If you have owned a home and used a contractor, you will appreciate the challenge of coming in on the budget for any renovation. We hope this article (part 1) will be of help in coming in on a budget.

Buying a house that needs some remodeling can be a great way to turn an inexpensive house into your dream home. However, if you’re not careful, the remodeling job can burn through more money than you expected and take longer than you thought, leaving you scrambling to find somewhere to live while it is being completed. The first part of coming in on budget and on time is choosing the right contractor.

Tip 1: Review multiple estimates

Start by getting at least three estimates for your remodeling job. Remember, though, that the cheapest isn’t always the best. A low price might mean that the contractor is planning to cut corners, and costs could go up once you correct the mistakes or clarify what you really want. If one estimate is significantly less expensive than the others, ask that contractor what exactly is covered in that estimate to ensure it will complete that project to your satisfaction.

Tip 2: Get references and read reviews

Don’t base your entire decision off what the contractor tells you, but do your homework to find out what others are saying. A personal reference is the best way to find out about the contractor’s past work, so ask around to see if anyone in your networks has used that contractor, and find out whether the work was completed on budget and on time. You can also read reviews online, especially on sites like Angie’s List that offer lots of honest, unbiased reviews.

 Tip 3: Take note of what’s not included in the contract

Some estimates don’t include the costs of permits that may be needed to complete work. Others leave off appliances, assuming you will purchase them on your own. Make sure you account for these costs to come in on a budget.