An architect and remodeling contractor are the right professionals to ask when you need structural planning; an interior designer, on the other hand, can optimize the space, lighting and traffic flow.

The best interior designer can save you months of searching for mere product samples and other such research. He will also keep you away from haphazard work. More so, this expert will do everything by being  a sounding board of sorts for your ideas to manifest. You see, each time you buy paint or fabric, he is there to guide you on what works best with your given space.

The interior designer must correspond with the contractor, in fact, they should work as a team.  So, it is important that you start by picking a designer which you and your contractor likes. It is also preferable that this person has ample experience on the type of project that you are about to give him. A professional that specializes in construction might not be the right person to integrate another part of an existing house.

Here are some guidelines on how you can work with an interior designer –

Calculate the Bills in Advance

It is wise to conduct some pre-screening work; search for members of ASID or the American Society of Interior Designer. ASID is an organization that tests and educates designers. After finding out that the designer is a part of this organization, look for the billing method that he utilizes. He either uses free, hourly or flat-fee.

While getting free services could be irresistible, know that there will be repercussions. Sometimes, a designer that offers free service is actually a mere manufacturer’s representative who wants to sell some products.

The interior designer who charges by the hour is often the safest bet. You can pay anywhere from $30 to $75 each hour depending on the type of service that is being offered. This kind of billing arrangement allows you to sever your business relationship at any point in time.

Flat-fee interior designers are paid for their services whether or not you both part your ways early on in the project. The downside here is that this expert often asks to be the exclusive buying agent, hence, you could end up buying products that he marks up for  a higher commission. For instance, an interior designer that charges $26 for every yard of carpet (that only costs $18 in the market) can earn an extra $200 if he is asked to carpet a 15×15-foot room.

These are the reasons why you need to estimate the probable bills that you will get later. 

Walk Your Prospects Through Your Home

As soon as you have come up with a list of your most favored interior designers, you can walk them through your home. This will give them an idea of your preferences and you can also express the things that tickle your fancy as opposed to those that irk you. Determine which ones you can probably work with by looking at them when you speak. Ask questions – the ones that can answer are the ones that were listening.

Be sure to hire a designer prior to having the building plans made. A designer that is brought in during the inception of a project gets the best input from the contractor and you.

Know What To Expect

Remember that hourly billing starts the moment you consult with the designer. He might charge you for samples on the following –

  • Plumbing fixtures
  • Paint chips
  • Carpet squares
  • Fabric samples, etc.

He must tell you how certain products perform well through time and how easy it is to clean them. He must also tell you what the warranty covers. As soon as you have made your choices, he will then communicate with your contractor on what your choices implicate with regard to construction.

To define your means of communication, have an early meeting with your chosen architect, contractor and designer. This is the best way draw those clear lines early on.

Useful Reference Links

How to Work with an Interior Designer
How to Work With an Interior Designer – Houzz
What to Expect When Working with an Interior Designer: A First-Timer’s Guide
Tips For Working With An Interior Decorator
20 Things You Should Know About Working With an Interior Designer
Working with an Interior Designer

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