Home repairs and renovations require time and money, but the results can increase your home's value and fix issues that would arise during a home inspection. Whether you're completing a task by yourself or working alongside a contractor, there are several ways you can cut down on the expense of altering your house.  The following tips will help you get all the benefits of a newly finished space without the financial heartache:

Buy your own fixtures

If you are working with a contractor or other professionals, it's often possible to save money by purchasing plumbing fixtures, lights, tile and other decor items yourself. Contractors will offer to buy these items for you, but that can add up quickly. A contractor will not shop around for the best price, and acts as a middleman between you and the store. Prevent price markups by providing workers with the items you want them to install. 

Maximize your home

When you begin planning a project, it's easy to dream big, but try to reign in your imagination. If you want to expand a room, investigate space-saving options that do not necessitate knocking down any walls. That sort of structural work can be incredibly costly, but you can achieve a similar effect in subtler ways. For example, replacing kitchen shelves with cleverly installed cabinetry and drawers can increase your home's storage capacity and provide more usable space. Apply this type of thinking to every room. Before you demand more space, ask yourself if you are effectively using the space you already have.

Plan ahead

Nothing swells a home improvement project's cost more than unexpected issues that occur as the work progresses. Prevent the majority of these surprises by establishing a solid plan before you pick up a hammer. Adhere to the plan once the project is underway. Any deviation will result in expensive mistakes and confusion. 

Do the easy stuff yourself

While there are plenty of home improvement tasks that require a professional eye, some preliminary jobs are easy to do yourself. If you intend to knock out a wall or remove fixtures in a room, grab a sledgehammer and go to work. While you need to be careful about electrical wiring and plumbing in walls, this is a great way to save some cash up front. 

Select standard options

Customized home fixtures will always cost more than their generic counterparts. Wherever possible, keep new elements in line with industry conventions. Doing so will save installation time and keep the material costs low.