After speaking to several contractors and having floor plans drawn up by an interior designer, we were told to budget approximately $90,000 for the renovation. While we knew our project list was substantial—a full kitchen, bedroom, ensuite bathroom, living room, laundry facilities and storage closets—that large number was still hard to swallow. However, none of us had the time or skills required to take on the reno work ourselves. Fortunately for us, our contractor was receptive when I asked what we could do to save money. He told me there were still ways to spare my bank account: I could source and deliver materials myself, shop around for deals on appliances and fixtures, and obtain all of the required work permits. Taking on those tasks would save him time and save me money, he explained. And it did, to the tune of $18,000—our renovation came in under budget at $72,000 in the end.