If you have just purchased a new home that needs a bit of work, or your well loved abode is beginning to look a bit too lived in, surely there are some home improvement projects on your to do list. While the thought of remodeling can be quite intimidating, with the noise and disruption, dust and dirt, good planning can reduce the chaos. Whether you are a do it yourselfer or plan to hire a contractor to complete your projects, there are a number of steps you can take to make sure they are completed in a timely and organized fashion. If you are working with a limited budget or enjoy doing your own work, a do it yourself approach to needed home improvement projects is an option for you. While there are many projects that require a professional to complete, such as electrical wiring or complex plumbing situations, many others can be done by the homeowner. Even if you are not experienced in the hands on approach, many home improvement stores offer classes in common home repairs, and many instructional resources are available in the local library, bookstore, or on the Internet. Prior planning is important for those who choose to do their own home improvement projects. An outline of the steps of your project and the materials that will be needed is important for the most organized approach, avoiding the last minute run for forgotten items in the midst of your job. Researching the prices and quality of products offered at a variety of suppliers is wise, ensuring that you get the most for your home improvement dollar.If you prefer to place your home improvement projects in the hands of professionals, choosing a reliable and skilled contractor is crucial for smooth and satisfactory completion. Caution is important when shopping for the right contractor, and references are a must. Ask your friends, family, and neighbors who have done successful renovation projects for information on the contactors they used. Never hire a contractor that is traveling door to door to solicit work, as this is a popular scam tactic. No contractor should demand payment in full before the job is completed. The accepted method for most legitimate contractors is a payment plan broken into thirds, with one third as a down payment, another halfway through the job, and the last payment made after all work has been completed to your satisfaction. These terms should be clearly stated in a written agreement before any project is begun. With preparation and research, you can manage your home improvement projects to your advantage, reducing the hassles and disruption that remodeling can bring. With a well planned project, you can be enjoying the benefits of your new and improved home sooner than you may expect.