When we watch home remodeling reality shows, they often make it look easy. In the real world, renovating your home can pose numerous challenges along the way. You probably know at least one person whose remodeling project went off the rails and ended in somewhat of a disaster, or at the very least you know someone who suffered numerous delays and significant stress. To prevent those situations from happening to you, consider these tips for a smooth home remodeling experience.

Compare cost and quality. It can be tempting to choose the contractor who offers you the lowest bid for the work. But a very low bid can often signal a problem, such as use of inferior materials or unskilled labor. Sometimes choosing a contractor who placed a mid-range bid is the best bet.

Ask for references. Always check a contractor’s references before hiring them. You can learn a lot from previous customers.

Ask about a warranty. Choose a contractor who offers a warranty on their work, so that any problems will be fixed if you discover something went wrong.

Hire one contractor. Subcontracting different parts of the job can sometimes save you a bit of money, but communication between various contractors can cause delays and other mistakes.

Leave room in your budget. You want the best that you can afford, so it might be tempting to max out your budget. Leave a little room, though, because unexpected events can trigger unexpected costs.

Balance long-term appeal against current trends. A design element that is trendy now might look dated in just a few years. Balance your desire for a trendy new look with long-term appeal and function of the room. This is especially important if you plan to resell the home in the near future.

Request a detailed timeline. Your contractor should be able to offer you a timeline of the work, with various benchmarks to be completed along the way. Expect that delays of one or two days will happen, so you’re not taken by surprise.

Obtain the right permits. Getting shut down by your county or municipality in the middle of a project could be devastating.

Make a plan and stick with it. Changing your mind about a design element in the middle of a project can throw off other elements of the work, and lead to unnecessary delays , additional work, and greater expense for you.

Give us a call to discuss your renovation plans in more detail. We can help you establish a plan to get everything done in a timely manner, with as few disruptions as possible.