Even when you are comfortable and happy with your home there are likely some changes that you would like to make. Changes can be as simple as new cabinets, opening up a wall or taking it down. If only the venture of a remodel was….well….simple!

When you are ready to begin your home renovation, start by preparing yourself. Here are five ways to help you along.

1. Get it out of your head

Your ideas can come from anywhere. Maybe you loved that vacation spot, a friend’s home, a magazine article, or even a post on Pinterest. You will need to gather and organize those ideas and desires. Photos are great, print them. Cut out the images or mark them in magazines, get samples or scraps of your favorite materials. Bring the design together, maybe even a start a “Vision Board”.

Your budget may restrict some of the things that you truly want but your colors, patterns and overall idea can be maintained within most budgets. You should have a comprehensive idea of what your goal is with the remodel and how you desire the final project to look.

2. Count your pennies

Having the finances in place or accessible is one thing, keeping your ideas in check by your finances is another. Determine your budget before doing anything else on your remodel. Before giving us or any other contractor a call you should have your budget in place. This is the basis of EVERYTHING else in the project.

3. Be patient, don’t jump in

Choosing a contractor can be a time consuming process. Be prepared and ready, this is a crucial part of the process. You want to avoid hiring someone who is not qualified and likely to leave your house worse than it is..

Start by asking friends and family that may have recently had a project done, check online resources like Angieslist, Home Advisor and Houss. Keep in mind that the remodeling contractors who do the best work are usually booked several weeks out, so be patient and know your turn is coming. During the vetting process, try to find contractors who specialize or have extensive experience in the type of project that you are requesting.

During the consultation ask for proof of insurance to protect you and your property. While you are at it, several references should also be an easy question to answer. Even with references, decide how comfortable you are during the interaction. You may have them in your home for weeks and here is where that feeling you get could be a safety switch.

4. Consider your neighbors

Is your house in a location that has limited parking or access? While many contractors will also take this into consideration, at times there may be an additional 4-6 vehicles — depending on the scope of your home remodel  — traffic could become an issue.

There may also be restrictions from your HOA or local city codes that restrict working times. Are you doing a project that your neighbors would be interested in taking advantage of multi-project discounts? We offer specials on decks and patios for neighborhoods in the spring and fall that could save several hundred dollars over individual builds.

5. This isn’t reality television

They make it seem so simple on TV. Remodeling can turn your home life upside down, especially if you are doing something like adding on or redoing the kitchen or bath. Make sure to have a plan to work around the mess, it could retain your sanity.

You may need a temporary or make shift kitchen with a sink — maybe the utility room? Will you still be able to access or use the fridge? What types of food will you be able to prepare or have on hand? Maybe eating out is the alternative during your kitchen remodel, if so, be sure to budget accordingly.

Even the best laid plans can get askew so be sure to have realistic expectations and a sense of humor while enduring your remodel. You should plan for the project to take longer, cost more and be less convenient than you expected.

In all of this, remember, this is a temporary endeavor. Your finished project is the goal and you will be more comfortable then.