It’s that time of the year when many homeowners are considering renovating. While sprucing up your home can be exciting, here are some suggestions for prudent ways to approach a renovation, regardless of size.

• Do obtain multiple bids. Regardless of whether it’s love at first sight, having multiple bids may help provide peace of mind, knowing that you didn’t overpay for your renovation.

• Do ask for previous samples of work or references. This will help ensure that your hired professional has executed similar renovation projects.

• Do have inspiration images and overall design direction. There is nothing worse than flying blind on a renovation project.

• Don’t purchase your materials once your project has commenced. Instead try to have fixtures, appliances, etc., preorder to avoid delays in your project, which will likely increase cost.

• Don’t submit change orders, or try to submit as few as possible. Many contractors charge fees relating to changing work orders.

• Don’t micromanage. While it is prudent to be on top of your project, it may be counterproductive to be overly involved.

By Cathy Hobbs, Tribune News Service (TNS). Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at [email protected] or visit her website at