Here is a simple guide to help you navigate through the planning process of a renovation.

Assess your home
Walk through your home and assess what rooms need to be renovated. Create a list of good and bad features and think about what areas will bring you the most value if renovated.

Write a renovation wish list
Once you’ve decided which room to renovate, identify all the things you wish to achieve with your renovation. Prioritize your list in case not all the options are feasible.

Find inspiration
Do some research on what sort of style you like and begin to collect images as to what you wish to achieve. Magazine clippings and pictures from the internet are a great place to start. Use these images when meeting with your designer/contractor so they can better understand exactly what you want.

Determine a budget
It’s important to try to come up with a realistic budget. A good contractor will be able to tell you if your expectations are wider than your wallet. Be sure to include 10-15% extra as a contingency fund in case unexpected issues arise. Use this time to also secure extra financing if it is needed.

Consult a calendar
Do you have out of town guests who are arriving in a few months? Are you hosting your daughters wedding in your backyard? If you have a specific deadline that needs to be met, be sure to keep this in mind when consulting your contractor.

Look for a contractor
The best place to start looking for a contractor is by asking friends and family who they have used in the past. Your friends and family are most likely to give you honest opinions on who they would suggest. Find someone whom you trust and be sure to ask for references. You should always feel 100% comfortable with your contractor.

Sign a contract
Once you have selected a contractor make sure a contract is signed and all payment terms and work schedules are detailed in writing.

Finalize household arrangements
Before your renovation begins be sure to clean out the space and reserve storage for large pieces of furniture if needed.