Renovations are a great way to boost home value and aesthetics. You probably already have some ideas and may have even received inspiration from the dozens of remodeling shows. Having a few high expectations is normal — especially during the planning phase — but you must consider how well they’ll hold up against reality.

You don't want to go all in, look back halfway through and wish you’d done something differently. Here are some home renovation truths to prepare you for such an undertaking.

It Will Cost More Than You Think

Remodeling projects often come with unexpected costs, most of which you can’t sidestep. For example, major renovations may require temporary housing, which can be a significant expense. Your project may require a specific permit, which comes with an application fee and other charges. Always give yourself a budget buffer of at least 10% to cover unforeseen overheads.

There Will Be Project Delays

Lousy weather, supply chain disruptions, lengthy permit approvals or other sudden complications can stretch your project timeline. Unexpected delays are typical in home renovations, so don’t let the occasional holdups get to you. Add a few extra days to your timetable to offset potential interruptions — you won't need them in the best-case scenario, but it pays to have them just in case.

Your Non-Negotiables Soon Become Mundane

Before the project begins, you might have some hard-and-fast requirements about specific changes and their importance. These are probably the first things you mentioned to the contractor during the initial meeting. However, these soon become things you don’t care about or may not even want anymore, usually because they’re either too expensive or too time-consuming to do.

For example, many homeowners spend thousands of dollars to install a pool but later realize they don't have the time to swim in it. Be realistic about what adds value to your home and what qualifies as a vanity renovation. In most cases, boring things like rewiring and plumbing upgrades are a remodeling project's most important focal point.

You’re Partly Responsible for Equipment Safety

You’ll likely have construction equipment on your property during a major renovation. Since it’s on your land, you’re partly responsible for preventing theft — and heavy equipment items are five times more likely to be stolen.

Keep in mind this doesn't necessarily mean you’re liable, especially if the contractor has the relevant insurance. However, stolen machinery can cause significant project delays and even potentially lead to trust issues with your remodeler. It wouldn't hurt to improve your security measures and enjoy some peace of mind.

It Can Be a Stressful Endeavor

Major home improvements can be physically and emotionally demanding. You need to prepare for the stress and disruption of living in a construction zone, particularly the dust, noise and inconvenience inherent in the process.

Another critical consideration is your neighbors. You may be ready for the hassles of renovation, but they’re not. A heads-up before the project starts is the least you could do.

The ROI Reality Check

A well-planned remodel can drive up your home value. Generally, renovating your property can yield up to 69% of the recovered project cost, but not all improvements are equal. Spending more doesn't always equate to a higher investment return, so you’ll want to research to ensure certain projects are worth your time and money. For example, replacing your garage door has an ROI that’s two times higher than installing a laminate kitchen countertop.

DIY Isn’t Always the Cheapest Option

People talk about DIY like it will always save you money over hiring a professional, but this isn't always the case. Some projects — such as roofing replacements and new additions — are best left to the pros, as attempting to do them yourself can cost you much more in repairs.

Major Home Renovations Take Patience

Embarking on a major home renovation is a significant undertaking that requires careful planning, preparation and realistic expectations. You’ll be saving yourself a lot of stress and unpleasant surprises by recognizing the realities of the process from the get-go.