Remodelers can do some amazing things, but they can't read minds. "Let the company supervisor or project lead person know if anything is unsatisfactory so they can deal with the issue," says Jeff Hurst, a Certified Remodeler (CR) and president of Hurst Total Home, Inc., in Kettering, Ohio. "The contractor may not be aware that something is not OK with the owner."

Even if you can’t reuse anything preexisting in your space, you can buy material and fixtures from salvage yards, Habitat for Humanity ReStores, and even at building material auctions. Don’t forget about buy/sell/trade websites too! Sometimes people are moving and need to sell perfectly fine appliances quickly, or you may end up finding a load of lumber leftover from someone else’s project.

One of the most expensive changes you can make in renovations is moving the big guys. I’m talking about sinks, bathtubs, stoves, walls, and windows. Sometimes removing a wall means needing to install expensive load-bearing beams, but other times opening up a wall might be easier than relocating a gas line and ventilation for a stove. Not only do you need to pay for the materials to support the move (plumbing, conduits, wiring, beams, new countertops, cabinets, etc.), but you usually will need to hire a professional to do the work. Unless the functionality of your space is really suffering, it’s not always worth the cost involved with making these big-time changes to your home’s footprint.
A great room to update for less than $750 is the bathroom. The two rooms that benefit most from even small renovations are the kitchen and bathroom. One cost-effective change — like replacing an outdated vanity, old plumbing and lighting fixtures or adding a new tile floor — will guarantee a lot of bang for your buck and give your bath an updated, modern look.

Only 7 percent of handymen and painters say they routinely are tipped, though 28 percent say they receive tips for service that goes above and beyond. Remodeling companies expect a tip 6 percent of the time, with 18 percent tipped for top-notch service. Half of remodeling firms say their gratuities come in the form of food and drink, gift cards or personalized gifts.
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