You should know up front of how much you can afford to borrow and comfortably pay back and what banks are willing to lend you based on your current financial, mortgage and home value situation. I would recommend starting the conversation with your bank first and then talking with Contractors about what types of projects your are looking to take on. Many experienced Contractors can offer you budget ranges for most projects and then it becomes your decision to determine if that fits within your budget.
Normally flooring inside the home doesn't raise a red flag but since your home is attached and may affect other homeowners, i always advise checking in with management before taking on any home improvement projects. Good luck!
There are a few avenues to choose from when looking to begin a remodeling project. Many homeowners will ask 2 questions up front - 1) What can I do....2) What will it cost? You can contact an Architect and have them meet to discuss your thoughts and ideas. Many Architects in San Diego that have experience in residential architecture will be helpful in helping you identify what can and cannot be done to your home regarding structure, codes, setbacks etc. Contractors are often helpful as they bring an element of design along with price scenarios to complete which is the other half or part 2 of the questions that homeowners have. Another option is to consult with a Design / Build firm that offers both design and cost suggestions. Many homeowners have a budget but don't know or understand what construction costs and a Design / Build company can design a project that fits many of the wants and needs into a budget that is comfortable for the homeowner. Many Architects, Building Contractors and Design / Build firms will consult with homeowners for the first meeting, free of charge, to explain the types of service and value they can offer. In the end, this lets the homeowner weigh the best options that suit their needs.