Joanna Linberg

photo: Thomas J. Story

Remodels eat up cash. One way to economize is to handle any demolition yourself. "If someone has the strength and the will to get dirty, they can usually do it," says Julia Bettencourt, owner of bathroom showroom Plumbed Elegance, in Santa Cruz, California. She saved about $800 on her bathroom redo by tearing out the walls and old fixtures herself (just wear a dust mask when removing insulation).

P.S. Like the bathroom above? See the whole house.

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