Taking on a home renovation is an adventure. Anything can happen during the process, from unforeseen setbacks to costly fixes. To make sure that a home renovation turns out well, be prepared and understand the full scope of what to expect. Before strapping on a toolbelt and knocking out the first wall, these are the five things to know about renovating your home.

Decide on the Outcome

Decide on the desired outcome of a home renovation before looking for inspiration. Base decisions on the big picture. Renovations may need to happen a little at a time, but every step needs to be done well. If the plan is to remain in a home post-renovation, consider using higher-end materials. Use more cost-effective materials if a renovation is done to improve the home’s sale value. Decide if a renovation will be cosmetic or structural.

Homeowners who are planning a renovation for long-term living should think about incorporating aging in place remodeling solutions. Specialists like Living in Place Designs create projects with smart design to modernize the homes of the aging population and those with disabilities. Contractors at Living in Place Designs create spaces that are functional for all ages and those with varying physical abilities, making them more comfortable and adaptable for future use. Keep the long-term picture in mind when deciding on the outcome of a renovation.

Have a Realistic Budget

Home renovations are expensive. Get estimates from a builder or surveyor to understand how much renovations cost and create a realistic budget. Only work within the practical parameters of the budget. Remember that issues can arise during a renovation that result in unexpected costs. Build in an emergency fund to avoid surprises. Price out the cost of materials and labor, and find out what financing options are available. Cut out the middleman whenever possible and purchase materials directly from the manufacturer.

Prior to starting a renovation, it’s smart to know the value of the home and everything in it. Homeowners know that having home insurance is the best way to stay protected against major and unexpected circumstances. A home and contents insurance calculator estimates the cost of replacing items within the home. Calculate home and content insurance with iSelect. The advisors at iSelect work with customers to find and compare the best home and contents insurance providers.

DIY or Expert Help

For simple tasks, going the DIY route is a great money-saver. It’s best to consult a professional contractor when it comes to more complicated projects that involve structure. Be honest about what skills and time commitment a renovation takes and decide if going DIY or hiring professional help is the better option.

Timeline

Delays are prone to happen during a renovation. They can be costly and frustrating, which is why thinking about a practical timeline is important. Be conscious of the order in which things need to be done. For example, cabinetry should be installed before flooring. Depending on the scale of the project homeowners may need to move out while work is being done. Plan a timeline with some wiggle room, especially if there is a target due date in place.

Visualize the Design

Anyone investing money into a renovation wants an impressive outcome. Decide from the beginning how each space should look and create a design inspiration board. Use magazines, blogs, and sites like Pinterest to find inspiration that fits within the budget. Order samples of materials whenever possible to get an idea of how they will look in the home. Test paint colors on the wall to see how they look throughout the day in each room as the light changes.