How Interior Designers Charge for Your Renovation and How You Can Save Costs

When it comes to designing your home, interior designers can take away the pain of coordinating different aspects of a renovation. They can also deliver top interior design trends to you in the shortest possible time for your dream home design.

However, we all know that renovating a home is not cheap. Engaging an interior designer usually means more expenses needed to pay for their expertise and connection.

While good interior designers certainly do bring value in terms of design, advice, connections and ensuring the project runs smoothly, there are areas that you can consider cutting to ensure the renovation project fits within your budget.

Hire an Interior Designer

What Are The Expenses Involved?

Design fees

So what is a design fee and what do design fees entail? You can think of design fees as more of a service fee for the interior designer’s time and effort that they put into sketching and coming up with your home design and layout.

Usually, what the design fee include are:

  • The basic requirements and wants that you want your house to have. This will include the kind of base and foundation for your house design
  • The 3D sketching and the actual final design of your house design
  • The interior designer’s expertise and know-how in advising on the selection of materials, colours and design of the furniture, wall colour, overall colour scheme and appliances for the house.
  • Their effort in coordinating and supervising the whole renovation works.

Design fees can also be called professional fee.

The things that affect the design fee would include:

  • The floor size. This is also usually linked with the property type
  • Labour, material and other miscellaneous costs

Based on the statistics provided by Qanvast, the general design fee for an HDB or a condominium would be around $1,500 to $6,000.

There is no doing away with the design fee. Thus you should make full use of the details and information that you can obtain from the design fee. With your home renovation sketches, you can use them to scrutinise and look at your entire design layout. This will be the best time to smooth out any rough edges you have with the design and detail work.

Of course, varying from designers to design firms, if your designer is more experienced and have certain expertise, you will need to pay a higher design fee for their skills and know-how.

Find Interior Design Services

The scale of the project

Many people have the misconception that the housing type is the main factor that affects and sets the various price of the renovation cost. This is not accurate as it is the scale of the project that affects it. Of course, housing type may affect the scale of the project if you are looking at renovating the majority of the house or a full renovation.

An HDB renovation could cost as much as $70,000 while it could cost $30,000 for a condominium.


Some interior design firms do charge you for their service, which is different from the design fee. This fee will mainly cover the cost of hiring the designer for their service, say consulting them for a renovation project or them helping you to pick out the various furniture and decorative pieces for your newly renovated home.

Be sure to check if the designer or designer firm is charging you at an hourly rate, flat-fee or “percentage over cost”.

Helpful read: Top Interior Design Singapore Trends to Style Your Home

How to Save Money in Renovation?

Here are some tips on choosing the right interior designer for your renovation project and tips on saving costs so you can save thousands on your home renovation project and not end up busting your home renovation budget.


There are many interior design firms, and thus you must take the time and effort to pick and find the right firm to hire for your renovation.

Each interior designer has a unique style and specific know-how for a certain kind of design.  Please do your research and pick a few interior designs whose design and style you like, and then contact them for their availability.

Go over your renovation design and make sure you know all the details

One good tip to make sure that you are not spending unnecessarily would be to make sure that you are in the loop of every single detail regarding your home renovation design. At times, if you feel like certain things are not needed, for example, a false ceiling or extra lighting, be sure to voice it out as these are a few of the features that add to the cost of your home renovation.

One other important thing would be to be firm and let your interior designer know about your budget, needs and wants. This way, the designer knows what you are looking for and can forgo the renovation if the cost exceeds your budget.

Find a Renovation Contractor

Hire your own handyman

Your interior design not only takes care of the design of your home renovation, but they also act as the middleman and coordinator for other stuff. This includes helping you find a plumber, electrician and others to help do and fix the plumbing work and wiring to fit the new house layout.

Be sure to check with your designer if they charge extra for helping to coordinate these professionals. If yes, you can always consider sourcing and finding your own plumber, electrician and handyman. This way, you can also be more at ease that the professionals you have found are trustworthy and reliable.

One of the best ways to find and hire a reliable handyman would be to ask around your friends and relatives for their go-to guy.

Do not be shy in voicing out if you want to hire your own handyman and professionals.

Hire a Handyman

Be present

It is always important to be present throughout the entire renovation journey. This is because most of the time, there will be minor setbacks with renovations. You will then want to be present and make the decision to either change the design or to pay extra for the hiccup.

At least if you are present, you will be in the loop of how much additional cost and the changes made to your renovation as a result of the setback. You do not want to get a huge surprise in say a change in details or having to pay more than agreed after the renovation because you were not in the loop of what happened.

Suppose you hired your own handyman and professional to do the electrical or plumbing work. In that case, it is also crucial that at least you or someone you trust is around to make sure that there is no miscommunication.

It is thus also important to set aside an amount for unexpected problems; this will include the minor changes or setbacks during the renovation that you will have to pay to make the necessary changes.

Cost of Other Home Improvement Areas

You can check out the cost of hiring professionals for other aspects of your home improvement project. Some of the more popular cost guides can be found below:

Related Articles

We’re here to improve your home

Speak to hundreds of reliable pros, view their gallery, inspirations, and know the best prices with our resources.
Have full control over your home improvement projects with Homees.

Related Articles