Unless you're in the business, managing a major home remodeling job may be too much for the typical homeowner to handle. Each pro you add to year team adds costs but putting the right team together may be the key to getting your project done on time and on budget. Here are the home remodeling experts you may need and some you can probably skip.


What they do: Listen to your ideas, help you think through the design, and translate all of it into drawings for the general contractor to follow.

When you need one: You’re knocking down walls or chang­ing your home’s structural or mechanical systems.

What they charge: 10 to 20 percent of overall project cost.

General Contractor

What they do: These MVPs take charge of the project from start to finish, managing the schedule and hiring plumbers, electricians, and all other subcontractors. General contractors also secure all necessary permits.

When you need one: A job is too big to do on your own.

What they charge: 25 percent.

Interior or Kitchen/Bath Designer

What they do: Help with design choices, such as selecting a kitchen countertop or the tile and tub for the bathroom. Budget permitting, it’s worth considering a designer for the unique knowledge he or she brings. Find certified designers through the National Kitchen & Bath Association (nkba.org) or the American Society of Interior Designers (asid.org).

When you need one: Trying to decide between granite, quartz, and laminate countertops is driving you insane.

What they charge: 4 to 7 percent.

Interior Decorator

What they do: These tastemakers offer guidance on decorative style, color, furnishings, and other aesthetic concerns.

When you need one: Never, really, but their advice can be the difference between a room that’s so-so and one that’s sensational.

What they charge: 5 to 20 percent.

Renovation Consultant

What they do: Help you plan, determine your budget—they’ll even be the liaison between you and the general contractor during the entire renovation.

When you need one: You want a lot of hand-holding.

What they charge: Up to 5 percent.

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the June 2016 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.