You see a room remodel and think, "I can do that!" only to have the project cost more and be way more difficult than you thought. Here are a few tips to help make remodeling projects cost less. 

If you're hiring out the job, get a few different bids. The cheapest may look like the most attractive, but get it in writing what you're going to get for that price. We had a patio installed last summer and we needed the current patio space jacked up and the new patio sloped away from the house. We called three places. One came out to measure, but never called us back so they were out, and the other two were pretty much on par with each other, but one had a feature we wanted but didn't really need, and the other included black dirt and lawn reseeding because they tore up a good chunk of our yard. We went with the people who promised to reseed our yard. They cost a little more, but it was totally worth it.

Don’t be afraid to go with less expensive alternatives to high end materials. If you’re looking to do a granite countertop, but feel like it’s out of your budget, try granite tiles instead. The look is going to be just as beautiful at a fraction of the cost. We did this with our patio. I wanted more of an elaborate design, but looking at the numbers, the design I wanted would have put us over budget by a country mile. We could have gone with all new bricks, but the ones we had were in decent shape, and the company had bricks to match what color we already had. We ended up reusing a lot of the bricks we already had which saved us money on materials, and we only used two different colors of brick, which also saved us money on materials and labor. The patio looks wonderful and it cost less because of the materials we used.

If you’re redoing the kitchen or bathroom, one way to save some money is to buy factory direct, but have the pieces custom installed. Unless you have an odd shape you’re dealing with, it’s going to save you a lot of money by buying factory fixtures like toilets, counter tops, sinks and vanities. Just make sure you buy quality pieces and your contractor installs them well. No one is going to know that they weren’t custom made.