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10. Partner With a Contractor

Though the practice is controversial among the trades, some contractors will offer consulting and mentoring services to skilled do-it-yourselfers on an hourly basis. Chicago-area builder Ted Welch charges $150 per hour for such coaching, with a two-hour minimum commitment. "The most satisfied clients tend to be those who have good manual dexterity, who realize that skills need to be practiced in order to be perfected, and who are willing to risk making a few mistakes and then learn from them," he says.

Cost to drywall one room: $1,000

Cost with DIY consultation: $300 (2 hours of coaching), plus materials

SAVED: $700
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