The Highs and Lows of Renovation Quotes
Assuming you have already met with a few interior designers to discuss your project, between the second or third meeting you should start receiving quotations from each of them. Like it or not, this is he stage where you will be forced to start seriously thinking which interior designer to engage. Interior designers will also be urging you to sign up with them while they eagerly await your decision.
Most people will to a greater or lesser degree base their decision on the quotations they receive. When reading a quotation, you will naturally focus on the price: it tells you which interior designer has quoted within your budget, and which ones have exceeded it.
If the proposed schemes by interior designers happen to be broadly similar, you would probably wonder why some quotes are higher than others. In general, complex designs will typically command higher fees than simple, cookie-cutter designs. This is because complex designs demand greater levels of attention to successfully manage than ordinary designs, which some interior designers can up to a few projects at a time. Such projects usually involves detailed planning and coordination of different services involving the various contractors to achieve, with little of the design left to chance or as an afterthought.
Design fees are also somewhat correlated with the complexity of the design, as better interior designers are more likely to propose more complex designs. Good interior designers usually command higher fees than average designers as they more often than not know where they stand in the market. They are likely to have vast experience and above-average project management competency. As the cream of the crop, you should not be surprised if the most impressive designs happen to cost the most. When it comes to home renovation, you get what you pay for.
Staying within budget
There good news is there is still hope if your preferred design proposal was quoted higher than your initial budget, as you do not necessarily have to forgo the proposal for a more affordable one.
One practical trick would be to ask yourself: What would be the most important room in your home? The answer to that question will also tell you which are the less important rooms, and that’s where some cost-savings and sacrifices can be considered. Substituting “room for “feature” will also generate similar cost-saving possibilities that you might not have thought of otherwise.
This happens to be a good idea if you happen to be facing a budget versus design dilemma. This is because surprisingly, in most renovation projects, the most costly items are not necessarily the most critical to the overall design. As it is true that every project has a realistic budget, the smart way is to learn how to get the most out of it.
Negotiate with your interior designer by letting him know you are you’re willing to forgo some items in order to save the best for the things you care most about. This could mean a change of materials, or even slightly compromising the overall design theme. But in the grand scheme of things, it is a compromise worth making.
Avoid the cheapest
Working with a budget is not only necessary but also important, but engaging an interior designer based on the lowest price has proven to be a terrible idea.
Should you receive a quotation you can’t refuse, instead of going into self-congratulatory mood, it is useful to bear in mind that quotations that are absurdly low will mean your interior designer has greater incentive to cut corners to maintain his profit margin. There is a chance that lower quality materials are used without your knowledge. Workmanship issues might also surface when you inspect the works, or worse still, after you have moved in. All of these problems arise from a poor level of project supervision as your interior designer may be handling multiple low-budget projects at the same time.
The problem is that it is difficult to know if a quotation received is “absurdly low,” unless you have met up with a good number of interior designers and received their quotes. Doing so will provide you with a lower and upper limit for you to gauge if any quote is actually too low. If anything is too good to be true, it usually is.