In my experience renovation can take a toll on your personal life and if you have'nt planed it well it could be a nightmare. But if you do your homework and consult with family members and friends with previous renovation experience it could be done like a dream.
My recommendations are:
- If you are a family consult and discuss with your family members what you are planing to do and make sure they are all on board to do it.
- Make sure you have the financial means before undertaking the project.
- Before starting a project, check with your city for the limitations and possibilities and obtain the proper permits.
- When hiring a professional make sure that he is a licensed contractor that has been recommended to you by someone you know and where you can go and check their previous work.
- Make sure he/she is bounded and insured.
- Make sure that you sign an agreement outlining all the work and the cost involved in the job and the time frame that it will take to finish the work.
- budget for 20 % above the estimated cost for any unforeseen things that might come up and always ask for a second opinion before you commit yourself.
- There are a lot of useful tip videos on YouTube posted by well known contractors and home renovation centers.