Know What is Important Know what is important to you and what is important for increasing the value of your home. Some projects see a greater return on investment, and certain projects will affect your listing price more than others. It also is important to know what you value. Oftentimes mid-project, you will find yourself needing to make tough choices on materials or installation costs. Knowing what you are willing to compromise on will make this decision smoother. DIY. Or Not. Completing a home project yourself to save money may not necessarily be the best way to go. For example, if you don't have the knowledge or experience, you could end up paying much more in the long run. While your labor is free, knowledge certainly isn't. It is smarter — and more budget-friendly — to know what you can handle and what is over your head. When to Hire an Expert If you feel like a project is over your head, it is time to start looking for an expert. Be sure to get at least three quotes for each service you need done. Remember that bids are about more than price. You should care about outcome, as well. Going with the cheapest bid doesn't do you any good if the level of work proves to be less than desired. Budget for the Unexpected Pad your budget. No matter what you think something will cost, unexpected issues always arise, from a hidden pipe that needs moving, to extra shipping charges, to unanticipated permit fees. A safety net of 10 percent of your overall budget should protect you from overextending yourself.