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  • Writer's pictureDreamakers Interior

How to be street smart when Approaching Interior Design Firms

Creating your dream home can potentially be a nightmare if you engage the wrong home professional. Unsurprisingly, the renovation contractors industry recorded the highest number of complaints received in 2022 in Singapore. Many of these complaints centred on unsatisfactory workmanship, while others pertain to delays in project completion caused by shortages in manpower and renovation materials. Here, we have listed out several things you should do to avoid falling prey to a renovation scam.

1. Conduct Market Price Research

Research is everything before carrying out a renovation. Knowing the average price of renovating a home that’s the same size as yours, or of the materials you like, can go a long way, especially in the face of a sly individual looking to take advantage of clueless homeowners. If you’re keen on doing a major revamp or on using more premium materials, it goes without saying that you’ll be paying much more than the average amount.

Be wary of both sides of the spectrum, even those that promise suspiciously cheap packages where they’re usually too good to be true, and come with strings attached.

2. Ensure a reasonable progressive payment schedule

Most interior design firms offer a progressive payment schedule, so what you need to look out for is one that’s paced reasonably. The average deposit amount is anything from 10% to 30% before commencing work. But don’t panic if your interior designer asks for a higher amount, because it may be necessary for bigger projects. Instead, try asking them why they are asking for that particular amount. If they have a solid explanation (e.g. if you require lots of carpentry work, the higher upfront payment may be needed for material and labour costs), then great! However, if their response is a little more wishy-washy, you should be extra careful. Be sure that payment is made to the appointed firm rather than the designer you are working with.

3. Perform background checks

Even through recommendations, always go the extra mile to perform an extra check on both the designer and firm you're working with. Regarding the interior design firm, ensure Accreditations such as SuperTrust, CaseTrust, SIDAC, etc. A registered office address or showroom. It will be harder for companies with a showroom to shut down their business as and when they want to. Aside from reviews, search for their names on forums and social media platforms for information such as bankruptcy suits. Last but not least, review their company portfolio, which will be showcase their experience.

For the interior designer, check out their individual portfolio, as it will give you a sense of their personal design style, as well as their experience. You can also search for their personal Instagram accounts, as some IDs use one to show off their design work. To go all in, you can also request to visit your ID’s most recent worksite and projects to get a rough sense of their work practices, interactions with their workers/clients, among other things.

4. Document all evidence of communication

Play it safe and ensure all communication with your designer is documented in black and white. If your renovation goes downhill, you’ll have evidence to prove your point to the police and the Small Claims Tribunal. These include late renovation works, delays, or incorrect workmanship. Finally, you can lodge a report to the renovation accreditation scheme under CaseTrust, the consumer watchdog's accreditation arm.


At Dreamakers Interior we believe that every space has the potential to become unique, harmonial and beautiful. We are proud of what we do and are prepared to work overtime to guarantee that you are satisfied with the way your space looks. From full-scale projects to small renovations, we invite you to take a look at our gallery and see what we have done. Below are some of our favorite projects. If you need professional help for design conceptualization or space planning, let us know.

👉 Our portfolio: 👈

👉 Chat with our interior designers: 👈



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