Home renovation ideas are a dime a dozen and home remodeling costs can add up fast. Tackling one project after another and not seeing the results you really wanted can be pretty disheartening. How do you know where to start and what the best options are for your home and budget?

There are so many ways to tackle a remodel or renovation that it’s easy to get lost in the weeds and lose sight of the goal. Rather than spend hours and potentially thousands on a remodeling path that isn’t giving you the results you really want, it’s important to know what your end goal is before you start out.

Take things in stages. Don’t start on the finish work like paint and hardware if you know a larger floor plan renovation is in the cards later on. Being realistic about what you need done and when will help avoid backtracking and eating up extra time and money.

Here are three home renovation ideas to get you started on the right track for your home and budget.

The Biggest Bang For Your Buck: Kitchen Reno

Kitchen renovations often have the best return on your investment, so if you’re looking to sell your home in the near future, overhauling and upgrading the kitchen is a great way to up the total price of your home. Newly renovated kitchens are a strong selling point in most markets, so this is also a relatively safe project to take on financially.

That said, be prepared for the upset the remodel can cause to your routines. While this is generally a short-lived side effect, it can still be hard to live in a construction zone for the duration of the project. Make a plan for meals ahead of time, so you aren’t left scrambling.

The Quickest Way to Change to Vibe: Paint

Rearranging furniture and changing simple things such as the paint and door hardware are some of the fastest ways to change the look and feel of a room. If you’re on a tighter budget and just want to change the space as much as you can for the money, this is probably your best option.

That said, there are definitely times when just changing the wall color won’t be enough to meet your needs, such as if you need another bedroom to accommodate a family member.

The Best For Saving Money in The Long Run: Windows

Renovating for energy efficiency is a great way to lower your heating and electricity bills in the long term. One of the quickest and simplest ways to do that is by replacing older windows with more energy efficient ones. Windows that seal well help keep out drafts and external temperatures, which lightens the demand on a home’s heating or air conditioning system.

While there are other places to upgrade, changing out the windows will net you the biggest gain for your outlay, at least right off the bat. From there, you can move on at your own pace to lighting, insulation, and other areas that may need addressing.

So there you have it — three ways to start your home remodeling journey off on the right foot. Home renovation ideas can run from the simple to the extreme, so it’s best to have a good idea of the level of work you actually need to put into a project to get the results you want. This can go a long way toward saving you time and money in the long-run by helping you narrow your focus and zero in on what you actually want to get out of your renovation.

When you’re considering your space, always look for where you can improve it to have it better meet your needs and the needs of your family. Some cosmetic projects are best left on the back burner while the structural changes are made. Once the layout is where you want it, you can tackle the finishes like paint and hardware.

Focus on what you actually need from the renovation — is it more space, a different layout, different finishes? This will go a long way toward getting you the results you want without a lot of extra hassle, time, money, and potential backtracking. By taking things in stages and starting off on the right track for the results you want, you’ll soon have a home that suits you and your family just right.