Once you’ve settled on your project’s priorities, budget and scope, it’s time to start researching home design professionals. Don’t sell yourself short and settle on the first professional you set your sights on. Make sure that you’re working with someone local, who can get to the jobsite easily and efficiently. Look into the person’s reviews, ask to speak with former clients and to see previous jobs in person. Take a good look at their portfolio photos: How similar are these projects to your own? Be honest — that mansion might look beautiful, but it might not have a lot in common with your little bungalow.