You’re not alone if you’re considering a home improvement project but don’t know where to begin. Starting any rebuild or renovation may be stressful, but having the appropriate processes in place, from project selection to sensible financing tactics, can alleviate the burden.

Before starting any project, homeowners should think about which improvements they want to prioritize, what they can afford, and how they will pay for it all. This can assist you in finishing the job on time, on budget, and with fewer stress.

Conduct your research

Doing your research is an important part of preparing for a remodeling job. This includes thinking about design and material alternatives that represent your particular tastes as well as what can bring the most value to your lifestyle and property. It is also critical to plan ahead of time for things such as significant lead periods for contractors or supplies.

Create a Budget

Determine your budget before you begin planning a project. If your wish list is longer than your budget permits, try creating a short-term and long-term budget so you may handle some minor improvements right away and defer the larger changes until you’ve had a chance to save or acquire more funding.

Create a Financial Plan

Budgeting and selecting your financial plan are not the same thing. After you’ve established a budget, you’ll need to select how to pay for the job. Savings accounts offer at least some funds for almost 66 percent of homeowners who want to remodel, according to a survey conducted by online lender LightStream. In today’s unpredictable economy, though, draining a savings account may make you uneasy, especially if you’re using an emergency fund.

Credit cards are a financial plan that around 30% of homeowners will employ. However, unless credit card costs are paid off soon, you may find yourself carrying that debt for years, increasing the cost of your project owing to high interest rates over a long payback period.

An unsecured consumer loan, such as those offered by LightStream, is another financing alternative that may frequently save thousands of dollars in interest rates when compared to credit cards. Borrowing up to $100,000 at fixed rates with no fees is possible for homeowners with good credit. Funds can be paid straight into consumers’ bank accounts the same day they apply and used to pay for any remodeling service, finishes, or items.

Projects should be prioritized.

With your budget in mind, you can decide which renovations to prioritize. Start with your home’s most pressing requirements, even if they aren’t the most fun ones. Choose long-term effects above short-term remedies. Repairing a leaking roof or decaying foundation may not be as glamorous as designing a chef’s kitchen, but it’s critical that the improvements you choose to do sooner set you up for success — and higher house values — later.

Aside from urgent repairs, the most popular projects planned by homeowners this year, according to the poll, are kitchen (38 percent) and bathroom remodels (32 percent ). Building home offices has also grown in popularity as a result of the epidemic, with the number of planned projects more than tripling to more than 26 percent.

Think about the Environment

Mother Nature influences which upgrades are prioritized by many homeowners.

Approximately 35% of survey respondents stated that they want to invest in initiatives to improve their outdoor living areas. Consumers are eager in combining eco-friendly and sustainable items such as smart systems, energy-efficient lighting, solar panels, air and water filtration systems, insulated windows, and other money-saving, eco-sensitive products into indoor upgrades.

Many individuals are also opting to do business with firms that are devoted to environmental stewardship. LightStream, for example, plants a tree every time it approves a loan through a collaboration with American Forests, totalling more than 1 million trees planted across the United States.