19. Plan with Stock Sizes in Mind

"Ask yourself, 'Why am I building something 10 feet wide if plywood comes in 4-foot-wide sheets?'" says Lisa Stacholy, of LKS Architects, in Atlanta. The same applies to stock windows and doors: Use manufacturers' off-the-shelf dimensions from the outset and you will save the premiums of custom fabrication.

Cost of custom doors: $1,500-$2,500

Cost of standard doors: $500-$800

SAVED: Up to $2,000
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