Jasmine Roth's Expert Tips Will Help You Survive A Living Room Remodel

With as many successful renovations as HGTV's Jasmine Roth has under her belt, you can bet she has made her fair share of mistakes – and has encountered plenty of homeowners who have made costly ones of their own. On her newest hit show, "Help! I Wrecked My House," Roth helps homeowners properly complete messy, half-finished home remodels, acting as the expert on what – and what not – to do during renovation.

When it comes to remodeling your home, Roth notes the living room as being the room that is "deceptively difficult to remodel" because it's the hangout spot for everyone in the family. As such, not only does it have to reflect your vision, but it needs to be fully practical and functional for every member of the household. "If you want to like your design, you need to think critically about your space before starting," Roth says. "Ask yourself the tough questions [and] be realistic about the answers."

Understanding yourself and your space, in addition to your budget and the limitations of your DIY abilities in certain areas is key to a successful living room remodel and to ending up with a space that is both beautiful and functional. Following Jasmine Roth's tips can help save you time, money, and stress and help you survive the process.

Understand your purpose for remodeling

As simple as it may sound, the first step in any remodel, regardless of the extent, is to sit down and come up with a definitive list of the reasons you want to remodel and all of the things you and your family are hoping to get out of it. "It doesn't matter if you're undertaking a complete renovation or simply looking to swap out a few frames on your gallery wall. Whenever a client comes to me with an idea, I always start with one question: what is your 'why?'," Roth says. "This means being honest and curious with yourself about what you're trying to accomplish, and then making a purposeful to-do list that keeps you focused and on task."

Simply not liking your current living room isn't enough of a reason to go ahead and start a remodel, and without a list of all the things that you want it to embody, the process will be that much more overwhelming and any decisions that you make will be that much more difficult. "Are you looking to bring your personality into your space or make it more kid-friendly, or just wanting to fix those annoying windows that always stick? Remodels come in all shapes and sizes. And the reasons for remodels come in all shapes and sizes, too," Roth says. "If you don't start with your 'why,' you run the risk of losing time and money, or creating a space that just doesn't work for you."

Design with functionality in mind

Remodeling your home in a way that is based on not just the way it looks, but what will be practical longterm for you and your family is vital. Because every household has different habits, lifestyles, and family dynamics, the day to day of each can look so different, which is why it's so important to consider your own family's day to day activities during remodel. When it comes to a room in the home that gets as much daily use from everyone in the family as the living room, it's particularly important to consider functionality as well as aesthetic.

While it's important to have a vision in your head about what it is you want your living room to look like and the feeling you want it to invoke, it's also important to be realistic about how that vision will translate to your everyday life. Just because you love the way the photo of a living room on your Pinterest feed looks, that doesn't mean it necessarily makes sense for the way you and your household live. "It's easy to get carried away and create a 'magazine-worthy' spread that is a complete mismatch for your family's lifestyle," says Roth. "Make sure you're designing your living room for the people you are—not the people you want to be."

Know when to hire a contractor

While Roth isn't one to discourage enthusiasm about DIY projects, she also notes the importance of understanding that there are some things you will never be an expert in – and that's okay. (Remember, she has a whole show where salvages houses after failed, overly-ambitious DIY projects.) In instances where you aren't fully confident in your abilities, it's best to call a professional, not only to save time and money, but also to protect the integrity of your home and keep you safe.

For these reasons, Roth says she always recommends consulting a professional contractor prior to doing any work in your living room that involves gas and electricity. "These are areas where hiring a contractor isn't just the smart thing to do, it's also the safe thing to do," says Roth. "With gas and electrical needs, this isn't just some 'avoiding headaches' advice. A contractor knows local building codes and the permitting required for these two categories. Please do not skimp on safety."

So while it's perfectly fine to want a new gas fireplace or to finally decide to repair the old one as a part of the remodel, unless you are a professional yourself, reserve a portion of the budget upfront for hiring someone who is to do all the work in this area. "Don't touch it," Roth says of anything involving work on gas. "Don't even think about it."