How to renovate on a budget

Recognize your limitations

You might be able to tackle some renovations on your own. Other tasks, however, are best left to professionals.

As you evaluate your project, note areas that don’t coincide with your strengths. Also consider safety, says TV host and author Jeff Wilson. If your plan includes removing a wall, a professional can tell you whether that wall is weight-bearing.

The same is true for electrical and plumbing work, Wilson says. For these areas, "Only work with a professional to ensure the job is done correctly."

When bringing in professional help for part of the project, be up front. Talk to the contractor about the tasks you want to take on yourself and which ones you don’t want to handle. This will help you settle on both costs and scheduling.