Saving on home improvement jobs is an easy way to keep a little extra money in your pocket while increasing the value of your home. Some jobs will more difficult than others to save anything on, but in most cases you should be able to save at least something. The first rule in home improvement is to make sure and get several estimates. Even if you get a recommendation from a neighbor or friend, get at least one other estimate. Just because your buddy got a good price on the work he had done, does not mean you are getting the same good deal. Many things can factor in the price you receive. For example, if the person giving you a quote is in a slow period, he or she may be likely to come down on the price.
Another good tip is to figure out what parts of the job you could do. Some contractors or handymen may not work with you on this but a lot will. First, always get the full quote, and then ask them what the price would be if you did certain pieces. For example, lets say you are remodeling a bathroom, you might choose to do the demolition of the job or the painting afterwards. Sometimes when you get an estimate it is already broken up in the different jobs, so it will be easy to tell your contractor or handyman what you want to do.
There are a lot of home improvement jobs you can do yourself without any hired help. Also, sometimes you can tap into friends to help you do the job yourself. Painting is the easiest thing to tackle on your own. Most painters would charge anywhere from $300 to $500 for each room you want painted, however, usually the materials for painting cost about $75 for that room. Other things that are relatively easy are replacing fixtures, ceiling fans, and putting down tile.
You should never do anything you are not comfortable with or may create a hazard. Also, if you are working with big ticket items, it may be best to hire professional help. Something like installing a skylight can be easy, but you could also do some serious damage to your roof if you are not cautious. Other jobs like new fence installations or landscaping can easily be tackled by most homeowners with a little know how.
Be adventurous but temper that with smart caution. There are a lot of websites out there with information on doing home improvement jobs. Who knows, you might just learn some new skills and save some money too!