Anyone who's ever watched the HGTV show, "Love It or List It," knows there can be a lot of surprises. They add last-minute costs to a project, whether it’s a full top-to-bottom remodel for the kitchen, a bathroom renovation or simply just a spruce-up.

No matter how careful the contractor is there can be water or other damage, the need to repair bad wiring or replacing support beams.

David Waller, a leader in the Port Orange interior design industry for more than 40 years offers these tips on planning.

Are you staying or going?

The answer to this question will help you determine the amount you plan to spend. If you will sell sometime soon, say five years, look at the cost as an investment and spend only what you think you’ll get back in the sales price.

Do some market research and talk to real estate agents about the kind of renovations that increase value.

On the other hand, if you plan on staying, your remodel might be purely aesthetic.

Make a list of priorities

You don't have to do everything at once. What are the immediate must-haves? This circles back to the issue of selling or staying. Some of the first things buyers look at are flooring, the kitchen, and the bathroom.

If any of these are in disrepair or inadequate in any way the buyer will walk, but your priorities could be different, such as adding more kitchen storage or better lighting.

Set aside 20% of your budget to cushion the unexpected

Sometimes one change leads to another. For instance, a bathroom remodel could mean changing plumbing lines.

Or, you might find that the wall that needs to be removed to make a second bath is load-bearing. Now you have to find the money to replace some structure.

Remember, while this is all going on you won't be able to use the room, and people seldom factor in the cost of shelter and food. Will you be paying for hotels, restaurants, take-out food or pet boarding?

Other expenses might include pet boarding or additional paint and cleaning supplies.

Feel free to come into the David Waller Interiors showroom in Port Orange, FL. Be sure to schedule a complimentary design consultation and speak to one of our experts who will help you reach your goals.