What are three easy upgrades that don’t cost a fortune?
1 Get rid of your clutter. Put things in cabinets or in closets -- we use inexpensive closet systems in all our projects -- and immediately, the space will look a lot bigger and more airy.

2 A fresh coat of paint! Don’t be afraid to use color on your walls or to paint a piece of furniture in an unexpected hue. It will make the whole space more alive, vibrant, and fun.

3 Take a trip to the local flea market and find one really cool, unique piece -- and it shouldn’t cost a lot of money. Make it the focal point for your room, and it will make a distinctive statement without spending a lot.

What are three ways to save money during renovations?
1 You’d be amazed at how much you can upgrade your home by changing old hardware to something new and fresh looking, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. It works in the kitchen, the bathroom, your bedroom -- all over.

2 For any renovation you are undertaking, make sure you get multiple bids on every project. Ask for references and check them to make sure you are working with somebody reputable, who does good work at a good price.

3 Don’t be afraid to take on small projects yourself. Places like Home Depot are really good at helping you get everything you need to, say, stain a deck, paint and plaster, put in a new door, or refinish a piece of furniture on your own.

Where are three areas where you shouldn’t tighten up the purse strings?
Never skimp on the roof, the plumbing, or your electrical work. These are areas where making the wrong decision just to save money will come back to haunt you.