Remodeling a house takes a great deal of planning, effort and financial commitment, and those who approach it without a complete idea of what they want will find the process even more complicated. However, following a few helpful tips may make it easier to fully remodel a home without the high levels of stress traditionally associated with renovations.

1. Begin the planning process by writing a wish list; include everything that the home needs immediately as well as those little extra touches that can wait if it is necessary. Once such a list exists, it is much easier to begin paring it down to a realistic plan that fits within a household’s budget. Some experts suggest that budgets should reflect 10 percent more than the estimate to cover unexpected expenses that could occur.

2. The next step toward a renovation requires the homeowner to seriously consider the calendar; be sure to look for scheduled school vacations, out-of-town professional commitments and family holidays requiring travel. After outlining which months or weeks must be excluded, begin narrowing down the best time for the remodel.

3. Once homeowners have determined what they want, how much they can spend and have an idea of when to schedule the renovation, it is time to begin selecting and interviewing contractors. Consult with friends, family members and coworkers for recommendations and ensure that the professional selected holds membership in the National Association of Remodelers or the National Association of Home Builders; this is an excellent method of ensuring that the contractor engages in ethical practices when completing construction projects.

4. After a contractor has been chosen, homeowners should take the time to read the fine print of the contract; it is particularly important to clearly understand sections discussing timelines, rates and obligations of the contractor and the client. If the contract is unsuitable, insist on a revision or consider working with a different builder.

5. Finalizing plans for the household is one of the last, most important parts of planning a remodeling project. For example, booking a hotel on days that the water or electricity will be turned off or ensuring that the construction schedule permits a good night’s sleep before an important meeting with a client make the renovation process a little more comfortable. It is also a good idea to create a relaxation space for the duration of the remodeling project; after all, everyone deserves an escape from the noise, dust and general chaos associated with home renovation.

Ready, Set, Remodel

Although renovation is stressful, appropriate planning will make the experience a positive one. After the remodeling job is complete, homeowners can look forward to enjoying their dream home.