Making your home goals a reality can be exciting but also involves a lot of planning, work and money. Before getting started on your home improvements, you want to make sure that you have a vision and budget ready so that everything can be completed smoothly and on time. On top of having a new look or new features, remodeling your home may also increase its value, making the home more attractive to buyers if you decide to sell.

Here are some steps to take when deciding to make improvements to your home:

Step 1: Plan out your vision

Go through your home and decide what you want to update, fix or add. If you need some structural improvements, you can hire an inspector to check out your home. Think about what exactly you would like to improve and how it would add to your space.

Some good improvements to also increase the value of your home include repainting, a kitchen remodel, adding a deck and adding energy-efficient appliances and windows, which also helps you to receive a green energy tax credit if you install Energy Star-rated windows. You can use websites such as Pinterest or Houzz for inspiration on the exact designs, colors and materials you want to use.

Step 2: Do the research

After planning out what you want to change, you need to research what you’ll require to actually get the work done. Maybe you want to hire someone to do these updates or you want to get the materials to doityourself (DIY). Either way, you need to find out how much work your new project requires, the types materials and equipment you’ll need and whether you’ll need help.

When looking through materials and equipment, keep a basic budget in mind, thinking about what you can afford. To help you plan out what needs to be done, you could hire an interior designer for a consultation to assist you in deciding what works for your space.

Step 3: Create a reasonable budget

Now that you have an idea of what you need to complete the project, you should create a budget to ensure that you don’t overspend on things you don’t need. Look at the costs of the materials and equipment you need from different vendors and set a reasonable goal for each.

To fund these expenses, you can use money you’ve saved up, take out a home renovation loan or a personal loan. It’s always great if you can afford these costs on your own, but many people will take out a loan or use their credit card. Only use a loan or credit card if you are given a reasonable interest rate and you are sure that you will be able to pay it off.

Step 4: Decide on the timing of the project

After you’ve gotten your finances together, you should create a schedule for what needs to be done and when. Of course, you may not have everything finished at your exact time projections, but it’s good to have an idea of when you want things completed.

If you’re planning to sell your home, you should allow extra time to make sure that the renovations are completed when you put your home on the market. You don’t want to have partially done renovations while prospective home buyers are visiting your home.

Step 5: Get the necessary tools and equipment

Finally, you can start getting all the tools and equipment you need, whether it’s workers and/or the actual supplies. Look at your vision and your budget, and start buying the materials and equipment you need. Try to stick to the budget that you created for yourself. Although it is likely that you’ll have forgotten to add a few necessary materials. If so, look back over your budget and add in those items; you may have to adjust the overall budget as well to afford what you need.

You’ve got your vision, budget and plan for the project, and now it’s time to make it happen! Try to stay within your budget, but don’t skimp on materials. Using better-quality materials will allow those changes to last longer and look better and could add higher value to your home.