Remodeling a home can be incredibly exciting, and it has the potential to turn a home you have gotten tired of into something exciting and new, or add lots of value to your house. However, remodeling a home is a big project and should not be taken on without some planning and foresight. Taking the time to carefully plan it out can make all the difference between having that new polished space you can start using quickly… or an unfinished bathroom for the next year.

Start with Research

You may know exactly what you want to be done to your house, or you may only have a nugget of an idea that has not yet completely formed in your head. Whatever the case, the first big step to remodeling a home is to do your research. Questions you should ask yourself may include:

• What kind of remodeling do you want to do, and what is the estimated cost?

• How will you finance that cost, and how can you maximize the dollar of your remodel?

• Is it worth it to do a remodel on your home instead of just rebuilding?

• How much equity will it add to your home?

Many websites even offer step-by-step home remodeling checklists that may help you think of things you would otherwise overlook.

Know Your Style

Whether you have an idea of your remodel in your head or not, it can be beneficial to do some window shopping. Look for design showrooms, browse through home improvement magazines, or look for home improvement expos. Sources such as these may give you ideas that never came into your head, but are better than what you had been imagining. And knowing your style down to the furniture and decor you may use will help you with the overall idea of your home.

Set Your Timeline

Another big part of a home remodel is thinking about your timeline. Be realistic with your schedule, as issues may come up with a contractor or inclement weather may cause delays. There are a number of things that can throw off the best-laid plans. You may be wanting to remodel your kitchen right now, but have you thought about the details? How will you provide food for yourself or your family while the remodel is happening? Will you have to take time off work?

If you run your own business, taking time off work can be made easier by a 24 hour answering service that will be able to explain the situation to your customers, instead of just letting them go to an answering machine. There are tips and tricks to be able to make your remodeling experience easier, but being realistic about everything from your budget to your timeline is highly important.

Understand Limitations

If you are not familiar with housing structure and construction, talking to an architect or designer before deciding on your project may be in your best interests. Your house still has to maintain its structural integrity, for instance. Redoing your plumbing for your whole house may not make sense. In cases like this, it is important to talk to someone who is knowledgeable and can be trusted to answer your questions honestly and directly.

In turn, you can feel more confident that they can help you better determine if your project has the capability, or if it should possibly be scrapped in favor of just building a new house. Be open-minded to differences of opinion between you and an architect or designer. You may not be able to have exactly what you pictured, but perhaps they can give you an idea that will be better.

Find a Great Contractor

After you have your home remodel design in mind, explored the factors, and have a realistic picture of what you want to do, your next step is to research your contractor. Ideally, you should research your contractor more than you researched the rest of the information for your remodel. A great contractor is going to be a huge part of your life throughout the project. They should be someone who is going to do the best job for you at the most reasonable price, keep you well updated on issues, and take pride in what they are doing for you and your house.

Remodeling a home does not have to be the most difficult project in the world, but it does take thought, time, and input to pull off well and get what you want out of it. These steps may help you along the way to making your remodeling dream a reality. And in doing so, you can both add equity to your home – and get the space of your dreams! – by being smart, realistic, and following a plan.