12A new home is a joy to many of us who love homes. Once you purchase your house, you surely would want to change a few things to make it yours. Not just the furniture or the color but many other things including how the door opens or closes etc. Each of us has a unique signature look somewhere at the back of our minds that resembles us – our personality, our taste and we would want that implemented in our living spaces to show the whole world that’s us. Here’s where we need professional help. That takes us to either a renovation Contractor or an interior designer.

You ought to understand that, most of the times, you don’t need both the renovation and the interior design. Most times you need one or the other, but telling them apart is not easy for many. This confusion has led many to work with rogue designers and contractors who pretend to do all the work only to scam the innocent homeowners. It is crucial to consider the professional in these areas to ensure you get the best services that you are seeking. These services are costly so make a wise decision and do not allow yourself to settle for anything less than quality.

Understanding the work of each of these two professionals is critical before you can hire any of them. Take your time and learn to make wise decisions. It helps you understand who you need and when you need, Let me explain how to choose the right professional for your needs.

Understanding A Renovation Contractor

  • A renovation contractor is a general contractor who concentrates in any remodeling work which includes adding a new room, renovating your bathroom or kitchen, etc. Any constructional service requires a renovation contractor. His work is more physical involving the putting up of a structure.
  • They also deal with little value addition in planning the places where they are renovating. Whether full or partial renovation, inward or outward, big or small the person to contact is the Renovation contractor.
  • A renovation contractor is also known as a contractor; he is the one who takes up all the labor. Once the contractor revamps your home, he cannot advise on the final touches – this is where the interior designer comes in.

Understanding An Interior Designer

  • An interior designer is an artistic professional who mixes their technical knowledge, creativity and business skills to design and develop solutions for bare walls. They easily turn the empty pale walls to unique and attractive designs that meet the needs of the particular owner.
  • They spend enough time with the proprietor to capture their passion and desire and portray it on their homes through Layout, space planning or 3D modelling. They help you source out for the décor materials that you require and execute them as needed. For example, living room designs, they will design the layout and the carpentry required for the TV console, featured wall etc.
  • Interior designers not only consults you to understand your passion but he guides and advice you in what will work best with the kind of structure that you have. He also collaborates with the contractor to let them know how they need the surfaces to look like, so they can work on them.
  • He ensures the work go as planned and works on the finishing to ensure they look as mesmerizing as the owner wants them to look. He is the last person to work on that home to bring a feel of ownership to the owners. Their artistic side is openly displayed once they are done with their work.

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Difference Between An Interior Designer And A Renovation Contractor

Their tasks are different so are their executions, below are the difference between the two that you ought to learn and understand before hiring any of them.

  • Interior designer charges for the renovation quotes. It is because they are with you from designing to sourcing of materials making sure what is delivered is what they ordered. They do project management and even aid in decorating to give a perfect finish as per your requirements. Contractors quote for free and do not include project management.
  • Interior designer quotes depend on finishes and fixtures selected by the client. They are still the same ones advising and ensuring they help them chose what fits their likes. Contractors use an estimated cost for fixtures and finishes to come up with their quotes. They make an educated guess depending on the suppliers. They only advise the client on different providers from which a customer makes a choice.
  • Interior designers arrange an onsite walk-through of the project with the traders who are providing the materials ensuring they outline what type of supplies are required. They discuss at length the potential obstacles and work towards preventing likely complications. They diagnose unforeseen difficulties and work on a solution that will eliminate any hurdles that may hinder the provision of quality finishing. Contractors, on the other hand, base their quotes and supplies on previous experience from the past projects they have worked on and the measurements of the space they are covering.
  • The reason why the interior designers charge is that they will spend a lot of time with you listening attentively to all the details required and looking into the quality of construction and accuracy of every quote working smart to ensure everything is correct to avoid complications. Contractors do not have the luxury of investing time to compile all those accurate quotes. They need to land as many projects as they can to earn a pay for their energy and time. With contractors, there is always room for discrepancies as they may quote way too high. They can also ask for an increase in the budget midway or adjust the quality of the construction materials provided.
  • Interior designers can give detailed contracts report established on the precise and accurate scope of work; in short, guesswork does not evolve in their vocabulary. They are exact in costings and details involved. Contractors are not correct, they do not have a precise project cost but have an estimated figure.
  • Interior designers are certified and must showcase their portfolios which include both commercial and residential projects they have undertaken in the past. They must show their strengths in managing the project that is being awarded. Contractors don’t have to go through all the hassle to be recognized; they may not even own a website, but all that matters is if they are suitable for their work.
  • Interiors designers ask for a lot of meetings and interviews way before any design work starts which may take up to two months depending on the size of the project. The reason they take their time is to get to know you and your passions that they can embark on the design that suits your tastes. Contractors don’t take as much time, one meeting, and they are off to start their work, and they don’t have to ask you what needs to be done first they do it as they please.
  • Interior designs advice on what kind of design that can go well or match up with what you have in mind. They introduce new designs that you may not have seen or heard of to help you choose wisely. The contractor, on the other hand, requires the project owner to be very clear with whatever specifications they need. They only use what is provided by the project owner.
  • With the interior design, sourcing for the supplies starts once the confirmed design is settled on. The final budget can only be established when everything has been purchased which in most cases is the same amount or a close by the figure. The contractors give you the opportunity to pay directly for the executions as they happen. The higher risk with the contractors is that design hiccups may make your costs rise. Even worse, it happens without any warning and most times exceeding your budget.
  • Interior designers are known to work with a chosen contractor to ensure each detail they plan fits their design entirely, thereby, giving an attractive finishing. Unlike the interior designers, contractors don’t give any advice about plans or correct any of their mistakes, most times they may just proceed even when they know it’s not a good fit.
  • The interior designers can rectify any problems that may arise after renovations or after moving into the home. Contractors are not going to work on anything that went wrong after they leave your site.

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How Should You Choose A Good Professional?

Both the interior designers and contractors are important on any project depending on what you require them to do. Having learnt the differences between these two professionals, it is important and easy to get the right professional for the right job. How do you do that? By:

  • Probe Individual Talent: Though you get to work with a group of experienced interior designers, there are still some who are employed by these big companies but have no idea of what they are supposed to do. Ensure you ask for the name of the individual working on your project and their personal portfolio so you can be assured of quality work. Do a thorough research for both your project and the experts you want to include. Gather reviews for both the good and the bad to be able to tell them apart easily. All it needs that you spend enough time on your research.
  • Be Clear On Your Priorities: Your budget, time, quality or design. Being specific will help you focus on your research for the right expert without being confused. As you do your research, maintain a ground where you are sure of your needs. It doesn’t allow anyone to buy you off to drop what you want and get what they have. Only invest in that which you are comfortable to work with.
  • Narrow It Down: Now, it is the time to finalise the professional based on your research and requirements. Once you shortlist a few from the long list, plan for meetings to meet them personally and interview them. Ask detailed questions to remove any doubts and issues before you can commit to anyone. It’s always better to spend enough time before the project initiates.

You must prioritise your selection criteria based on the record of the interior designer or the company and not on the price. An untrained or under-qualified interior designer may appear as a low-cost option, but he may fail to withhold the quality or, even worse, may increase your project cost with inadequate assessments.


Both the renovation contractors and the interior designers are selling quite well in these modern days. But if you are keen, you will realize that the finishing of a project is what attracts many to that particular project be it a home or an office.

Buildings will not display any worth or value without the final finishing; this speaks a thousand words about the interior designers. They are the end product – their last touch on the wall, ceilings, etc. look as though they were just meant to be. They take a bear empty wall and turn it into a wall that is alive passing out a particular message of hope and life to everyone who sees it. It’s like taking dry bones and giving them life! Ever thought of it that way?

What a boring world of development it would be without the interior designers. Indeed we would not see our tastes or passion alive on a piece of furniture or glass. Life would be so boring, and homes will be empty without the warmth that holds them together. Long live all interior designers who take the time to understand our personal fires and bring them to life right in front of our eyes.