Don’t have an addition built or interior walls removed without first bringing in an architect or architectural designer to look at the existing house and recommend the best approaches to the project. You’ll get a far more functional space than one devised by a general contractor alone. “And that doesn’t mean you have to hire the design pro to manage the whole project,” says architectural designer Kimberly Tuttle. Many designers will come out to consult about your needs, look at photos you’ve collected of looks you like, propose some ideas and then sketch a basic design plan — all charged on an hourly basis. You’ll pay $2,000 or $3,000, Kimberly says, a small investment (in the scheme of a big job) that has the potential to offer major returns.
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