Getting your estimates on the project early is one of the most important steps in saving money on your project. Your discussions with potential contractors, project managers, subcontractors, architects or designers will help you identify ways to save by refining your design, changing some of the materials in your plan, or even in deciding who will manage the project and do the work. Estimates will generally be sufficiently detailed to help you understand the breakdown of labor and materials costs. You can certainly ask for that information when you request estimates. Based on these estimates, you can shop for better prices on materials and make decisions about who will do various parts of the work. For example, you might decide that you would rather invest your time in certain types of work than your money. Rather than paying someone to sand and stain trim boards, you might decide to do this yourself.

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