Think Big Picture. Consider your family situation. How long will you be staying? If you will be moving within two to three years, think more about what is best for resale. If, you plan on staying in your home longer, design more for your personal tastes.
Focus on what you want as the end product. Get ideas from home improvement websites and magazines. Visit showrooms and model homes.
Make a list of your priorities and biggest needs.
Compare notes with your spouse and/or family members. Make sure you are all on the same page.
Decide on a realistic budget range. Think about what you are willing to spend. Determine needs vs. wants.
Discuss design options with your contractor. He can guide you in making wise, cost-effective choices.