You’ve decided to update your bathroom and need a place to start. I will assume that you have talked yourself out of doing the work yourself. That’s a very smart decision right out of the box.

Even if you know how, it’s a hard, tiring job with many obstacles that can cause you to want to give up entirely. I have witnessed this personally.

Having been called in to help during a crisis, I strongly advise against doing things on your own. It’s just not worth it.

Hiring the right professionals is a matter of knowing what you expect them to do. This is the tricky part.

The general contractor will hire and supervise the work of all subcontractors on the job: carpenters, tile setters, electricians, plumbers, etc.

Serving as your own general contractor might sound tempting, but don’t do it unless you have had personal experience with each subcontractor.

The reason to hire a general contractor is the subs will respond and be there when they are supposed to because the general contractor gives them lots of work. (You are not in that league).

Ask for references and go visit jobs of the general contractor you are contemplating hiring. Make sure they are all completed jobs.

Ask the contractor to show you proof of liability insurance before the work begins.

Do not ask the general contractor for significant design work unless he has special training in that department.

Of course you could hire an architect, who usually charges more than a designer, but they have a wider area of expertise. Hire an architect the same way as a general contractor, by asking for references, etc.

You might also consider hiring a designer who can help you choose the perfect style, bathroom fixtures, mirrors, lighting, tile, cabinets, faucets, etc. There are so many choices to be made.

The designer can assist you and keep you focused on what is important and what will give you the most bang for your buck. Having an expert who understands your needs and wants when spending a big chunk of change on remodeling a bathroom is a bit of extra insurance.

A good designer can help prevent you from feeling buyer’s remorse, such as “I wish I had chosen the other tile we were looking at.”

All in all, it should be a smooth process without untimely frustrations and delays if you choose the right people.

Diamond Riegel is an interior design consultant and owner of Designs by Diamond, Bluffton. diamondbydesign@aol.com