align=”left”I guess this is the one of the hardest decision to make – should we engage an Interior Designer/Main Contractor/Package Interior Designer? Do proper research especially on forums (i.e. Renotalk), there are bound to be reviews for various companies. Ask around, listen and take note of their reviews. Look out for positive recommendations. Work around your budget and decide on the time and your commitment. Chances are, help is much needed since most of us do not have prior knowledge to the renovation jargon and it takes a lot of time and effort to micromanage the renovation. Engage someone that you can trust to help you do so.
Set a Budget
Speak and meet up with at least 3 firms. I prefer meeting up with them to observe their body language, attitude and service. Call me paranoid. Decide on the items that you wish to be quoted on and compare. Give them about 10%-15% lower than your real budget because chances are, they will quote much higher. Check that the firm you had engaged is not GST registered, avoid paying the taxes if you can. They could have included the taxes into the quotation and marked up the price even higher. Spend the extra money on other things if possible.
Interior Designer/Main Contractor/Package Interior Designer
So who should you exactly engage?
Interior Designers (ID)
These are the designers who have an eye for detail. They would give tips and advices on making your entire house aesthetically pleasing. They charge for their recommendations and advices, 3D drawings, changes in the layout plan, their ideas, etc. Their quotes are usually customized according to your needs. They would usually recommend all sorts of ideas and these take up a huge portion of your budget.
Engage if… You do not where to start from and have no idea what styles or themes you want. You need someone to recommend, plan a theme and micromanage the project for you.
These are the people I dread dealing with as they are usually older, rough, and would tell you that your ideas are impractical. IDs usually engage them, so it saves you money if you go to them directly. I have a few contacts but I have read horror stories about other people’s experience with them. So I am keeping my options open.
Engage if… You know all the renovation jargon. You have all the contacts for electrician, plumbers, suppliers, etc. You know it when that uncle is trying to smoke you.
Package Interior Designers
Probably the in-between I would say. They usually have fixed packages for the types of flat that you own. You might have seen them at roadshows. Based on your requirements, you can add in additional items and they will quote you accordingly. Slightly cheaper than IDs, they can help to micromanage the renovation as well. They may not have the best ideas but you can pay more to have premium service or be assigned to a more senior designer.
Engage if… You have an idea on the styles and themes that you want. You need someone to micromanage the project for you.
Shortlist & Decide
Take your time to select one that you are most comfortable with. Most importantly, make sure that the one you engage is reliable, has lots of experience and great portfolio, good attitude and gives you an affordable package.
Good luck hunting! smile
Check out my other posts on Home related matters:
heart Apps and Sites for Home Inspirations
heart Selecting an Interior Designer/Main Contractor/Package Interior Designer
heart Inspirations for Feature Walls
heart Getting the Keys
heart Renovation, Start!
heart Plan for Your Renovation Budget
heart What are the Renovation Costs Involved
heart Kitchen Essentials for the Home
heart Hidden and Miscellaneous Costs in Renovation Quotation
heart Where to Shop for Furniture via Online & Offline
heart Horrendous Service from SleepSavvy