Should you be engaging an Interior Designer or Contractor?


A common question that homeowner has before any renovation works is – “should we be engaging an interior designer or contractor”. Let us explain the various roles and differences in this blog post.


1. Roles of ID vs Contractor
  • Interior Designer

An ID is someone who is able to advise on spatial planning and design. Their scope also includes project management such as coordinating with contractors on site and provide progressive updates to the homeowner during construction.

At SG Renovate, our professionals designers are architecturally trained, who can cater to all your design and renovation requirements.

  • Contractor

Contractor is responsible for the construction of the project. They will not provide any design solutions but only execute renovation works proposed by home owners. Hence without any engagement of ID, homeowners will have to inform contractors on their renovation decision such as laminate selection, paint colours and any construction details.

At SG Renovate, we ensure all our clients quality workmanship at affordable prices.


2. Pros & Cons
  • Interior Designer

Interior designers will be providing value added services as compared to mainstream contractors. They will present design proposals and assist homeowners to visualise via 3D perspectives or drawings. Monitoring site progress and suggesting innovative solutions when issue arises are also part of their work scope. Designers will also provide recommendation on selection of tiles, lighting accessories and fittings.

The quotation provided by an interior design firm will usually be more expensive, due to the value added services which the contractor is not able to provide. It is important to engage a reliable interior designer if you are paying more for their services.

  • Contractor

Quotations from direct contractors will usually be cheaper. However, this is might not always be the case, as most contractors also engage their own sub contractors for various renovation works. A good contractor will also provide renovation advice if they foresee any arising issues.

Most contractor will only adhere to very specific instructions, by executing exactly what homeowners want and nothing more. They may offer renovation suggestions but do not expect any design proposals. Contractor will tend to request quick decision so that they can execute work fast on site without delay. If you engage multiple sub contractors, they will only be responsible for their individual work scope. Therefore, homeowners got to undertake not only the role of a designer but also as a project manager.

Interior Designer


Design & Space Planning

Project Management

Depends if you are engaging a main-con or sub-con
TimeDepends on homeowner's design requirementsUsually faster if contractor understand the scope of works
CostHigher cost due to value added servicesUsually lower cost
Value Added Services• Design
• 3D visualisation
• Project management
• Fittings recommendations
• Provide construction advice
• Faster


3. Recommendation

If you require design solutions and project management assistance, working with an interior designer will be a better option. A good interior designer will not only provide you with innovative design options but also coordinate closely with the contractor and provide timely updates on the renovation progress. Do only consider engaging a contractor if the following requirements are met:-

☑ Tight budget
☑ Holistic design requirements
☑ Sufficient time to manage construction work on site
☑ Adequate construction knowledge

At SG Renovate, we are capable to provide end-to-end design & contractor services as a single partner. Our system is able to optimise every aspect including spatial planning, materials supply, and installation. Contact us now for your home renovation consultation!