If you’re getting ready to embark on a home-improvement project, you’re not alone. The 2022 U.S. Houzz & Home Renovation Trends report revealed that home renovation activity and spend in the U.S. have reached their highest rates reported since 2018—and this year, more than half of homeowners (55%) plan to renovate, while nearly half (46%) plan to decorate.

In order to reap the full benefit of a renovation project—both for your lifestyle and your home’s value—keep the following tips in mind from MAD Design:

1. Know what you want to achieve. Think about the ultimate goal of your project before you dive in. For example, if you want to create an outdoor oasis, outline what it will take to achieve the end result, such as building a fire pit, adding an outdoor kitchen or creating an area to outfit with comfortable outdoor furniture. Think about what you’ll need to do structurally as well as in terms of accessories and lighting.
2. Set a realistic budget for what you want to achieve. Home improvement projects can quickly escalate in terms of cost, often breaking the bank for homeowners. Before you finalize the details of your project, set a strict budget and determine in advance how far over that budget you’re willing to go. Then make your choices in terms of materials and project scope based on the parameters of your budget.
3. Choose products that don’t require high material or labor costs. When possible, save on costs such as plumbing, electricity and structural work by opting for stand-alone products—i.e., a gas fireplace instead of the built-in, wood-burning version. This can give you some flexibility in terms of design as well.
4. Work with experts. Do your due diligence to select contractors and suppliers who are at the top in their field. Check out online reviews, get referrals from friends and make sure they’re fully licensed and/or recommended by the Better Business Bureau. The right professionals will help guide your decisions while keeping your budget in mind.
5. Know what you can DIY. You can save money by incorporating some DIY strategies into your overall project. Be prudent in making these decisions, ensuring that you’re not taking on something you’re not equipped to handle. Doing so will cost you more money in the long run.

You can also consider financing programs for your remodel. Look for options with no or low APR, which can allow you to complete the remodel of your dreams.