One of the first things to determine before you start renovating is to think to yourself –- what is my long-term goal? There is a big difference between living in your unit for one year versus five years.
If you are looking to sell within a year, you might want to consider a look and design that buyers want and will easily sell on the market. If this is somewhere you plan on living for five-plus years, then feel free to get creative!
Another important item to discuss amongst yourself is an idea of how you want your renovation to look. Do your research on different materials, styles, and looks that will satisfy your needs. There are different websites that are easy to navigate, such as houzz.com which allows you to search all kinds of topics and see pictures for ideas. By going into your project with a solid idea for your unit, everything will go smoother.
Deciding on a contractor can be a very stressful and difficult process. Remember to look for a contractor that has experience with similar projects you are interested in. Read as many reviews as possible from multiple people. Ask for references you can personally contact. Lastly, choose a contractor that fits your ideas and style. Different contractors offer more services than others, so be sure you know what you are getting into.