Should you choose a contractor or interior designer for your home renovation?
With the cost of renovating a resale HDB that oscillates S $ 55,000To say that home improvement in Singapore is expensive is an understatement. Many Singaporeans are therefore willing to ignore interior designers – and go directly to various contractors – to save on renovation costs. That said, not all homeowners are good at going the DIY route. While they are undeniably more expensive, interior designers bring their own set of benefits. With each choice (i.e. interior designer or contractors) associated with their respective pros and cons, how do you choose between the two? We explore below.
What is the difference between an interior designer and a contractor?
An interior designer is someone who coordinates and manages your renovation project. They are able to conceptualize design ideas specific to your lifestyle, oversee the entire project (including sourcing and liaising with contractors), and go out and purchase furniture and materials with you to ensure a harmonious theme throughout the house.
A contractor, on the contrary, is only responsible for carrying out the renovation work you request (eg demolition, hacking, tiling). They do not offer design advice – and usually only intervene on matters relating to the structural integrity of the house. Depending on your needs, your hired contractor may need to outsource the work to subcontractors (for example, electricians, plumbers, and painters), who you will also need to contact.
Choose an interior designer if you favor design and service
Interior architects provide a design plan before starting any work, including floor plans and 3D renderings so you can visualize the finished condition of your home. So, they are a great option if you want someone else to take care of the design of your apartment. They take care of liaising with the various contractors and sub-contractors, saving you the time and hassle of planning and supervising the renovation project. Another advantage that you see with interior designers is that they have a better knowledge of the renovation sequence. For example, carpentry (eg cabinets) can only start after the floor tiling is finished. Giving them the responsibility of project management avoids the nightmarish scenario of tearing down the cabinets to rectify your mistake of doing the carpentry before the tiling work.
You will of course have to pay more – from S $ 34,000 to S $ 106,000 depending on the size and status of your apartment. This cost includes interior design fees, which range from S $ 1,500 to S $ 6,000. In addition, some interior design companies offer unique prices, which can take the form of a flat rate, an hourly rate, a fixed rate or a percentage on the cost rate (typically 10%, which comes to a lot if the goods you ordered are expensive).
Go for contractors if you have a tight budget and / or a clear idea of what you want
Don’t have the budget to spare? If you already have home improvement plans and / or a good idea of what you want your living space to look like, then hire a contractor. As the contractors don’t offer any additional services like discussing your home’s requirements, preparing design sketches, and advising on materials and colors, they’ll be cheaper than if you hired a design firm. interior. Bonus tip: To keep costs down, avoid complicated designs and expensive materials – these can get expensive quickly. The difference of AS $ 5 between low-end marble and high-end marble amounts to S $ 5,000 over 1,000 square feet, the approximate size of a newly built 4-room BTO apartment.
Interior designers can be more expensive, but don’t overlook intangible benefits
Your budget may ultimately determine your final choice, but you should always carefully weigh the pros and cons. For example, contractors are cheaper, but you will have to spend time and effort coordinating the many moving parts of the renovation process. Additionally, failing to follow the advice of an experienced interior designer risks creating a disunited theme in your home. Again and as mentioned earlier, there is always the consideration of your budget.
It is not an easy decision to make. Whichever option you ultimately choose, you will likely have to finance it with a loan. Do your homework and choose a renovation loan that offers you the lowest interest rate.