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Photo: SeventyFour (Shutterstock) Home improvement projects have become increasingly popular—but the same thing that’s driving their increased demand is also causing prices to rise. Not only do materials cost more now, appliances and labor do, too. You might still be able to squeak in that kitchen upgrade or home office retrofit, though, if you follow these tips. Plan ahead The most important part of beating inflation and saving yourself money is to plan ahead. Contractors are booked solid right now in most places and it can cost more to get someone who is readily available. Looking ahead at the calendar and scheduling your project around when the contractor you choose is available can save money and hassle in the long run. In addition, it gives you the time to do some other things that will make the project go more smoothly. Get multiple bids One thing that is always a good idea when you’re considering a renovation is to seek multiple bids for the work you need done. Take the time to compare prices, and be prepared to wait for the right contractor. Patience can save you money and also yield better results. When you’re comparing contractors, you also shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions. There might be money-saving ideas that you haven’t thought of, or there may be hidden costs. Reviewing both the quality, as well as the price of a contractor’s former work can give you a good indication of what to expect. Do a price comparison […]