SG Budget Babe
Asked on 02 Dec 2019
Would be renovating my flat next year :) Appreciate any advice!
I hired an ID and no regrets. Here's what I realised why one was necessary after engaging them:
We don't have time to source and liaise with each of the contractors. And there's so many! Tiling, carpentry, electrical wiring, painters, etc.
There were so many things we didn't think about, like corners and functionality, wiring, etc. If not for our ID, we would have overlooked many of these.
It was tough to visualize and match colours, furniture, etc
Our ID also guided us through the steps for getting our utilities and internet setup (Netlink Trust)
We barely even knew the difference between many materials until our ID educated us on it, such as compressed vs pure wood (I would have gone pure IKEA otherwise!), laminates, granite vs stainless steel sinks, quartz kitchentops vs. EDL compact, etc
There was a LOT of dust and grime accumulated during the hacking and rebuilding process. I wouldn't have enjoyed being onsite all the time for sure.
Our ID also helped us with our furniture sourcing and brought us to JB for cheaper quotes!
All in all, really no regrets. I was like you and contemplated simply engaging contractors to renovate my flat and save the usual ID markup fees, but after embarking on the renovation...trust me, if you have a full-time job it will be close to impossible for you to manage the whole renovation process on your own. Just get an ID - it'll be worth the fee and headaches saved.
So.. one thing my friend did was to speak to a few IDs and get their different opinions, before implementing the best of the ideas in his own design. (For those who are in the ID business here, not nice to hear, I know).
It depends on how confident you are on your ID skills! I do agree that some good interior designers really do a good job of transforming the space.
I used to own a renvoation firm. So I am aware of the different marketing angles different firms and personals project in the market.
To add on to the confusion, there are many contractors now advertising themselves as "Interior Designers" when all they have is some additional interior design experience over the years, not certified or train. And some of them are good though.
And there are interior designers out there who call themselves contractors to attract people to their lower costs "images".
So my advice is to get to know the person, be it contractor or interior designer. Google him if possible.
Make sure you are comfortable with his designs and explanations. No amount of good experience and skills is enouhg if his design does not match your expectations and preferences.
Get to know him and check his past works, photos and testimonials.
Work carefully and be sure to check on his work FREQUENTLY.
Personally, I uses a ID because I think I want to incorporate elements of aesthetics + functionality in my house. Most importantly, a house has to be a home. In terms of contractor, I have spoken to a few before and I think it's mostly pragmatism and functionality on their end, of course we might be able to save quite a fair bit with contractor so I think it needs to be a delicate balance.
I think a rule of thumb that works for me is, always have a buffer of a good 10 to 15% from your total budget, i.e. if your budget is $40k then always be prepared that the total cost of renovation might shoot up to $45-50k in total.
I went with a contractor cos money was tight and the works I required for quite clear and I had a specific vision. No regrets, though I could have chosen a better contractor as mine wasn't fantastic. If you know exactly what you want, and don't mind overseeing it, contractor is the way to go.
My preference is for Interior designer because he has more knowledge of "dead space", pairing of colours with designs, maximising storage space, maximising outlook and overall theme of the entire unit.
I could be wrong, but my own experiene with interior designers are very positive
ID if its a major renovation. They have contacts which make it a lot less time consuming.
But speak to different IDs and find one that can incorporate the design you desire within your budget!
If you know your own design and is capable of taking short break from work to visit your work , a contractor can be a lot cheaper than ID.
however a contractor is not as detailed as a ID and is more gross in his work (my own experience plus my siblings)
Well, 2 school of thoughts, and both are okay. To summarize:
1) Contractor - Take this like ala-carte planning for your wedding. You have to manage individual contractor, and plan yourself what comes first followed by what. Might be daunting for a new home owner.
2) ID - Take this like engaging a bridal studio. Bao ka liao. Main coordinator and designer. Give you an idea (based on what you want) and help you to manage the contractor. Any issues etc, you can look for your ID.
With that said, I am going for ID as I am honestly clueless as to how to start! Budget Babe wrote damn solid pointers too :)
Most of my friends have engaged an ID, and they generally find that the added peace of mind that an experienced ID brings to the table is worth the additional cost. This is akin to hiring a wedding organizer to help keep things running smoothly and coordinate all vendors involved in a wedding; a good ID will be able to point out things that might be overlooked if you had planned to do the planning yourself and then coordinate the different contractors.
Me....I'm still trying to get a flat. Will probably go for an ID when it is time.
Hire an ID if,
you have an idea for the interior design but you have problem sketching it out
not familiar with colours, furniture, materials etc
no idea about wiring, wall and tile hacking, carpentry work
too busy to manage the contractors yourself
can afford the money for it
Hire a contractor if,
you know exactly what you want, from the colors, to the carpentry works to the wiring
have the time to spare to manage the contractor
cannot afford an ID
It really depends on your budget, and what you want out of your renovation. There are pros and cons to both. With a contractor you would need to be more handson and have a clear direction of what you are planning for the house. An ID may be costlier but a good one should be able to put your high level ideas into reality and even manage your project for you.
If you have time to source and oversee everything yourself, then consider a contractor - you can save a significant amount of money.
If you don't have time or have someone who you trust, then consider a ID - give you a peace of mind while getting the work done.
Here is everything about me and what I do best.
If you have no idea what type of design you want.
You don’t want to project manage.
You have an idea what you want to do.
you have the time to project manage and coordinate between the different parties such as electrician, plumber.
Qanvast do a good guarantee for ID if you go through them.
ID provides design services and oversee the quality of work for you... of course at a higher price. It really depends on your priority(cost, design,quality, timelibe). If you only need minor renovation, going with a trusted contractor recommended by people you know is the way to go. If you want design, have spare cash and wants someone to oversee the Reno, go for ID!