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Even a seemingly small renovation can drastically go over budget or past deadline if something unexpected comes up. We all know those people with a half-finished basement or a partially renovated bathroom that’s been in the same state for years because they either ran out of money or got off track and had to prioritize other activities. If you’re prepping to sell a home or have just bought a fixer-upper, these tips will help your next renovation project stay on schedule and on budget.

Know your goal from the start. It pays to kick off your renovation with a clear vision. Keep your options defined and use a design board as a visual guide. Make this available to your contractors and designers, so everyone is on the same page.

Don’t second guess yourself. Unless something really unexpected happens and you’re forced to reconsider part of your renovation entirely, stick to the decisions you made early on. Major changes partway through a renovation often mean a longer timeline and a larger investment than originally calculated.

Be part of the process. You might be leaving the messy bits to the experts, but staying engaged and communicating with your design team throughout means you’re more likely to stay on track. Contractors might need you to sign off on orders, while designers might need your feedback on a photo or material. How responsive you are makes a big difference in how efficiently things get done.

Most renovations require time, effort and organization. However, they don’t have to be painful. By having a clear vision, being confident in your decisions and communicating with your design team, you can ensure your renovation stays on timeline and on budget.

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