(Family Features) As a homeowner, there is nearly always a laundry list of projects with time and budget constraints when it comes to a home remodel.

This step-by-step guide from the experts at the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) can help ensure you get the maximum return on your investment and make the most of your remodel.

Step 1 – Identify Reasons for Remodeling
Deciding whether to undertake simple aesthetic changes or a full remodel can be difficult. One of the best ways to decide is to figure out why you are remodeling in the first place, whether it’s to make your new house feel more like home or to update a 1950s-era kitchen.

Step 2 – Set Your Budget
Every home is unique in structure, age, quality and craftsmanship, which all impact the price of a remodel. Since no one can see through walls before demolition, the quote you receive will likely not be 100 percent accurate. However, a qualified remodeling company will be open and honest about the issues and challenges it might face during the process. Account for these adjustments by planning for any “surprises” with a 10 percent cushion, just in case.

Step 3 – Hire the Right Team
To help ensure you find the right company for the job, you should do your research. Referrals from friends and family are one way to find a designer and remodeler. National associations can provide information and resources that can help you find qualified designers and remodelers in your area. These organizations represent professionals who adhere to a strict code of ethics. Many hold certifications in  home remodeling, kitchen and bath design and carpentry.

Step 4 – Understand the Plan
Communication is key in a successful remodeling project. Keep the lines of communication open between you, the remodeling contractor and the work crew. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Let them know your family’s schedule and whether you have pets confined somewhere. Make sure to specify the best way to reach you, such as phone, in-person or e-mail, and how often you wish to communicate with your remodeling contractor about your project.

Step 5 – Complete the Project
While the dust is settling and the remodel is almost finished, take a moment to walk through your project and note any adjustments that need to be made while the contractor is still on site. Contractors often provide guarantees of workmanship, so find out what they cover and for how long then include this information in your work agreement. You should also take another look at the contract and confirm you have signed permits, receipts, change orders, lien waivers, warranties and manufacturers’ guides at your disposal.

Remodeling a space can be a major project, but with the right help, resources and information, you can make your dream home come to fruition.

Having a well designed and creative use of your space doesn’t need to break your budget or remain only a “dream.” Contact JeanE Kitchen and Bath Design to schedule a consultation in Raleigh, North Carolina and surrounding areas.

At JeanE Kitchen and Bath Design, we are passionate about helping our clients realize their dream kitchen or bath. Whether it’s a re-model or new construction, starting with a good kitchen and bath design is the most important factor in achieving the beautiful and functional space you want.

Source: National Association of the Remodeling Industry

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (family looking at paint swatches)