Ten Questions To Ask An Interior Designer
Working on interior design projects was challenging during the pandemic because, for the most part, people were not looking to meet one another in person and would handle their work remotely. While some companies tried to create mockups and other changes remotely, most realized that they had to get this done in person because they could understand the place better than through video calls and blueprints. It also allowed them to explain the process to the client to make sure everyone was on board before they began the process.
We found that people have a lot of questions when they are coordinating their interior design process. Often people do not ask the questions they have because they might not consider them important, while other questions we get asked all the time. We thought we should document then. Here are some of the most asked questions when we are dealing with interior decoration.
1. Should I work with a licensed contractor?
When looking for a contractor, it is always good to know if they are licensed and insured, which protects you if things go south with the contractor or property is damaged or stolen during the renovation or construction process. Insurance covers issues like injuries and is born by the company you are working with, reducing the load you would likely have to bear. Additionally, if they are licensed, they went through a process and received information about it. After studying, learning, and working on paperwork, they are a reputed company reducing the chances of leaving with everything.
2. Will we have a dedicated crew on our project?
One of the primary questions to ask before beginning a project. It helps aid communication and expectations. It is much easier to plan your week when you know who will be on site. You can begin to build a rapport with your assigned crew and project manager, which helps alleviate anxiety. While having a dedicated team on a project might assist with getting through the project sooner, it might also cost more than it would otherwise. You want to go through both the options, weigh the pros and cons and decide whether you pay more or take longer to complete your project.
3. Have you been in any legal disputes with past clients?
Unfortunately, sometimes projects do end rather poorly. Perhaps a legal situation with a former client isn't a deal-breaker, but an honest answer would be useful. Issues arise in any project, and the best contractors will face difficulties with a certain level of accountability or open communication. If you are constantly coordinating with the contractor and have good communication, you would know what was happening and if the situation needed some looking into to make sure that no one was getting sued. Legal issues would just need a proper explanation because there are times that lawsuits are over defaulted payments.
4. Do you have written contracts with dates, permits, project duration, and expected results?
This protects both you and him if any issues arise. While many might tell you that they do not need contracts and that they work on trust. You would not be able to take any action if there were issues with the work done. It would be challenging to sue for any damages without paperwork, even if you are in the right.
5. Do you give any guarantees on your work or warranties on the projects used?
This helps to protect you in the future even when the contractor has moved on to other work. It gives both parties an understanding of expectations of who is responsible for what if nail heads start popping out of the wall or your faucet starts leaking in six months. There are some requirements to make sure you get through the work properly, and there are some elements that would have a guarantee, while they would repair and leave free of charge for others, for a particular amount of time. For some of the work done, usually, raw materials purchased, they provide a replacement if anything goes wrong.
6. Timelines: Do you keep them?
In this post-covid era, it is tricky to nail down specific deadlines. So much of the production line is not up to the contractor. Delays are inevitable currently. However, hiring a contractor with reasonable deadlines is possible. Communication is key. All companies have a clause for a slight delay of 10% -20% because it cannot be predicted to the letter, but you should talk to other clients that the interior designer worked with to see if they end within the deadline or keep delaying. They delay some of these issues for months which can lead to an increase in cost. These are some reasons why they have to have proper timelines and deadlines to adhere to and not leave it open-ended.
7. Do you hire out work such as electrical and plumbing, or do you take care of that in the house?
Some contractors are large enough that they have tradesmen who work for them. Others hire out various jobs. What you are looking for is a contractor who knows who will be performing the job so they can vouch for them. Have they used them before? Are they licensed and bonded? An excellent contractor can easily give you information on all the men and women that will be used for your job.
8. Have you done similar projects to mine?
It is important to know if they are completely out of their comfort zone working on your project or if the scope of work is something they feel comfortable with. There are different interior decorators, and they work on their projects. You want to make sure the team you are working with has handled work similar to your requirements so you can go through it and see if it meets your requirements.
9. Can I see a portfolio?
This should be an easy one. Look for contractors that can back up their claims. If they built a house from scratch, they should have images and can talk intelligently about the process. Most of them would also add samples of their work on their website, making the process of getting through a lot easier. You should always check out the work they have done in the past, so you are in a better position to judge if they match your requirements.
10. Who pulls the permits?
Getting permits for any construction project can be a hassle, but they exist to make sure everything is done to code. A good contractor will take this on behalf of the homeowner and should be included as part of the scope of work. They would ideally even have connections to make it happen, which makes the process a lot easier. If they handle the permissions, that's one less thing to think about.
If you are looking for assistance when getting the insides of your house done up, connect with Rōan Interiors. I am an interior designer and decorator in Richmond, Virginia, and have been in this line of work, dealing with both residential and commercial businesses for some time now. While I specialize in new construction and remodels, I guide my clients to envision their spaces through 3-d renderings. I work on various aspects of the house, and if you want to get a better understanding of the services I provide, please click here. If you are looking to get in touch with me or think I can assist in any way, please click here.