When it comes to home renovation, mistakes usually add up quickly in terms of both time and money. One of the most important benefits of working with professional designers and contractors is their experience and training. When you can rely on their expertise, a professional contractor or kitchen designer can steer the ship for more efficient results all around.

To keep your renovation project on time—and on budget—consider the following tips from the pros.

Indecision kills time—and timeline
The sheer number of decisions a homeowner has to make during a renovation can be paralyzing for some people. From flooring to finishes to financials, there won’t be many decision-free days during a renovation, which is why it’s important to be decisive. That’s not to say you can’t change your mind, but it is important to remember from the outset that when you make a change it often comes with an accompanying delay in the renovation timeline, or added cost, or both.

Beware of ordering “cheaper” online
Ordering items online for less than they are priced in-store—we all do it, right? It’s not a big deal if it’s a pair of jeans; if you order the wrong size, you just send them back! That doesn’t quite work when talking about home renovations. When you order products online (especially without talking to your contractor) you run the risk of missing parts, incompatibility, or ordering the wrong size. These scenarios can all cause delays, which in turn costs money.

Top tip: Communicate—it’s free!
Starting from the outset with clear, open lines of communication is the key to any good renovation project. Talking about expectations with your designer, contractor, and other vendors will help everyone establish their roles throughout the process. Work with people you like, and with whom you feel comfortable; determine a budget early and include a contingency budget for unforeseen costs. Finally, create a timeline and share with everyone to keep everyone mindful of both the timeline and the bottom line.