At some point, your home is going to need more than a touchup – it’s going to need a remodel. You may decide structural changes and repairs are necessary for some rooms, or the exterior may require new siding and other improvements. This year, consider a summer remodel that addresses some of your home’s most pressing issues and allows your personal style to shine.

It’s a pleasure to daydream about how your home will look after your summer remodel. Perhaps you are planning a sophisticated kitchen, a spruced-up bathroom, or comfortable patio addition. Your dream can become a reality if you put in the planning and take certain steps in advance.

Make sure your remodel goes smoothly by checking off the items on this list:

Start Planning Now

The demand for contractors skyrockets in the spring and summer months. They do most of their work during the sunny seasons, and scores of homeowners vie for their services. Contact several contractors, discuss your plan, and take bids as early as possible. You must also vet them carefully to be sure they can do the job well and stay within budget. Selecting the right people for the job can take months, and then they have to fit you into their schedule. If you are serious about a summer remodel, get started now.

Be Realistic About Time

Remodels almost always hit a bump or two. Often, the timeline for completion must be adjusted more than once, depending on several factors. The cost and availability of materials may change, contractors may lose workers, or you may discover unexpected structural issues. A two-month timeline can easily become six. Go into your project knowing that it could take longer than expected.

Create a Budget and Secure Funds

Create a detailed budget for your project using input from your contractors. Your bank may also want to weigh in if you are financing your summer remodel. Your budget should include room for the unexpected since remodels are famous for surprises, both big and small.

Secure your funding from a lender or set aside savings for the project. Your contractors and subcontractors need to be paid as agreed to ensure timely completion of the job, so have the money ready.

Do the Kitchen First

If you are remodeling with an eye towards increasing your home’s resale value, remodel the kitchen first. Not only will you recover about 60% of the cost for this room when you sell, but you’ll also enjoy the convenience and look of the room while you still live in the house. Plus, kitchen remodels are messy. You don’t want the dirt and grime to mar other remodeling efforts like fresh paint jobs.

Remember the Outdoors

Your summer remodel should include outdoor features. For instance, consider improving your current patio if you have one and adding one if you do not. Although your patio doesn’t count toward your home’s square footage, it adds living space to the property that you can use for two or three seasons of the year.

Consider removing flat concrete pads and replacing them with interesting stone tiles or other materials for a visual pop. A fire pit and comfortable outdoor furniture can make a tremendous difference without adding much to your summer remodel budget. Be certain to check out furniture reviews before selecting your outdoor furniture so that you buy attractive, durable pieces.

Remodel the Landscaping

Redoing your home’s landscaping is one quick and affordable way to upgrade your home. You can hire professional landscapers to do the work, or you can choose to DIY it to save money. Either way, you’ll need to draw up a plan and budget.

Depending on the size of your property, you can create various interest points that include water features, new trees, expanded flower beds, or a wildflower spot. Just adding a few benches and upgrading your fence can enhance your home’s curb appeal. And you’ll have more ways to enjoy the warm days that you spend at home.

Final Thoughts

Your summer remodel may be a large or small effort, but no matter its size, you need to research and plan your project carefully. Vet all of your contractors, make certain you have the cash in hand and prepare to be patient. You may be incredibly lucky and have everything go off without a hitch. Realistically, though, you will probably run into a few problems. When the job is done, you will see it was worth the effort. You will enjoy a much-improved living space while increasing your home’s resale value.