Home renovation should be divided into two separate categories, want and needs. So before you consult a home improvement contractor sit down and make a set of lists. One list of what type of renovations you want done on the house and a list of home improvements this old house needs the most. There's no since in doing a kitchen renovation if the roof above it leaks. You don't want to do a wiring upgrade if you can't afford to upgrade the electrical service. You shouldn't tile the bathroom floor if the joist and subfloor needs replaced. Sure I want to renovate the kitchen, but I need to put the much needed roof over it. Will my home improvement budget allow both? This is true with the wiring need and the bathroom floor need.
After you get a list made and find out what funds you have available. Consult a renovation contractor. He will go over your list and of wants and needs and most likely do his own inspection of the areas that you want renovated and give you suggestions in the areas that should be renovated first. Your home improvement contractor will make a bid most likely on each item on the list and bundle it with a total renovation cost. When you get this bid take your time and decide which items that should be done first incase the funds run short. With a bid from a license contractor your bank may loan you the extra you need to complete your home renovation needs. There is actual grants through the state if you qualify you could receive a low interest loan. Some of these loans are like one percent. Most likely the County Treasures office can tell you where you can get a grant application.
If you are doing a major home renovation on an old house that requires replacement doors and window replacement. And maybe the roof should be replaced and the old house could really use some siding. This amount of work will catch the eye of any home improvement contractor. Most contractors will give you low bottom price bids just to get all of this work as a bundle. By bundling you have one renovation contractor to deal with instead of two or three. And most likely your home renovation could be more than half way done before you even have to cut a check.
Sometimes there is thing that's been needing attention for a long time. Like an interior door that might need a little attention or tweaking. Sometimes builders will trade small adjustment jobs they have the tools and skill for. Say for something like, you cleaning up the area around the house after they strip off the old shingles, stuff like that. Or you might paint or stain the trim on the new windows or doors if they would fix some minor things that needed fixing. Of course this would be labor for labor. Which is still a win-win for you, because it would probably cost a lot more to have a home improvement contractor come in to fix a couple minor things.