Interior Designers vs Contractors- Who Would be Right for Your Interiors

Setting up a new home or renovating an existing one can be a stressful affair. Right from deciding on the color of the walls, to fitting furniture in all the right places, we need a helping hand.

For many years, the trend in India had been to hire a contractor and get the job done. In recent times, interior design, as an art, has caught up and so has the emergence of smart and savvy interior designers. How does one decide if they need a contractor or an interior designer? Confused about the differences between the two? DesignBids helps you make the call.

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The Blueprint:

Do you have an accurate idea of how your home would look? In this case, a contractor might be right for you. Hiring a contractor requires you, the homeowner, to know the specifics of the design you want for your apartment. A contractor merely follows instructions without ideating.

On the other hand, an interior designer undertakes a start-to-finish approach with complete solutions for your home. Right from deciding the kind of tile work needed to the style of doorknobs and placement of cabinets; no detail is ever too small. An interior designer will spend time with you understanding your needs; whether you want to make the home child safe, pet-friendly or anything else, and present a 3D drawing for your approval.


The primary reason homeowners in India do not hire interior designers, is budget. We try to cut on interior design cost, not realizing we might be losing out on few important details. While a contractor would be right for you if you need minor work done, such as painting or furnishing a single room; an interior designer would relieve you of greater efforts, while renovating an entire house.

An interior designer does cost more than a contractor, albeit marginally. However, interior designers respect your budget and work accordingly. The cost-effective interior design is a wise investment to get your home looking stylish and clutter-free.


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Interior design isn't only about the money but also about time. Hiring an interior designer will allow you to devote your time elsewhere, while the designer supervises the renovation and takes end to end responsibilities. From going furniture shopping, to picking sub-contractors such as carpenters, electricians, and painters, the designer takes complete charge.

A contractor may end up costing you more time for he/she will require your constant presence and supervision. Moreover, not all contractors provide contacts for subcontract interior design work such as painting and electrical fits.

End-to-End Solutions:

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An interior designer takes complete charge of renovating your home which includes flooring, sanitary fittings, furnishing, drapes, wall fittings, and much more. As a homeowner, you would want your house to reflect your social standing. An interior designer has academically studied the art of interiors and can visualize future issues even while your house is still under construction. Moreover, they offer post designing rectification and further professional consultation as well.

A contractor will take no responsibility in case the designs you suggested don't turn out right aesthetically or functionally. They merely follow your ideas and complete the project. Hiring a contractor might save you some interior design cost, but end up adding to your responsibilities and future need for remodeling.

Our Advice:

The amount of work required, the time you can devote, and budget at disposal are key deciding factors. If it's a single room that's up for renovation and you know exactly what you need, you could opt for a contractor. However, if it's an entire house or a bungalow, an interior designer will make the job easier, smarter and fit it all within a pre-negotiated budget. Most interior designers in India have an entire team, including electricians, painters, tailors, technicians, and carpenters, at their disposal for all your cost-effective interior design needs. Hiring an interior designer will save you effort, time, and money.

Do check past reviews of the interior designer or contractor who you plan to work with. Ask yourself, if you could live with a few regrets about your home interiors, simply to save that extra rupee.

Remember, a well-planned interior design for your home can indeed make or break your daily routine.

Joanna D'Souza

Joanna D'Souza

Joanna is a writer and pet parent. She spends time away from work with her dog and traveling with her husband. She’s a fan of the Beatles and loves rock and pop from the 80's.

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