Ask Your Question

Angie's List Answers is the trusted spot to ask home improvement and health questions and get answers from service companies, health providers and consumers. For ratings and reviews on companies in your area, search Angie's List.

Top 30 Days Experts
Rank Leader Points*
1 kstreett 240
2 Guest_9020487 110
3 Guest_9190926 105
4 GoldenKid 100
5 ahowell 95
6 KnowledgeBase 95
7 skbloom 80
8 Guest_98024861 70
9 Guest_9311297 70
10 Guest_9400529 70

*Updates every 4 hours

Browse Projects By Category

Question DetailsAsked on 5/9/2011

Lots of home improvement jobs; what should I do first?

I have several different things I need to do to my 25-year old townhouse, but I am unsure where to start. New roof; Full exterior paint job; Siding cleaned; Yard landscaped. For some or all of the jobs is it better to hire a general contractor to oversee the proper coordination between those jobs? Or just go ahead and look for individual contractors? I have been offputting this work because I don't know where or how to get started. But I need to stop procrastinating on it and get it going.

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

    6 Answers



    I have several years remodeling experiance and in my opinion you should start with the roof first, then do any pressure washing to clean and prep for painting, then the exterior painting, and finish up with the landscaping.

    You can hire a contractor to handle them all and you wont have to deal with it other than writing the checks and picking colors. But you may spend a little more because someone will be handling all of the diff. jobs for you. Then again if you dont know someone who does these different jobs that you can trust you may spend more and not get a quality job if you dont know how to inspect for quality work.

    Answered 9 years ago by fixit-guy


    Hi Martek,

    You pose a great question and we wanted to give you a great response, so we contacted about a dozen highly rated contractors on Angie’s List to get their take on your question.

    They agree that sometimes getting all these projects started is difficult and sequencing the projects is very important. The sequence you and Fixit guy mentioned of doing the roof first, cleaning the siding, painting the exterior, and finally doing the landscaping is the one the contractors all agree makes the most sense.

    Generally speaking, it’s best to start at the top and work your way down, which means taking care of the roof first. The exterior painting contractor should be able to power-wash the siding, unless you were wanting something special done related to the siding being cleaned. You should save the landscaping for last, not because it is least important, but primarily so the roofers and painters don’t track back through your new landscaping to do their work.

    Each of these projects are relatively specialized and can be split, so you could look at each of these independently and find a good company for each on Angie’s List.

    However, an experienced general contractor would facilitate the completion of all these projects (with the possible exception of the landscaping) by hiring subcontractors and would oversee all of these projects to make sure work is done correctly and to the proper standards. A GC would be responsible for quality of materials and workmanship, ensuring all insurances and licenses are up-to-date, and generally over seeing the project for timeliness, budget and safety issues.

    I hope this helps. Best of luck on your projects. Please let us know how it goes!

    Paul from Angie’s List

    Answered 9 years ago by Paul from Angie's List


    Thanks to both of you for chiming in and pointing me in a direction. :)

    I am right now researcing roofing contractors, and am going to start there.

    Answered 9 years ago by Martek


    Thanks for posting this question. It's nice to know others struggle with "where to start". And it looks like a general contractor is the best way to go for my list of work to be done. Just wanted you to know you've helped a fellow home owner. Good luck!

    Answered 9 years ago by PARIOB


    I don't think you need a general contractor. You can give the contract to any related person. What you need is clean planning. Start with the roof, then the yard landscaping, then paint and at last the side clearing. That will be the proper order to get best results.

    Answered 9 years ago by sanahenk


    You posted the right order:

      New roof Full exterior paint job Siding cleaned Yard landscaped

    The roof is the first job to do. Without that you can"t paint. If you landscape first..what gonna happen when you fix the roof?

    Best regards,

    Answered 9 years ago by MaidHollywodFlorida

    Related Questions

    Terms Of Use
    Privacy Policy