2. Hire an architect. Find someone who has worked in your area, whose portfolio includes projects that reflect your style, and who has strong recommendations from past clients.
3. Retain a builder. As with your architect, the builder's experience in the area and his clients' recommendations are key.
4. Get a preliminary estimate of costs, based on general concepts.
5. Modify your plans and goals based on the relationship between costs and your budget
6. You're ready to go with the fun part: design. The architect will lead you along the way.
7. Obtain necessary building permits. Because your architect and builder are local, they will be very familiar with local building codes and restrictions -- saving you big money but NOT proposing something that want get approved. They will lead you through the permitting process.
8. Once permits are received, construction can be scheduled and you are off to the races!
2) Come up with a definite plan. What projects you will do, and what your timeline is. A definitive timeline will keep a project from dragging on too long. "When I get to it" won't happen if you have a date to be done by.
3) Acquire your materials. Remember the little things while you do this! You can't hang drywall without drywall screws. Labor also counts as a material here, like if you need to hire an expert (say a plumber or electrician).
4) Remember to plan for contingencies! Nothing ever goes perfectly in renos, and keeping that in mind will make it less of a headache when it happens. Have a buffers: in your budget for unexpected costs, in your timeline for unexpected delays.