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If your home-improvement project is simple and you know exactly what you want and can afford when it comes to materials, finishes and products, you might be able to work directly with a general contractor and skip the expense of hiring a design pro. But most contractors steer clients to architects or designers for most jobs.

When you’re spending $20,000 or $30,000 on a bathroom, it’s a good idea to seek the advice of a design professional. Homeowners have so many options these days when it comes to flooring, countertops, cabinets, hardware and even paint that narrowing it down to just the right finishes, textures, colors and materials can be overwhelming. You might think you can simply duplicate a look you saw in a magazine, for example, but if your room is smaller or bigger than the one in the picture, the whole project changes. Likewise, your budget makes a huge difference when it comes to how similar your room can look to the one in a glossy magazine with lots of resources.

Still not sure if you need a designer? Ask for an initial consultation. You might have to pay for one hour of the designer’s time, but you can get an idea during that meeting of whether your project will go better if you bring one on board.

  • Sanderson Ford

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