Last month, we talked about five home remodeling do’s and don’ts. This month, we’re adding 5 more tips to help your next home remodeling project go off without a hitch.

6. Collect your decorating ideas

Before you meet with a contractor or architect, we recommend creating your own Pinterest or Houzz accounts where you can collect ideas for your dream home. Consider “pinning” images of your ideal layout, favorite appliances, ideas for unique functionality, finishes and your favorite color palette. Then, prioritize your images by categories such as “must haves,” “this would be nice,” and “maybe one day.”

7. Don’t rush through the planning and design phase.

While you may want to move quickly to the construction phase, it’s important to take time to visualize the layout, functionality, and feel of the newly remodeled space. Once construction begins, every change you make will cost both money and time. A little forethought is the best way to avoid pricey change orders, so be sure to take some time to picture yourself going through your daily routine in your new space.

Design/build firms specialize in providing clients with space planning tools and material selections during the design phase as an effective way of helping you visualize your remodel while keeping your budget in mind. This is just one of the ways design/build firms improve the client experience, so you don’t end up with any unwanted surprises!

8. Strive for a realistic budget

Speaking of budgeting, you can easily get a handle on how much your remodeling dreams will cost. Most clients want to know the total cost of everything from start to finish, including moving expenses, fees, and construction, otherwise known as the “all in” number. While it might be helpful to ask friends who have done projects in the recent past about costs, a design professional or remodeling contractor will be able to give you a more accurate number and a better idea of what to expect for your project.

Speaking with your design team about costs is not the time to hold your cards close to your chest. Design/build firms are committed to helping you get the most value for your dollar, but to find you the best opportunities to save on your design, they need as much information as you can provide them. Establishing your budget early in the process is extremely helpful to your team, as it’s one of the key ingredients to getting you the most bang for your buck while your team works to create a design that you’ll love.

There is an old project management saying that says, “Price, speed, quality — you can pick any two.” While it’s not false, — on the contrary, it underscores the fact that there are no easy trade-offs in a construction project — project pricing varies substantially based on a number of factors including location, the level of finish, complexity of construction, and the number of trades in the area, among others.

9. Hire a professional

Hiring a professional is one of the best choices you can make in the remodeling process. However, there are some ground rules when shopping around. Be sure to only hire remodelers who have more than three years of experience, have membership in the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), and a good record with the Better Business Bureau. They should also be licensed and insured, and be able to provide you with positive customer references. But above all, it’s important to select a remodeler that you trust.

When hiring a contractor, it’s important to establish that the contractors you are considering have an office, multiple carpenters, and solid business history. If they simply have a pickup truck with several tools, it’s best to look elsewhere. While a contractor working out of the back of a truck may be equally qualified and do excellent work, having an office with employees and a proven history of good business practices means you may suffer through fewer administrative issues during your remodel.

Make sure you visit a prospective contractor’s current job sites, too. The best remodelers will maintain obviously clean and organized work sites, take precautionary measures to ensure safety, and know how to keep a low profile in a neighborhood. It’s also imperative to call on references provided by prospective contractors. Once you’ve collected the above information firsthand, it’s also wise to search online for customer reviews. Be sure keep an eye out for any patterns, praise, and recurring complaints.

For expert advice on choosing a remodeling contractor, download this helpful eBook from a fellow Remodeler’s Advantage Roundtables member.

10. Combine and conquer with design/build

Once you’ve decided you’re ready for that home addition, kitchen remodel, or bathroom update, who do you call first? An architect? An interior designer? A contractor? Designers and architects are excellent at envisioning a design to suite your tastes, but they often create plans that end up exceeding your budget. On the other hand, a remodeling contractor alone may lack the skills to work with your ideas, solve complicated design issues, and compliment your home’s existing architectural style.

Wouldn’t it be easier to combine an architect, designer, and a contractor into one entity that would work together to stay within your budget? Thankfully, such an industry exists. It’s called design/build.

The design build approach is a team effort — one that works overwhelmingly in your favor. By combining industry experts and emphasizing communication, design/build closes the feedback loop for a collaborative approach that brings your project to life on-time and on-budget — every time. It’s the quintessential “one-stop-shop,” offering clients a pleasant experience with fewer surprises.

So if you need a remodeling company that values both your time and your budget, a design/build firm is the answer. At Progressive Builders, we do design/build right. Whether you’re just considering a remodel, or are already primed to start, we’re here to bring your vision to life – from start to finish.

Got an idea? Don’t wait to talk to us about it. We’ve worked with many clients who came to us with just the beginnings of an idea for a remodel and who are now enjoying their dream home update. Get the conversation started today. At Progressive Builders, we’ve got great ideas for every room in the house!