If your renovation project is small and does not involve moving plumbing fixtures or moving structural walls you may not need permits and you may be able to get by without an architect. On the other hand, it could benefit you to have the project organized and documented clearly so you can get competitive bids. Contractors usually prefer to have an architect involved because the project is easier to estimate, conflicts are avoided ahead of time, and the decisions for fixtures and finishes are made in advance, so the work proceeds more smoothly. The architect will also be your advocate in making sure that the contractor meets their obligations for the project.