Q: We want to have our basement finished. Our builder gave us an estimate of $34,000 to complete the work. I can do sheet rock, flooring and the electrical rough-in myself, which should save me a lot of money. I would contract out HVAC, plumbing and trim work.

How much do you think I could save by doing the work myself? By the way, should we get a home equity loan or home equity line of credit?

A: The only difference between a home equity line of credit and home equity loan is that when you take out all the money up front (with the loan), you start paying interest on it immediately. If you take out the money as you need it (line of credit), you may save something there.

If you can do all of that work yourself, I’m guessing you can probably save one-third to one-half of on the estimate, or more. But be sure to talk to your local building department. They may not permit you to do your own electrical work unless you are an experienced or licensed electrician or plumber.