Every home improvement project should be taken with caution and careful planning. Surely, nobody wants to have their time, money and efforts wasted because of preventable mistakes.

Save yourself from possible headaches by knowing what things to watch out for when remodeling your living room. Here are some of them.

Do: Take your lifestyle into consideration

Before breaking ground, try to visualize how you would most likely use your living room space. Do you plan on entertaining company often? Is having a television set a necessity for you? Do you value comfort more over the ‘wow factor’?

You must remember to think long-term. If you own a house, chances are you and your family will be living in it for years to come. It’s also helpful to ask other people (your parents for example) who have done their own home renovations as their family grew over the years. Ask them which things worked and which didn’t. What are the things they would’ve done differently given the chance?

Don’t: Assume that your initial budget will equal the final cost

You’ve diligently done your research on materials, labor and remodeling component costs, yes, but there will always be unforeseen events that might lead you to go over your original estimate. For example, opening your living walls may lead to damages in electrical, and structural hardware. Old homes may have severe molding or deteriorated wood.

Prepare for these by setting aside some extra money for possible accidents or delays before starting your project.

Do: Splurge on classics, but save on trends.

It’s important to be aware of trends so you can follow them accordingly. But you should spend your money more wisely by spending the bulk of your furniture budget on things that will stay in style for years after you’ve purchased it.

Don’t: Force family members or friends who are inexperienced in construction to help you out.

You might think enlisting your dad or your male cousin to help you install lights or tear down walls is a money-saving idea. But without proper knowledge or prior experience in remodeling you might end up damaging some parts of your home in the process.

Ask for their help when doing easier tasks like moving in new furniture or cleaning up after the contractors are done.

Do: Consult the professionals.

Hiring and consulting professionals for your living room remodeling project is one of the ways to ensure that you get the living room that you envisioned.

You can find contractors online but a better way to find a good one is too ask around. Ask friends or family if they can recommend someone who’s work is tried and tested.

Don’t: Assume that an over-the-weekend project will really just take a weekend to finish.

Like your budget, time is another unpredictable factor in home remodeling. While TV shows make it seem that raising a house from its foundation is possible in just 2-3 days, remember that those projects usually involve a great number of professionals and workers.

But although time is difficult to gauge, you should still draw up a rough timeline of when you want certain things done to your living room. Don’t forget to consult and plan the timeline with your contractors though to avoid miscommunication and mishaps.

Dodge possible living room remodeling mishaps by taking these six dos and don’ts into consideration in every stage of your project. Remember that the saying is true. A good defense is really the best offense.