation points

In the second part of the article, we propose to consider the sequence of work when repairing an apartment, as well as to determine some technical features and the feasibility of performing specific operations.

Apartment renovation not with your own hands. Part 2: basic steps

During the renovation, even if you have found the best contractor, you must not let go of the reins of management. The customer needs to control the execution of hidden operations and periodically check the quality of work in order to calmly make current payments. Each separate stage of the repair poses a lot of questions to the customer, the most common of which are: what should be done after what, what actions should the stage include, how should the finished work look like? If you were provided with a well-detailed estimate, then some of the answers you will find there. Even more clarity will appear after the scheduling of the work. In the first part of the article, general questions on the organization of repairs were raised. We will discuss some technical details of each stage here. We remind you that for clarity, we are considering a major overhaul of the apartment.


If you do not beat around the bush, you need to remove everything to the supporting bases. Any responsible contractor will suggest this to you, otherwise he will not be able to guarantee the durability of the new finishes. Old finishing layers, even if they are still intact, are not intended to carry additional leveling cakes. And there will certainly be such, even in elite new buildings, everything has to be redone. Plaster can only remain if the walls are sheathed with plasterboard or other piece materials on the frames. Old screeds can only be leveled to an acceptable condition in quite rare cases..

Apartment renovation not with your own hands. Part 2: basic steps

Engineering communications – change everything, no options. New water supply, sewerage, heating (with a riser system) should be carried out through the interfloor ceiling. Pipes and wires will be completely hidden, so it is extremely illogical to leave a time bomb somewhere in the floor or in the walls, while investing a lot in apartment renovation.

Partitions are a separate topic. Practice has shown that even if there is no redevelopment, it is better to replace them with new ones. Especially do not be shy with bathrooms and kitchens – there are too many communications that will weaken the old wall, here you need perfectly flat walls so that tiles or furniture do not emphasize the non-rectangularity of the room. In the overwhelming majority of cases, an attempt to save money ends up in additional expenses, it is often cheaper to install a reliable and even new partition than to level the old one.


Before starting the construction of partitions, we recommend taking out the dimensions of the future premises from the drawings to nature. To do this, directly at the facility, you need to outline the contours of all rooms, including doorways, large objects (equipment, furniture) from available materials (profiles, bricks, blocks). Sometimes this can reveal some design flaws..

Apartment renovation not with your own hands. Part 2: basic steps

All partitions are built immediately after dismantling, various blocks, bricks, drywall can serve as materials. We can say unequivocally that, although each option has some pros and cons, any one can be used.

Stone partitions must be reinforced through the seams and anchored to the load-bearing walls. In new buildings, a gap of a couple of centimeters is left between the upper row and the overlap for shrinkage, it is sealed with foam. Plasterboard partitions are first sewn up with sheets only on one side, the second side of the cladding will be installed after the routing of utilities and the installation of the necessary embedded elements.

Engineering Communication

In most cases, pipes and wires are installed at this stage. But there are adherents of a different approach: first, the walls are plastered, and then the grooves are chosen in them. So the leads are exposed clearly flush with the planes, the wires are not damaged when plastering and do not interfere with the finishers.

The main lines of communication can be carried out both in screeds and in the interceiling space; it is least advisable to run routes along the walls. The priority is always given to the sewerage system, as it must run with a slope. For high-quality heating wiring, it will be necessary to temporarily place radiators in places and simulate the thickness of all finishing layers.

Apartment renovation not with your own hands. Part 2: basic steps

At this stage (or after plasters), air conditioners are invited to the facility. They have to lay drainage, power wire, interconnect cable. Outdoor units of air conditioners are mounted immediately. The indoor unit of the split system will be installed after finishing.

After routing the communications, they all need to be tested. The electrical circuits are powered and the operability of all “ends” as well as protection devices is checked. Water and heating are pressurized or at least connected to the network and checked for leaks.

We recommend that you create a diagram of the passage of communications with reference to the supporting enclosing structures, it is even better if the corresponding photographs are taken.


Replacement of windows must be done as soon as dismantling work is completed. But the design of openings (slopes, windowsill) is performed after rough finishes, when there is a clear idea of ​​the geometry of the premises. Slopes cannot be plastered, it is better to use hollow options that allow you to insulate this zone, vulnerable to freezing. A well-proven material in this case is moisture-resistant gypsum board, cellular plastic, sandwich panels.

Rough finish

It is best to plaster the walls with gypsum compositions, of course, this work should be done on lighthouses. In most cases, the sheer verticality of the enclosing structures is taken as a basis, however, in rooms such as a bathroom or kitchen, it is imperative to ensure the perpendicularity of the walls. It is theoretically possible to plaster ceilings, but such work is very expensive, this option has a lot of technological limitations, complicates the wiring of lighting wires. Please note that plaster beacons are always removed.

Apartment renovation not with your own hands. Part 2: basic steps

Plasterboard systems for wall cladding can be assembled on a metal frame, but a very good option is to fix the panels with mounting glue, which saves space. For the ceiling, of course, you need to assemble a subsystem. By the way, as for stretch ceilings, they are usually mounted after finishing finishing..

Cement-sand screeds are poured “by room”, but all over the apartment at once. One level is maintained, but sometimes bathrooms are made with a floor lowering by a few centimeters (to localize possible floods).

In order not to flood the neighbors from below with water from the screed, waterproofing works are carried out in places on the ceilings, especially in the places where the risers pass. For obvious reasons, a full-scale coating waterproofing will not interfere in the bathroom and kitchen.

It is better if the screed is reinforced with welded mesh or reinforcement. Around the perimeter of the rooms, a spacer foam should be laid, which will provide a gap of about 1 cm between the self-leveling floor and the walls.

Apartment renovation not with your own hands. Part 2: basic steps

After pouring the screeds, they must be checked by the rule, rubbed and protected from rapid drying, for this, polyethylene covers are used. In hot weather, the screed should be moistened for several days. The screeds are brought to the ideal state with self-leveling compounds.

Priming of walls, ceilings, floors is the most important “hidden” operation of any repair, each surface can be primed several times as it is created (for example, before plastering, before puttingtying, before painting). The primer is designed to increase the load-bearing properties of the bases, to improve adhesion between different layers. Do not save on it (often customers refuse to pay for this item of the estimate), it is better to check that the masters do this work with high quality.

Entrance door

The best time to install the front door is right after the screeds are poured: the level of the finished floor is not difficult to determine, the wettest work is completed. In this case, nothing prevents any known method from finishing the slopes at the entrance zone. To prevent the elements of the entrance metal door from being damaged during the repair, the finishing panels are removed from the canvas, and cheap handles are installed. To maintain the secrecy of the locking mechanisms (after all, workers are given keys), reprogrammed locks are used – then it works with other keys..


After a major overhaul of an apartment, natural ventilation is often disturbed, humidity rises, and the windows begin to “fog up” (since sealed translucent structures are used, ventilation ducts are blocked by fans …). To ensure the supply of fresh air, supply valves are used, which are installed on the outer walls or on window frames. To ensure the flow of air masses between rooms towards the channels, gaps of a couple of centimeters are left under the interior doors, and gratings are mounted in the canvases. To prevent the ventilation duct from being blocked by a device that works from time to time, use fans with a humidity sensor and timer.

Apartment renovation not with your own hands. Part 2: basic steps


Balconies that are combined with living quarters should be insulated as much as possible. This applies not only to the outer walls, it is also important to insulate the lower and upper plates well. Double-glazed windows should be used as glazing, better combined with energy-saving technologies (gas, spraying). The backbone profile is best used with five or six chambers and an installation depth of 70 mm or more. If the balcony remains insulated, then cold aluminum or the simplest PVC frames would be a perfectly acceptable option..

Finishing works

Puttying can be done only after the plaster has completely dried (about two weeks). All plasterboard work in the room must be completed. It is necessary to putty in stages (perforated corners, seams, planes, grinding), therefore it is better if a work front in several rooms is provided for the painter. For these operations, it is extremely important to observe the drying time of the various layers..

Apartment renovation not with your own hands. Part 2: basic steps

The tiles are laid only on perfectly prepared surfaces, especially for mosaics. Plastering for tiles is done exclusively on lighthouses, often it is even rubbed over. Also, the tile fits perfectly on moisture-resistant drywall, note that its seams must be sealed with tile glue. In any case, the walls are first laid without the bottom row, then the floor, and then the first row of walls is cut in (usually a whole tile without 2–3 cm). The most important question is “when to overwrite?” You can’t rush to grout, especially on the floor, as it has time to get dirty before the repair is completed, and polyethylene covers often break and only aggravate the situation. It is better then, at the final stage, to clean out the debris from the seams and fill them.

Wallpapering should be done in a completely clean apartment. The walls for them must be prepared ideally, if you want quality – forget the concept of “putty for wallpaper”. The walls should be well primed with special compounds, not wallpaper glue. If molding is used between the walls and the ceiling, then it must be glued, plastered and painted..

Apartment renovation not with your own hands. Part 2: basic steps

Decorative plasters also require careful preparation. The walls are sometimes pasted over with fiberglass, primed with compounds containing quartz sand.

Painting with putty is the most capricious operation, problems with appearance can arise, even if spray guns are used. To get one hundred percent perfect surface, it is necessary to paste over the plane with a smooth non-woven linen, after which the work is carried out, as if on wallpaper for painting.

Any finishing floor coverings can only be assembled after wallpapering and painting works, since the latter significantly increase the humidity in the room. Laminate is especially sensitive to this moment. Floating floors (laminate, parquet board, prefabricated cork) are mounted on well-prepared substrates, the maximum permissible local level difference is about 1 mm per meter. Theoretically, finishing floor coverings can be assembled without a seam throughout the apartment, but, as a rule, separation is made in doorways and covered with transition strips..

Interior doors are installed over floor coverings. They are oriented to one side of the walls, as a rule, flush with the plane of the corridor. If the width of the walls is wider than the door block, it is compensated for with expanders or “add-ons”.

Apartment renovation not with your own hands. Part 2: basic steps

After installing the doors, they begin to install the casks. Further, they are approached with skirting boards that are glued to the walls or fixed with mechanical fasteners.

At this final stage, lamps are connected, wiring accessories and large household appliances (boiler, washing machine, dishwasher …) are installed, indoor air conditioners are mounted, stationary furniture is assembled, sanitary ware is fixed and powered in the bathrooms. Only now the heating radiators take their place, the front door is also brought to mind.

Most of the repairs proceed approximately according to this scenario. The operations described above must follow one after the other, only some of them can be performed in parallel. Of course, it was impossible to consider all the nuances in the article, but we tried to outline the basics. If you trust your contractor, listen to his opinion on this matter. Experienced craftsmen will never just go along with the customer regarding the stages of repair and technological issues, but will try to prove their vision of the problem.

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