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“Why must I pay for design fees when there are so many other interior firms who do not charge me?”

“You will just be paying for the nice renderings if you are using an interior designer”

“I can take reference from the internet and do my own design, why would I need to hire an Interior Designer?”

Is there really a need to pay for design fees? Do you know what you are paying for?

Popular questions that pops out regularly among my friends whom are looking for designers and contractors to build their dream home My advice, look into your needs and wants for your future home.

Interior Designers charge design fees. Why?

An interior designer has paper qualifications. They have went through courses that have trained them to think conceptually to design to create, enhance, re-use and re-imagining spaces to improve user-experience. In summary, to be qualified to be an Interior Designer:

- Need to be professionally trained in Design Institutes;

- Knowledge of model making and free hand sketching plus software knowledge of CAD and 3D softwares to bring their idea into paper ;

- Focus on “what will be” rather than “what was done before” ;

- Creating new ideas not only through aesthetics but through many other ways of manipulating forms, function to inject user experience to the space;

- Needs to work with Contractors to bring design concept to life;

- Goes for quality not quantity.

Interior Designers take pride in all the designs they do, typically every single project that they do are their masterpieces which will be placed into their portfolios. Hence they would take your future home seriously and not tolerating anything that is deemed ugly. They would also fight for all details to be done proper while liaising with your contractor so that the design concept could be brought to the best form.

They are not cheap - It is not always true!

People are willing to pay for the 10% service charge at a restaurant for waiters serving you, bring you napkins, etc. But why are people reluctant to pay “service charges” to an Interior Designer who designed your dream home and in addition, helping you with the construction coordination too? It is a believe that engaging an Interior Designer is expensive. Depending on the scale of your project, the budget and time frame, the designer fees can vary drastically. Plan your time well and the fees are actually worth paying for.You are not paying for something that is intangible. Interior design is a service.

Check for reliability

Of cos that there are also the downsides of Interior Designers whom are not cut out for this kind of jobs. Hence always ask for their qualifications and their portfolio before you engage them. Remember; Designer portfolios show their personality, their character in the design concepts.

Why are sales designers/ contractors not charging design fees then?

A sales designer could be anyone without a design cert. They will undergo training courses from the company and after which that they work on their own. Simply think of them as a salesperson for a contractor company. The skill set of a Sales designer are vastly different from an Interior Designer. Their design skills are usually picked up during their experience while working with a project. Therefore Sales designers will probably give ideas based on concepts that they have done before and not based on design principles.

They are relatively cheaper as compared to engaging an Interior Designer.

Some design and build companies are able to even “waive off” design charges upon the confirmation of the design. This is because their design charges are incurred into the construction works. Contractor companies usually package design fees and construction costs together to make the price more attractive to customers.

Check for reliability

Beware that some sales designer look into quantity more than quality, as most of them are commission based.You can check for their testimonials and past completed project works for reassurance.

Do you have complex ideas for your home? Then look for an interior designer - Remember to indicate your budget so that they can work on the designs accordingly.If you already have a clear idea and a simple design for your home, then engage a contractor directly - Skip the design process and head straight to construction.There you might be able to save some design costs.


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