11 Questions You Have Always Wanted To Ask Your ID

October 24, 2017
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Who better than interior designers to ask important questions when it comes to renovation ideas and tips on how to best go about the process. Here, we speak to four ID firms – Le Createur Interior, Movent Signature Design, Paperwork Design Studio and InD’finity Design – to get their viewpoint on common questions homeowners have.

Q: When should I consider touching up my home like repainting walls, redoing my floors and toilet waterproofing?

Movent Design: Five to ten years would be your best bet as design and living requirements would have changed. Typical things to do are cleaning and polishing works, redoing your kitchen countertop, your bathroom with mould and moisture build-up a common issue as well as to add more storage and ventilation, and to clean tile grout.

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Q: How do I balance budget versus wanting your dream home?

Le Createur: If you’re looking at fancy designs, you have to understand that this comes at a higher budget. Plus, you need to be comfortable with the knowledge that a firm could potentially charge more for design fees. At the end of the day, it is all about knowing what you can and cannot achieve with the budget you have.

InD’finity Design: Going for cheaper materials may not significantly reduce your budget as you still need to factor in your labour cost. If you really want to save, then our suggestion is not to do any work on that particular area, for example the bedrooms as these are expensive to work on along with the kitchen. Either stick to a smaller budget with a smaller renovation area but with good design. Or do your own homework where design is concerned and work with a contractor on your own time. You have to sacrifice either time, money or design.

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Q: I came across a design I really like and want my interior designer to do the same. Is that OK?

Le Createur: We will look at the design first and incorporate it into your home but at the same time we will make changes to things that are not suitable such as size or material. Of course, we will suggest alternatives when it comes to this and offer suggestions on how to improve on the design itself in terms of function and material to ensure that everything is more effective.

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Q: I’m not comfortable with some of the design features my interior designer has suggested. When is the best time to raise this issue?

Paperwork Design Studio: During the planning stage or at the very least before work starts! Otherwise, we may have to charge more for labour and extra resources.

Q: My interior designer and I have ideas that clashed. What should I do?

InD’finity Design: First, listen to what the interior designer has to say. Then, make your own judgment. You don’t want to make changes after the ID is done.

Paperwork Design Studio: Both parties should always discuss and be open to opinions to achieve the best outcome.

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Q: Some of the materials my ID firm proposed are too expensive. Can we have alternatives?

Le Createur: We usually work from the budget and suggest materials that are within it. This way we don’t under-deliver when they compare our design with the actual outcome.

Movent Design: We will propose other materials with different quality and prices so that our clients can decide for themselves. For example, China quartz for a lower budget or European quartz with longer warranty if you have a higher budget.

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Q: Why does my house look nothing like the proposed sketch/design?

Le Createur: It could be because halfway through the project, your ID firm may realise that the material proposed is out of budget hence the need to switch, which may affect the outcome. It can also be due to changes done during the project, especially for areas that have been installed or built.

Movent Design: The proposed sketch is an artist impression. Therefore, it can be slightly different from the outcome. Aside from that, materials used, technical issues and workmanship can also result in a different outcome from the proposed sketch. A word of advice: Check the colour theme and design layout in your sketch.

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Q: I want to renovate my home but I want to do so by sections. How should I go about this?

Le Createur: Keep fragile items away. Make sure your floors are fully protected (wood first, then plastic). When we renovate in sections, we provide free cleaning services after the renovation works are done.

Paperwork Design Studio: It is advisable to complete plaster ceiling and wiring works or anything else that may involve hacking.

Q; A lot of wood is incorporated into the design of my home. Will I have problems with termites?

Paperwork Design Studio: We usually do not suggest using wood in wet areas as it tends to attract termites. Avoid using if your home is in affected areas.

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InD’finity: If you are doing major renovation works for a landed property, make sure you install an anti-termite system under your flooring for easy maintenance and to service once every two years. Termites are not a huge issue for condos and apartments.

Le Createur: When it comes to landed properties, it is best to stay away from wood as you’d be more prone to termites. However, if you still want to go ahead with it, make sure you are using treated wood. For landed homes, we usually suggest aluminium.

Movent Design: An alternative is to use materials with wood texture, for example vinyl flooring. This still gives your home that wood element feel without using the real thing.

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Q: Can I add or remove some elements halfway through the renovation?

Le Createur: Yes, though it is not recommended. Most interior designers will try to fit the changes into the budget; however, we will suggest topping up if the change becomes too extensive for the initial budget to achieve the best results.

Q: Is it OK if I get an interior designer to conceptualise the design and then outsource the renovation works to a contractor?

Paperwork Design Studio: Like they say, too many cooks spoil the broth. That is why is important to work with one professional from start to end to save you the hassle and money.

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Movent Design: It is preferable to have one party doing the design and build to avoid miscommunication between designer and contractor. This benefits the homeowner who only has to deal with the ID firm instead of meeting multiple parties.


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