Home renovations can cause a homeowner all kinds of angst, but there are a number of things that can be done to make the process go more smoothly and with as little problems as possible.

First things first – choose a reputable contractor

Make sure to do your research here. You don’t want to settle for less than stellar results when it comes to renovation work. Look at online contractor reviews, ask questions and try to get a look at the work the contractor has done. Ask for references. If the company you’re thinking of hiring is hesitant about letting you see their work or speak to those who have hired them, just walk away. Find a company that allows you to do this.

Plan on it

This gives you some control in the process. Look at designs online and get a feeling for what it is you’re wanting to accomplish with the renovation. Do some leg work yourself, instead of relying on the contractor to do it all. You’ll be happy you made some decisions on your own.

Lay down some rules

You’ve chosen a reputable contractor and with that comes a lot of trust. There will be a number of people you don’t know personally coming and going from your home. It’s important that you share some rules with your contractor about this, such as no smoking in the home, the use of washroom facilities, and how they’re going to deal with construction mess (i.e. having a disposal bin rental onsite). Let the contractor know right from the start what you will and won’t be comfortable with.

It’s in the details

Get everything you want and that the contractor has to agreed to, in writing. Only lay out money when that has been done. You want to make sure your ideas have been incorporated into the project. Getting something redone or fixed to your liking may cost you more than you bargained for. That’s why it’s important to get all the details on paper – all the I’s dotted and the T’s crossed.

Kiss the mess goodbye

A disposal bin rental is a must have on an extensive renovation project. Talk to your contractor about this. Renovations mean tearing down and building anew, which means drilling, hammering, sawing and lots of dust and refuse that need to be cleaned up at the end of each day. You don’t want construction mess to impact your health, the working of your appliances or heating and cooling systems.