Whether you work with a general contractor, or act as one on your own project, getting a glimpse into the mind of a contractor can give you a new perspective into your remodeling projects.

Read on to find out and to see what can help simplify your home remodel.

1. Don’t delay decisions. If you want your remodel to go well, the best thing to do is make every single decision before work starts. A good builder can talk you through the list of situations that might come up on your job, but decisions about situations aren’t usually what cause delays.

Instead, most of the issues are related to decisions about things like paint, trim and faucet selection. These may seem small, but when your faucet is two weeks late, plumbers have to be rescheduled and the medicine cabinet door hits the faucet when it’s installed, you’ll see how something small can balloon into a week’s delay on a five-week project.

2. Don't change your mind (too much). Every time you change your mind, it'll result in a "change order." Although the change may seem minor, there are always added costs — even if it's only the time spent discussing the change. Scheduling can be affected too.  Everyone makes changes, and that's OK — just be aware of the potential to disrupt and delay the job.

3. Don't buy your own materials. It seems like an obvious way to save money — a contractor is going to mark up the cost of materials and pass that added cost on to you. True, but the contractor may get a better price than you, meaning that even after markup, you'll pay the same price.

4. You can't put lipstick on a pig.  It’s common for people to put money into fancy cabinets for a house with a sagging foundation, or want a high-efficiency furnace for a house with no insulation. Listen to the professionals who come to look at your job. Be open to their suggestions.

5. Have a contingency fund. If you find out that the work you wanted to do costs more than you expected or budgeted, you’re in good company. It’s almost unheard of that a person sets a realistic budget for a project. But if you make all decisions ahead of time, you should be able to stay within about a 5% increase in your original budget.

6. Keep kids and pets away from construction. It's just not safe to have children or animals around construction.

7. Keep yourself away, too. If you can’t move out for the whole job, try to schedule some time away  when you can’t handle coming home to a messy and stressful construction site.
8. Talk isn't cheap. Every minute someone working on your house spends talking to you, they are not working on your house. Is the conversation important and one that will have an impact on the job?

9. What is your house telling you? Can an ultramodern kitchen work in a Victorian brownstone? Absolutely. A house can evolve with the times and there are no hard and fast rules — trust your designer/contractor's opinion.

10. We have the word "design" in our name for a reason. Don’t start a remodel without a detailed floor plan. Many elements interact in a space—put them all on paper and you’ll catch problems more quickly. You might build a functional space without a plan, but if you want a functional AND beautiful space, hire a designer/contractor like Wagner Design & Construction, LLC.
(Ideas borrowed with permission and edited by us, from houzz.com)

A little tweak here and there, and it's perfect.