smart spending

5 tips for hiring an interior designer

Research project costs
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Glossy magazines

If you've never done an interior design project before, you'll need to do a little homework to determine a reasonable budget. Friends and neighbors who have done makeovers similar to what you have in mind -- and are willing to discuss what they spent -- can provide a good basis for a ballpark number.

Another helpful resource is Remodeling magazine's annual "Cost vs. Value" report on some of the most popular remodeling projects, based on a survey by the National Association of Realtors. The most recent report appears in the November 2010 issue and can be accessed from the magazine's website.

On the midrange scale of luxury, a major kitchen remodel averaged $58,367, according to Remodeling. The average cost of an upscale kitchen remodel was $113,464. The cost of a midrange bathroom remodel averaged $16,634, while the upscale version averaged $53,759. A master suite addition averaged $108,090 in the midrange and $232,062 for an upscale project.




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