11 biggest remodeling mistakes

Not using a designer

If you want your remodeling project to look polished and professional, you need a designer as well as an architect and general contractor.

"Contractors are not designers," says Katie Anderson, an interior designer in San Francisco. You need a good design to get an aesthetically pleasing and lasting solution to a problem.

The training and skill set for these two professions is quite different, Anderson explains. A designer has a more artistic eye, will explore the use of unusual materials, and will create a more unique and interesting result with colors and scale that are perfectly balanced and that complement the home’s architectural style.

While contractors are great technicians, Anderson says, they are more likely to think of how easily they can build or install something using familiar materials and processes, instead of thinking about the most attractive options. Contractors usually don’t have design training.

"A designer can see potential issues with the design a homeowner comes up with and can offer better solutions because of their design education and working experience," she says.