How do design firms earn money from your renovation

Renovation cost are already hefty by itself, and more often than not, most people will hire a interior design firm. As such, it is always a good idea to have a rough gauge of how interior design firms charge you so that you can have a better idea on not only your rough renovation cost but also how much you want to keep your renovation budget to.

This is not an exact guide to how every single interior design firm will charge their customers, but more of a rough estimate and general trend of how most firms do.

1. Design fee

Some designers could include and charge you for a design fee. Think of this more as a service payment. This is also similar to when some designers charge for a creative fee. It could happen if your renovation design is uniquely yours and it is more of a payment for the design that was created specifically for you. Do be sure to clarify and confirm of your designer or the firm if they do have this fee, so that you can factor that into your budget.

2. Handyman-work services

You can think of designers and the firm as a middleman or coordinator as well, most of the time, they will help to arrange for plumber or electrician to help do the fixing work or rewiring if need be to work with the renovation design or layout. They can then earn from charging you for coordinating and getting these professionals in to do the work, and the cost that they charge you could be higher than the market rate. Do check if this service is already accounted for when your designer gives you the cost estimate or not.  

3. Materials

One another common way in which the design firm or the designer could earn your money would be from the cost different between how much you are paying for the materials procured and the price in which they actually procured it for.  

4. Project management fee

This fee can be though off as paying the designer to give you their expertise on what furniture, appliances or materials to choose to best fit for the renovation you are doing. It is usually between 20%-35%.

Areas you may get Ripped Off

Here are some tips on how you better protect yourself from possibly being ripped off (if so):

1. Do your research on the company

Never rush into the first interior design renovation package that you see. It is advisable to always take you time to look around to scout for more and hopefully better deals, also making sure that the firm and designer is reliable and trustworthy is also really important. Ask around and read the various reviews given by customers of the firm to get a rough sensing of what you are getting yourself in for.

One of the best way to get a good recommendation would be to ask your family and friends.

2. Have every detail and arrangement regarding the handling to the renovation to the handover of the keys to your home written black and white legally.

Having every single details regarding the procurement of the materials, defect handling, renovation design and handover written down and made into a legally binding agreement is crucial and important. This not only ensure that you will not be ripped off or be at a disadvantage but also to make sure that there will be no conflict and possible misunderstanding or miscommunication.

3. Be present

One good tip would be to always be around and present during every step of your renovation journey. Why this is important is because this is to ensure that you are in the loop and know-how of every single detail of what is taking place and going on during the renovation. This way you can do not only a quality check but also to make sure that you know if any additional cost needs to be incurred because of an unfortunate hiccup and if it could be avoided.

This is important to not only help you stay within your budget but also so that you can do quality control with the renovation works in your house.

A good and trustworthy designer will usually give you a close estimate of your renovation cost in the various breakdowns based on your floor plan, design and renovation needs. Of course, it is always wise to factor in sink cost as during a renovation, you will never know if there might be hiccups along the way. At least with a sink cost that is also factored into your budget, you know that all the cost are accounted for and kept to your budget.

If you plan to hire a design firm or interior designer, you do need to go with the mindset that you are hiring then for their expertise and engaging them for their help to coordinate the necessary arrangements and procurement.

Of course, you can choose to do it yourself and find a direct contractor but that is given that you are determined and have the relevant contacts to make it happen. Also, it could be hectic and stressful and you are now taking over the role of the interior designer as the main coordinator.

All in all, every firm and designer might have a different way of charging and quoting for their service, Thus, it is always good to have your requirements, agreements and cost breakdown written down legally to ensure that there are no misunderstanding. It is always better to play it safe than to be sorry.

Swiss Interior Design Packages

Swiss Interior Design offers a wide suite of renovation packages so home owners can make the most informed decision when it comes to renovating their home. Due to the complexity of renovation work and the many parts of a home that can be renovated, we offer the following to make your purchasing decision easier:

HDB renovation packages

BTO renovation packages

Resale renovation packages

Kitchen cabinet packages

Swiss Interior