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Interior Designer vs. Contractor: What are the differences?

There is a very thin line between interior designer and contractor when it comes to renovation projects in Singapore. Interior designers are more popular because of the enticing showrooms they have in the shopping malls. On the other hand, contractors do not really publicize their works and typically get customers through the word-of-mouth. Most people only know this difference but in deciding which one to choose, we have listed down the difference between the two.

1. The Background

Interior designers, as the name states, are your consultants when it comes to designing your space. They are the ones who can offer stylish solutions to your design needs from the theme you want to achieve up to the colours that will match the style you aspire. Interior designers do the tedious work of providing the design, tailor fitting the look of the home for your needs, sourcing for contractors and suitable materials and the whole project management.

Contractors differ from interior designs because they are the ones who do the execution of the design. They have specializations in different areas such as flooring, carpentry, electrical wiring, piping, and more.

2. The Price

Interior design in Singapore usually have higher budget because interior designers have professional fee due to the services that they will provide. They will act as the project manager and be with you from the start up to the end of the project. They will also do the coordination with the contractors and will help you choose the best materials fitted for the design you approved.

Hiring a contractor may be cheaper since you will be paying directly for the execution of the service. Though lighter on the pocket, you need to be careful in hiring a contractor since rectification costs brought about by design hiccups can be more costly.

3. The Visuals

Surely, you have an idea in mind on what you desire your space to look like. The next step is putting these ideas into visuals and executing it into the real space. This is where the interior design comes in. Interior designers translate the images you have in your mind through the 3D drawings that they will present to you. They create the interior design visuals of what the space will look like after the renovation process. Will the flooring be made of wood, tiles or luxury eco flooring? What colour will be used for the walls? Through these materials, you will have a common understanding and a clear vision of your desired design. Also, the visuals that they will present can result to a more accurate evaluation of the price that you will need. These can also be adjusted if there are things that you wish to modify.

Meanwhile, hiring a contractor may be sufficient if you already have a specific and clear vision of what you want for your home since their services may not include project management. This is also a good option if the renovation job you need for your space is simple and not that extensive.

4. The Timeline

If you will be hiring an interior designer, expect numerous meetings and in-depth interviews before the actual designing. Interior designers do these to craft a design that matches your personality while complying to what you aim to achieve. They also need time for the revisions, if needed, after presenting the design. Engaging with an interior design will definitely require a longer timeline.

On the other hand, if time is of great essence, a shorter timeline can be given by a contractor. The only difference is that you have to check the progress of the job to make sure they get corrected quickly if mistakes are made.

Renovation can be stressful. Choosing who will do the job needs research and priorities. You need to know your needs and budget. What is important is that the one you will choose is someone you are comfortable to work on with. Also, make sure to communicate with them all the ideas you have in mind.

These being said, we at DTCG, can always back you up with your renovation needs. Being equipped with HDB and BCA license and years of experience in interior design, we can definitely help lessen your headaches when it comes to designing your space and putting up your visions into reality.


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