Stress in many situations is frequently caused by uncertainty, lack of knowledge and too little time. Most people have to trust in the skills of a remodeling contractor in order to achieve the renovation they desire. Planning is an essential part of the preparation for a house remodel and should be done meticulously so that by the time the reno gets underway, you are feeling confident in your decisions. Don’t underestimate or skimp on the planning as it is the key to a smooth process.


Before you undertake any remodeling project, make sure your timeframe is realistic and easily doable. Having a big occasion such as Thanksgiving, a special birthday or a wedding as the projected date is bound to make you feel less than relaxed during the process. All you will be concerned about is whether it will be finished in time. Every little setback will cause sleepless nights and anxiety. Aim for a date 6 weeks before the real date. It is a rare remodeling project that does not encounter some kind of unseen problem along the way. If you have built this into your timeframe and have a date that is not the real one, you will deal with these issues as they occur in a far more relaxed manner.


Take your time to choose the right remodeling contractor for your job. The many horror stories on the internet about renovations gone wrong tend to have several thing in common – the contractor was the problem; the contractor was a crook, the contractor was incompetent, the contractor tried to fleece me. For every outstanding, professional remodeling contractor, there is probably one unsavory one. Be like a laser beam honing in on a good one. Good remodeling contractors will share references, allow you to speak to clients, answer all your questions and not pressure you into making decisions. Take your time in the selection of your contractor and you will reap the benefits later. Prepare as you would for a job interview except that you are doing the hiring. Be clear in your own mind about what you want to achieve, choose a remodeling contractor who listens and be prepared to listen in return.


Money, money, money! So often it all comes back to money. Your remodeling contractor is not a miracle worker or a mind reader. If your budget is stretched to the limit, there will be no room for manoeuvre in the event of changes, problems and additional expenses. There is nothing worse than having to ask your contractor to cut corners because the money is running out. However simple a remodeling project, you want the finished product to be exactly as you envisaged. Know what your budget is before you ever speak to a contractor. Add 20% and then another 10% for good luck – or rather bad luck! Although hiring a designer may seem like an added expense, a good designer can help you create your remodeling ideas in a less expensive way and assist with evaluating which items you can live without.


Whether you are discussing your project with a designer or a remodeling contractor, don’t be swayed by their ideas if they do not sit comfortably with you. Be clear in your own mind the reason for your remodel – more space, better storage, easy care flooring – and don’t lose sight of that. Be open to more creative remodeling ideas but if your heart is set on something, stick to it.


If you have no intention of moving from your home, then choose whatever you want. If however you have plans to sell in a couple of years, beware of choosing anything that is too contemporary or way out. Classic styles will be far better received when your house goes on the market.