Remodeling Dos Don’ts – Considering your own extreme home makeover? Get it right the first time with these tips from local architecture experts.

“Many additions are too big because they are not well laid out and consequently do not complement the existing home aesthetically,” says James Sullivan. “Build smart, not big.”

“Instead of adding on, sometimes what is needed is just cutting door holes or repurposing rooms,” Kevin Harris says. “Moving rooms so the house works better is preferable to just adding rooms without considering the impact on the rest of the house.”

“The use of trendy materials and finishes is a common mistake: for example, too much color in cabinet or tile selections,” says Matt Voelkel. “These things are difficult and expensive to change and can make a space feel dated in no time. Stick to natural, neutral materials and finishes that are timeless, and your project will never feel dated.”

“Take the time to examine all present and future needs,” says Lionel Bailey. “A design should be approached as a master plan that can be done in phases if necessary.”

“The biggest and most costly mistake is when people do not consult licensed architects or interior designers,” says Sullivan. “Design professionals bring experience and training to renovations that increase the value of the work, head off costly mistakes and create fantastic places to live.”