Updated: Oct 6, 2022
Looking through the home and decor section of Pinterest and already tempted to start work on your dream home? You’re definitely not the only one. But before you get carried away however, it’s important that you spend time selecting an interior design firm to work with. The last thing you’ll want is for them to leave with your hard-earned money before the work is even completed. Follow these steps to ensure that you hire a qualified, reliable company for your renovation work in Singapore.
1. Specialty: What styles do they specialise in?
Every interior designer has a certain style that they specialise in. Some may specialise in the ever-so-popular Scandinavian design while others may take pride in kitchen designs or storage spaces. While most designers are capable of doing up different concepts, there’s usually one or two styles that they tend to be better in. It’s important that you hire a designer with strengths that match your design needs and aesthetics. Start by looking through their past designs for inspirations.
2. Workmanship: Which contractors do they liaise with?
Unless you’re looking at a Design and Build firm, most interior design firms tend to outsource their construction work to third-party contractors. In these scenarios, the interior designer is only managing the design and planning of your renovation, while the actual construction and on-site work is handled by the contractors. Having an outsourced partner usually signals communication barriers and blurred responsibilities on-site. This makes it difficult for design firms to guarantee clients the workmanship quality as they are not in-charge of the construction work.
3. Experience: How long have they been operating?
When it comes to the design industry, experience is king. While it’s perfectly fine to hire a newer firm, interior designers with more years of industry experience under their belt are usually more skilled and knowledgeable about your renovation needs. Well-established firms tend to have both residential and commercial design works given their longer years in the business.
4. Credibility: Are they reliable?
Google’s your best friend when it comes to checking the reputation of a renovation company that you’re keen on. While their post-renovation photos may look impressive, they do not reflect the company’s work quality. The easiest way to tell if a company’s reliable is through their Google ratings and comments on social media. You can also look through reviews on interior design platforms such as Renopedia, Qanvast or Homerenoguru. You can also check if the firm in question is CaseTrust and Singapore Renovation Contractors and Material Supplier Association (RCMA) certified. These two accreditation is awarded to firms with transparent prices, work accountability and a good track record. And for HDB homeowners, you need to ensure that your preferred firm is HDB-approved under the Registered Renovation Contractors’ Scheme (RRCS).
5. Insurance: Do they offer warranties or insurance?
Some interior design firms include a warranty on workmanship. Others may provide warranty on just the construction materials. Whatever the situation may be, be sure to ask about the terms and conditions behind these guarantees and understand what they cover. More importantly, make sure to have these details communicated to you in fine print before you even sign on that dotted line.