Interior Designer Vs Contractor: Who Should You Choose To Renovate Your Home?

Do you already have an idea of how your dream home will look like?

  • Renovating your house can be stressful, which is why it is important that you find the right people to work with

    • Namely either an interior designer or a contractor who are both fully equipped with knowledge or experience to help you make your dream home come true.

  • But who should you hire – the creative interior designer or the resourceful contractor?

    • Ask around and most people will tell you to go with a contractor – the price is better, a contractor will have more knowledge on structural, a contractor is easier to handle than those “creative, sensitive" type interior designers.

      We beg to differ though.

  • It all depends on what you want to do with your home, how you plan to go about it, and what kind of ideas you already have in place

    • A contractor is right for the above... but a contractor is not going to sit down with you and go through ideas and themes nor is a contractor going to spend time going material and furnishing shopping with you.

      An interior designer on the other hand is paid to do all that and more. Think of an interior designer as someone you can trust to bounce off ideas and has a network of other professionals you can access to make your dream home a reality.

      Still confused? Don’t be – we’ve made it easy for you in this comparison guide on who you should hire based on what you are looking for.

  • If you already have an idea of how your dream home should look like

    • If you already have some renovation plans drawn up or a good idea of what you want to do with each space, then a contractor would be your best bet. 

      Contractors are do-ers – they do what you ask them to according to a design that you’ve provided them. Some may offer advice, especially if structural issues are concerned but most will take your plans and just go with it. Which means there won’t be any discussions on whether what you initially planned will work for your house or not.

      But if you need a sounding board, then an interior designer is whom you should hire. This is because an interior designer conceptualises (something your contractor won’t do!) and will help you come up with ideas that will suit your personality and lifestyle.

  • If you are starting from ground zero

    • Your better bet is to go with an interior designer who in this case will work as your design consultant.

      Your interior designer will get to know you better in terms of your lifestyle to come up with an ID concept that best suits you. Some will even go all the way to help you with decoration and the finishing touches so that a central theme resonates throughout your house.

      Perfect if this is your first time renovating a home!

  • If you don't have time to plan your renovation or run around looking for materials

    • An interior designer will be a one-stop do-it-all point for you.

      Aside from helping you pick a theme, an interior designer will also help source for the contractor to work on the renovation plans as well as materials needed. They will project manage your renovation and even help you pick out the right furniture.

      In other words, you pay them good money to basically do everything before you move in. But expect a lot of meetings with your interior designer and his or her team before the actual work starts.

  • If you don't know any other subcontractors

    • Need wiring done? Tiling work? What about curtains or even flooring?

      Most interior designers already have their own team of subcontractors who are reliable. Which pretty much means you can hire one person – the interior designer – who will then project manage your renovation timeline, leaving you headache-free on when you should ask the electrician or the plumber to come in.

      Your interior designer will get everything done according to schedule.

  • If credentials are important to you

    • You did spend a lot of money on your home so of course you want the best!

      Then you’ll want to hire an interior designer who will have a portfolio on other projects completed. Because an interior designer is more often than not selling an idea to you, he or she is more likely to put in the effort on company ethos, values, awards, certifications, website as well as a portfolio that showcases projects that you may also like.

  • If budget is super important

    • Hire a contractor.

      The services of an interior designer does not come cheap – rightfully so because the interior designer will be with you from concept to sourcing to the actual building and even furnishing your home. 

      Don’t forget you will also be paying for his or her time spent on your home. Think of it this way – an interior designer is the middle person between you and the contractor as well as suppliers. 

      But it is also money well spent for someone who will take care of your renovation works from start to end – all you need to do is just move in! 

      Hiring a contractor means you are paying the supplier directly, which we all know is a cheaper option. But rectification or any design hiccups may cause you to pay more than you originally wanted to.

  • So how do you choose?

    • Is it the peace of mind, budget or quality you are going for? In any case, ask detailed questions and clear all doubts before you commit to one.

  • This article first appeared on Qanvast

    • Qanvast is a local interior design platform for homeowners passionate about their home design. Download the free app to get inspired by thousands of local home ideas and connect with interior designers.

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